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How Best To Use A Credit Card

Aug 17, 2007
If you are new to the world of credit cards, then you need to know the basics before going ahead and choosing the right credit card. Although all the terms and companies offering cards can seem confusing at first, if you do your homework then learning the basics takes no time at all. Here are some hints and tips regarding the basics of using and finding a credit card

Borrowing money

Credit cards are probably the most common way of borrowing money. Credit cards are available from so many different sources, both offline and online. There is a wide variety of different types available, and at first glance it can be very confusing. However, what you need to remember with all credit cards is that you are borrowing money, and that the credit is not free. Once you realise this then you will be in a better position to get a card that suits your needs.

Interest rates

Unless you intend to pay your credit card bill off in full each month, then you need to be aware of the interest rates of cards. The rate is calculated as APR, or Annual percentage rate. The typical rates right now are around 13-18%, depending on the company you choose. Lower interest rates are obviously better, but remember that there can be other charges as well such as late fees or transfer fees, etc. Also, if you are going to pay the money off very slowly, then you should look at other types of money lending as credit cards do have high interest rates.

Paying your bill

The options for paying your bill vary, and some cards have different requirements. A few cards require you pay the whole bill each month, but most only require that you pay a minimum payment. This is usually around 2% of the entire balance. If you are not paying back your card in full each month, then pick a card that has benefits for doing so. Some cards offer cashback of around 0.5% or more, meaning that you get money back each time you buy something.

Fees

Most credit cards have a range of fees that you will be charged. These include fees for late payment, over-limit fees, and annual usage fees. If you know you might be late with payments sometimes, then pick a card with low late fees. Also, try and avoid cards with annual fees, unless the rest of the package is very good. Some cards have introductory offers, like no interest or fees on transfers for six months. These cards are good if you need to transfer debt or you know you can pay back the balance during the introductory period.

Debt

Remember, if you are not careful you can get into credit card debt that can be hard to get out of. Only spend what you can really afford, and try to pay back as much of the balance as you can each month. Credit cards are great for emergencies or spreading the costs of expensive items, and if you know the basics then you will get a better deal on your card.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for creditcards-gb.co.uk.
For additional articles and an extensive resource for everything about credit cards, please visit us at Credit Cards and 0% Balance Transfers
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