Credit Cards - Dos and Donts

By: Devin Gilliland

Credit cards are becoming an increasingly popular way of processing transactions. Today, around 20% of adults in the USA use plastic over cash, however as more people decide to use more controversy arises over their misuse. So how should we be using our credit cards, to ensure that we avoid trouble and take advantage of the many features and benefits that credit cards offer?

Do...

1. Use your to avoid being subject to unscrupulous retailers and service providers, that do not provide what they say they will. With a credit card, just contact your credit card provider and they will debit the funds from the provider until they address the issue.

2. Use your credit card before you use your debit card. Why? Because your credit card provider will play a proactive role in sorting out your payment issues, that your bank would be less willing to do in the case of your debit card. The fundamental issue is that should someone use your debit card details to complete a fraudulent transaction then you will lose out, however this is not the case with a credit card. You will merely pay a small fee of around $50, compared to $1000s.

3. Do you need to borrow money in the short-term, but will have it sorted out by the end of the month? This is ideal circumstances to use plastic however be careful and never borrow what you will not be able to afford in the future.

Don't...

1. Borrow money that you cannot afford. What do we mean by this? If you borrow money and you do not anticipate an increase in income or a decrease in expenditure then how will you be able to pay this back? As a general rule, only borrow if you are looking to get something quicker, you are able to afford it, but you just do not have the ready cash at the moment.

2. When completing an online purchase ensure that your details are going to be encrypted before completing a purchase. How do you know this? Look in the address bar, should it read " then that is OK, however " is not OK on a payment gateway page where you enter your credit card details. Please keep in mind that a websites homepage and normal internal pages will read " but not on the actual page where you enter your card details.

3. Become a victim of credit card fraud, by only giving away your details when you absolutely have to. This means that you should physically protect your credit card within your pocket or bag, and you should also ensure that you are the only person who knows your pin number. Leaving your card lying around, or allowing a worker to take it away in a restaurant could mean you become a victim of fraud. Checking your statement regularly mean that you can act fast.

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