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This is a personal finance article about Credit Cards. The industry article can be found here.
A credit card is a a plastic card with a magnetic strip, issued by a bank or business authorizing the holder to buy goods or services on credit.
Before getting a credit card, it's important to understand the language used by lenders to describe one. Here are some must-know credit card terms that'll help you make sense of the fine print.
Using a credit card without understanding the associated charges can often turn into an expensive affair. Here are some of the common credit card fees that lenders charge their card holders.
Before applying for a new credit card, invest some time in learning more about them. Understanding the terminology associated with credit cards will help in making a more informed decision about which card to get. The Federal Reserve and Federal Trade Commission have websites here and here that introduce consumers to the many terms used by credit card companies, some of which include annual percentage rates (APR), annual fees, transaction costs, liability limits and incentive schemes.
If there's a credit union nearby, consider researching their options since they tend to offer better terms than traditional banks. There are also a few websites, like Credit Card Hub, CreditCards.com, Index Credit Cards, Credit Card Wisdom, CreditCardClients.com, CreditCardAssist.com, NewHorizon.Org and LowCards.com (and in Canada Credit Cards Canada), that are Advertising Affiliates who are paid a commission by the relevant credit card company if you sign up for card through their site. There are also sites such as CardSelection.com who share the commission with you to sign up through their site. Last, but not least, BankRate.com and GoBankingRates.com lets consumers compare all sorts of financial products, including credit cards.
Canceling a credit card usually has a negative effect on your credit score because:
However, canceling a credit card may be a sound option for those who want to:
In these circumstances, canceling a card may be worth it, especially if: