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Why a Credit Card is a Great Addition to Your Wallet and How to Choose One


Why a Credit Card is a Great Addition to Your Wallet and How to Choose One

Carrying a credit card can protect you. In addition to being accepted in more places, credit cards have fraud liability protection built into them. You’re only liable for a portion of the total loss. Depending on your credit card, you might not be liable for any of the fraudulent activity on your account.

Compare that to a debit card, where a fraudulently obtained number can be used to clean out your checking account and hit you with overdraft fees. Most financial institutions will replace the money that’s been taken from you, but they don’t always do so immediately. This can leave you in hot water if you have automatic bill payments set up or major expenses, like rent or a car payment, due in the near future.

Not only that, but carrying a credit card (and using it responsibly) can help build your credit score. Even having a card “for emergencies” can help provide you with peace of mind. There’s no security downside either. Every security feature in your debit card is also built into your credit card.

Knowing that a credit card is right for you doesn’t tell you which credit card is right for you, though. With so many of them out there, it can be difficult to sort out what’s relevant from a sales pitch. Here are a few important points to focus on when considering your options. You want to pick a card that gets you the features you want while paying as little as possible for it.

  1. No annual fee

The convenience of a credit card is a fantastic option, but it’s hard to justify paying a ton for it. Fees can sometimes be as high as $500. These are charged automatically to your card. If you’re not paying attention, they can put you over your credit limit or leave you with a balance and unexpected payment coming due. Find a card with no annual fee to avoid these risks.

  1. Rewards

Conventional wisdom says you should choose a card that offers a competitive rewards program. That way, you can charge everything to that card for maximizing your rewards potential. If you pay off the balance in full each month, you get all of the upside without the potential risks.

Rewards programs are nice, but they shouldn’t be a deciding factor in picking your credit card. Treat your rewards credit card like a bonus, but don’t plan your financial habits around it. You might get a few gift cards you can use for a nice perk every now and again, but you’ll save money if you focus on less costly credit cards.

  1. Low financing fees

This is the most important factor in choosing between cards. You want to find the lowest cost for your credit services. This is made of two factors: grace periods and APR.

A grace period is a time between a charge and interest accumulation. On average, these are between 28 and 30 days. This gives you time to pay the balance without being charged any interest.

APR is the interest rate. This is the percentage of the balance that will be added to your bill each month. They are usually fairly high, running between 17% and 27%. It’s expensive, but you can keep it low by paying your credit card off in full each month.

You want a lengthy grace period and a low interest rate. These two factors are critical to getting the convenience and security of a credit card without paying too much for it. Shop around for a credit card that gives you time to pay it off and avoid interest. A low interest rate for instances when you can’t pay it in full would then complete the package.

While there are a lot of credit cards out there, floridacentral Credit Union offers multiple credit card options to fit your lifestyle: Rewards, Cash Back, and Essentials. Because it’s offered through an institution you know and trust, you can be sure there’s nothing in the fine print that will come back to bite you. Call or stop by to apply for a floridacentral Credit Union credit card today to start enjoying the convenience and security with a name you know and trust.



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