Your Credit Card, your Friend

by : Elisha Burberry

News on TV, in newspapers and on the radio about Britain's credit card debt may have caused you to look differently at your credit cards, but it shouldn't. Credit cards enable consumers to make the most out of borrowed funds and if used optimally, could actually earn you money and brownie points on your credit score.

Shock value news has scared many consumers into relying more on their debit cards for making purchases. Spending on credit cards has actually decreased while spending on debit cards has swelled. In fact, 80% more money is spent using debit cards over that spent on credit. It is obvious that people see the advantages of using a debit card; it's as easy to use as traditional plastic and takes the money straight out of your account so there are no bills to remember and no fees if you leave your overdraft untouched. If used advantageously however many more benefits can be obtained from using your credit card to pay bills.

Credit cards also can come with perks so consumers should shop around when looking for a card to find the offers which would benefit them most. One of the most popular perks is cashback. This means that the credit card company will give you a percentage of what you spend back to you. Some cards limit the kinds of purchases that they offer cashback on such as on petrol or on supermarket shopping but it still works in the consumers' favour if they are paying their bills on time. This can be a fantastic added extra to a card and most obviously in the users favour.

A newer perk out on the market is the charity card. Many credit card companies are aware that Britons donate a huge amount of money to charity every year and have found a way to make giving even easier. People can use these cards and feel good knowing that they are giving back in some way to those who may be less fortunate.

Another less altruistic reason for running more miles on your cards is to increase your credit score. If you have yet to take out a mortgage or loan, using a credit card smartly can have a positive effect on your score making it much easier to buy your first house or apply for a loan.

Most credit card companies have made it super easy to apply for a credit card online. Simply fill out the online forms, wait, and in no time you will know whether or not you got the card you wanted.

Don't be frightened of your card. It can be used to your advantage if you have the right one for you and treat it right. It will do the same for you in return.