Credit cards are incredibly popular around the world, and with good reason. This handy piece of plastic enables you to spend without carrying cash, borrow money when finances are short, and even earn rewards. Of course, rates can vary, and there are many credit card suppliers out there competing for your business, so be sure to shop around for the best deal. In the U.S. for example there are literally thousands of issuers and even more credit cards available so it’s important to narrow down your search. Or let’s say you are in Canada, even if you have a poor credit history, there are credit cards with guaranteed approval on the market available to you. Generally speaking, credit cards provide an excellent transaction method, and this article explores some of their main benefits.
Carrying cash is always a risk, as if you lose your wallet, your cash is gone too. However, if you lose your credit card, this can be cancelled and replaced with relative ease. Your purchases are often covered by insurance when using a credit card, and if you are ever unfortunate enough to become the victim of fraud, your credit card company will have security procedures in place to ensure you can be adequately compensated.
Emergency access to funds
Short of cash this month? Not a problem. Sometimes, we can end up having to pay for unexpected things that drain our finances, such as emergency car repairs or maintenance fees if something breaks down at home. With a credit card, you can essentially borrow money against future earnings in order to cover this, and pay it back at a later date. In instances such as this, some people may be tempted to opt for so-called payday loans instead, but these are usually come with extortionate interest rates and should be met with extreme caution.
Boost your credit rating
The better your credit rating, the more favorably you will be looked upon by responsible lenders in the future. For example, if you’re seeking a significant loan from the bank or a mortgage, a proven history of paying credit card bills shows that you are a trustworthy borrower. To ensure that your credit score remains high, always keep borrowing to a minimum, but always pay your bills on time – and in full if possible.
As mentioned in the intro, credit card companies will in some cases allow you to collect points every time you spend. This can earn you big rewards in the form of shopping vouchers, or money off holidays and luxury items. Certain credit cards can also come with complimentary extras, such as access to airport lounges, or money off flights.
Consolidation of debts
Balance transfer credit cards can enable you to move debt charged at a high interest to a new account which carries a lower or even 0% interest for a short time, if you manage to find a good promotional offer. This can help you to pay off debts quicker and will of course save you a lot of money in interest.