Life in the Real World

8 Crucial Things To Know Before Getting A Credit Card

Getting a credit card is an excellent way to build credit in order to buy a car or get an apartment. However, there are many factors to keep in mind when applying for one that fits your life. A great credit card is a great way to improve your future as well as your present! Here are 8 crucial things to know before getting a credit card.

1. Cards that have annual fees

While many cards are now eliminating annual fees, some cards still have them. Your best bet is to choose a card that does not have these fees. As a college student, your spending may not be worth getting a rewards card with an annual fee.

2. The cards that have low-interest rates

While paying back your credit card in full is good, it is not always possible. Credit cards, like student loans, have interest rates on payments that are not paid back in full. Try to find the cards that have the lowest interest rates to avoid getting into credit card debt.

3. Rewards options

Many credit cards offer cashback or rewards options. For example, Discover offers cashback that can be used on your balance as well as gift cards and Amazon payment options. They also offer cashback at certain stores or on certain purchases. Read the fine print to make sure you maximize these features.

4. Make more than the minimum payment each month

Making the minimum payment is fine, but try to pay it off in full at once if possible. At a minimum, make sure you make your payments on time to ensure that your credit score is not negatively impacted, though some cards offer forgiveness for being late the first time. This is one of the more important things to know before getting a credit card.

5. Benefits of having a credit card

Having a credit card can help you establish good credit. This can be done by making payments on time, limiting the number of credit cards you apply for, and keeping your credit card spending under 25% of your credit limit.

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6. Difficulties of having a credit card

Unlike a debit card, you will have to pay back any money that you use on your credit card. Most companies have an option of following your account online to help you keep track of spending. Make sure you have enough money to pay it back each month or at least pay back more than the minimum payment.

7. Card security features

Some companies have a feature that allows you to temporarily “turn off” your credit card if you lose it. Others may not allow you to purchase things a certain mileage outside of your hometown or internationally without prior consent. Knowing these features is crucial to using your card easily.

8. Chip cards

Most credit cards now have an EMV Chip, which encrypts your data when making in-store purchases. Most stores have a “chip reader” that allows you to make a purchase securely. However, hackers have already figured out a way to get into these, so it is still best to monitor your account to make sure it is not being hacked.

What do think about these things to know before getting a credit card? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com
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Ashley Paskill

Ashley is a recent graduate from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA with her Bachelor's in journalism. She love writing articles about music and Philadelphia. Ashley would love to pursue a career in journalism in New York City.

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