A lot of people have this preconceived idea about credit cards in that they are nothing but a way for banks to siphon money out of people’s pockets. However, we argue that there’s a lot more to credit cards than what might initially seem. In reality, credit cards are extremely useful financial tools that can help us manage our financial resources a lot better. If you still don’t have a credit card and you’re interested in getting your first one, check out this link for the best credit card signup bonus offers available today.
In this article, we will mainly talk about the benefits and drawbacks of credit cards. After having read this guide, you hopefully be able to appreciate the value of credit cards and evaluate whether or not you should get one for yourself.
- Convenience – credit cards serve as an alternative to paying with cash. This means that you are not anymore required to bring lots of cash with you wherever you go just, so you are able to buy things as and when needed.
- Safety – in relation to convenience, there’s also a degree of safety when using credit cards. Because you won’t have to be bringing stacks of cash with you, you’re going to be less of a target for thieves and criminals. On top of that, if your credit card gets stolen, it can be easily locked, tracked, monitored, and recovered. In contrast to dealing with stolen cash, cash is going to be a lot more liquid and transferable, which means that the chances of recovery are very slim.
- Inexpensive Loans – this is perhaps the main reason why a lot of people get credit cards. Credit cards allow you to purchase and pay for goods or services without having to dish out your own cash upfront. This could be very useful if you want to be strategic with your cash or if you simply do not have enough cash on you at the moment you want to pay for something. The good thing about this is that, unlike regular loans, which typically have steep interest rates, the interest you’ll be paying on credit card loans will be comparatively more affordable.
- Temptation – this is an accompanying drawback in relation to convenience. Because credit cards are very convenient to use, you may be easily tempted to use them all the time. This could lead to irresponsible spending if you are not able to control your spending habits. On top of that, lots of banks and financial institutions constantly offer limited-time teaser rates. This is so that you will get hooked into using their credit cards for purchases you wouldn’t have otherwise done. These limited-time teaser rates trick you into thinking that you are going to save a little bit of cash on that purchase when in reality, you are actually losing out money because you have been forced to pay for an item you wouldn’t have gotten in the first place.
- Fees and Charges – the thing about credit cards is that they can easily turn into money-hogging debt traps. This is especially true if you are unaware of when the payment is due and how much should be paid. You can easily be forced to pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars in fees and interest charges if you’re not careful. In order to avoid this, thoroughly go over your contract and make sure that you understand the terms and conditions attached. Also, ensure that you have payment ready on or before the due date. If you think that you can’t pay off the item, don’t risk buying it, as it could potentially lose you money in the long run.
- Monitoring, Reviews, and Scrutiny – credit cards have to be constantly checked and monitored for changes in the amounts and the recording of transactions. If you are not willing to put up with this, then it’s best that you hold off getting a credit card in the meantime. This usually entails having to go over your account details every now and then. If you cannot afford to do this all by yourself, then you’re going to have to resort to the services of a professional, which also means additional expenses.