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Credit Cards: Still The Safest Form Of Online Payment

Jun 23, 2008
Contrary to popular belief, credit cards are still the safest form of payment for goods and services on or offline. Many consumers fear unauthorized charges and billing errors. In many cases, these problems can all be solved just by knowing your rights and using them to your advantage.

When it comes to unauthorized charges, there are many consumer defenses available. The credit card companies, as well as the government are very aware of identity theft and the recent rise so it has become increasingly easier to report fraudulent charges. Now if your card is used without your permission, you can only be held liable for up to $50 per card. Compare that to if your wallet or purse is stolen and how much you would get back from cash lost in that case. Plus If you report the loss before the card is used, you can't be held responsible for any unauthorized charges. Most good issuers have a 24 hour number where they can be accessed nowadays but it is always a good idea to follow the phone call up with a letter for documented proof and you will be fine. Also if u just have a dispute with a merchant or service provider, it can be handled in the same way as long as they are within 100 miles and the charge is above $50. (These limitations don't apply if the seller is also the card issuer or if a special business relationship exists between the seller and the card issuer, or if you've already made several attempts to resolve the dispute on your own).

Aside from that, some people are afraid of billing errors. While I am fully aware that billing errors do occur,I also know that issuers have a set of rules they have to follow to promptly correct them. These rules are outlined on statements sent out once a year. Many issuers even list your rights on the bill. If you find a mistake on your bill, you can dispute the charge and withhold payment on that amount while the charge is being investigated. The error might be a charge for the wrong amount, for something you didn't accept, or for an item that wasn't delivered as agreed. Of course, you still have to pay any part of the bill that's not in dispute, including finance and other charges.

Some other tips are pretty simple to follow. 1. Never respond to credit card e-mails asking for your details, even if they look official. 2.Always make sure the merchant only charges you once at the time of the transaction. The sooner the better. 3. Don't enter your credit card into an unsecured website. Make sure the address says "https" instead of "http". The website should also have a certification of some kind, usually verisign.

So to sum it all up, credit cards are safer than ever and will always be safer than cash in my opinion. I've included a link to a list of good, safe low interest credit cards. Feel free to look over them and compare rewards.

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About the Author
Kenneth James has written many articles on the credit industry and is the webmaster of a website offering news and information regarding credit cards. Apply for Credit Cards
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