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Credit Card Information and Offers
We provide information on the credit card industry. This information can include credit card technologies, industry issues or reviews on specific companies or offers.
This site helps define for you the various types of credit cards and the best ways to utilize them to your advantage.
Credit Cards are just financial tools that can be used to perform transactions. Sometimes just by purchasing something in a store or online can earn you rewards. These can be in the form of cash back, travel reward points or other types of bonus rewards.
Keep you informed on the latest credit card offers as well as the latest news going on in the industry.
What Are Credit Cards?
Credit cards can be made out of plastic or even metal. Many are now utilizing the latest chip technology for better security.
When you make purchases on your credit cards, transactions for those amounts will be charged to your account. This is essentially like taking a short term loan out form your bank. If you pay within the grace period (Usually 30 days) you will not get hit with an interest charge. When you run a balance past the grace period you will be charged interest.
At the end of each period you will be billed for all the transactions you have made with your credit card. Normally you will want to pay off the full balance to avoid paying interest charges.
You can also earn rewards for cash back or travel miles for using your credit cards for transactions. Some people travel the world by building up rewards and points and then redeeming them for airline tickets, rental cars or even high end hotel rooms.
Others like building up cash back rewards that will give you cash back once you build up the minimum amount to redeem those points.
Is It a Good Idea to Get a Credit Card?
Using a credit card has many advantages over making purchases with cash or a check. For one it is just much easier to swipe a credit card when making a purchase.
It is also easier to look back through your transaction history on your credit card to find out where you are spending your money. You can also use a website or app like Mint that will summarize all your transactions on all your credit cards into a budget. This can simplify your budgeted spending vs your actual spending each month into a nice summary.
Another reason is to build up a credit history that in the future can get you great interest rates on a home mortgage or car loan.
Some of the benefits when purchasing products on your credit card can be protected against theft or damage. You can also get automatic extended warranties on electronics and other products just by buying them using your credit card.
The other reason to get a credit card is to earn cash back or travel rewards. You will want to pay off your balance each month on your credit card to avoid any interest charges that would offset the benefits of earning the reward points.
It is really a personal decision on whether to get a credit card, but for all of the reasons above it can be a good idea if used responsibly.
Are Credit Cards With Chips More Secure?
Most credit cards on the market now are coming with chip technology. Before you would have credit cards with a magnetic stripe on the back. After these were swiped or run through a machine you would be required to give your signature.
The Chip Credit Card technology adds a layer of protection for you. When you use it at a terminal enabled for the chip, it turns your information into a unique code that cannot be easily replicated.
For example when I used to go to my local grocery store I would have to swipe my credit card and then sign. Now I just pop my credit card with it’s microchip into the reader and that is it! No signature required by me thereby saving me time and hassle. I really love the new chip readers and this technology.
What Are The Types of Credit Cards?
There are some key features of each credit card that can be broken down. I will list a few of the types below.
Cash Back Credit Card
The cash back credit card can be used in grocery stores, gas stations or really any type of purchase. There are cash back credit cards that give you a flat percentage for every purchase. Then there are types that have specific rotating categories where they weight the points you receive.
When you use a cash back credit card, you should pay off the balance each month. If you are going to run a balance and pay interest, it will not be worth the rewards you receive.
Balance Transfer Credit Card
A balance transfer credit card normally will come with a 0% APR introductory offer. These are to be used to pay off other higher interest credit cards via a transfer. This transfer will typically have an initial balance transfer fee between 3% – 5% depending on the card.
After you transfer the balance you should treat it like a personal loan. I would not recommend using the credit card for anything other than paying the balance down.
If the introductory offer is for 12 months, take your balance transferred and divide it by twelve. Then pay this amount each month until it is full paid off.
Low Interest Credit Cards
If you run a balance on your credit card for months, then getting a low interest credit card can be a great deal. There are many 0% promotional credit card offers out there you can apply for and save on interest for months.
When making a big purchase, a low interest credit card can be a good idea. Try to pay it back before the promotional offer ends.
Travel Rewards Credit Cards
The last type of credit card is for building travel rewards points. Many of these types of credit cards offer travel point bonus offers for signing up initially for the credit card. Then you can earn more travel points for using the credit card for specific categories. There are also flat percentage credit cards that will give you up to 2% rewards for all purchases.
These are the main types of credit cards you can apply for online to make your life easier. They can also provide you with unique benefits and savings.