Credit Cards Required for Many Purchases

By: Roland Jefferson

In today's world of plastic, it is almost necessary to carry credit cards, whether you want to charge your purchases or not. They are almost a necessity for car rentals, motel reservations and for making purchases online. Although you can always print an online order form and mail your order with a check or money, buying with credit cards can bring your purchase to you quicker.

Not everyone however can qualify for credit and with requirements for some credit cards becoming more rigorous, it is becoming harder for those with less than perfect credit scores to obtain one. There are companies making them available with higher interest rates and other charges, but many believe the extra expense is not worth the availability of card.

For many others credit cards are a form of convenience and safety, being able to have access to financing for spur-of-the-moment purchases or for being able to travel without carrying a lot of cash in their pocket. Most credit companies offer zero finance charges if the bill is paid in full upon receipt. The typically low monthly payments usually set for credit cards also make long-term payment arrangements available for larger purchases.

The Trick Is Staying Within Your Limits

There is no secret it maintaining your credit card health. Staying under the credit limit on the card and making monthly payments on time will keep you in good graces with the credit card companies. Paying the bill off when received will keep the expense of using credit cards to a minimum, but maintaining your reputation for making on-time payments is a big boost to your credit rating.

There are fees credit card users may not see when they charge purchases, typically paid by the vendor, assessed by the credit card companies for the retailer to offer the convenience of credit cards to their customers. Fees range from a half-percent to as high as two percent, tacked onto the total purchase price, charged to the vendor. Retailers will usually figure this into the price of doing business and the cost is part of the price they charge for products or services.

While some view credit cards as a necessary evil and other see them as an added expense they can do without, the convenience of driving through a fast-food restaurant and being able to by a meal, or fill their gas tank between paydays as a benefit they are willing to pay to enjoy.

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