NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Credit Cards Do Have Advantages

Credit Cards Do Have Advantages


          With the numerous news stories of the increasing credit card debt carried by Americans, it is easy to assume that even owning a credit card can be dangerous. 

          Credit cards do make it easy to spend and to spend more than you might have planned but thanks to the Credit CARD ACT of 2009, many of the worst money traps commonly used by credit card companies have been outlawed.

          If used correctly, credit cards can be an excellent tool for managing your finances.   Included in that money management tool box, is paying off your entire balance on time every month.

          Credit cards are also a safe way to pay as they have built-in fraud protection required by federal law.  In most cases, a credit card holder is not responsible for any fraudulent purchases on his/her credit card.  If your credit card is used without your permission, your maximum liability is $50. If you report the loss before the card is used, you are not responsible for any unauthorized charges. If the thief uses your card number – but not your card – you are not liable for the unauthorized charges. To minimize your liability, report a loss as soon as possible.

          When purchased with a credit card purchase, you’re also protected if the merchandise you buy is defective and the retailer or manufacturer won’t help. You can contact your credit card company and ask for the charges to be reversed.  In addition many cards, especially gold and platinum cards, extend the manufacturer’s original U.S. warranty for up to one additional year if you use that card to make the purchase.    

          Other benefits your credit card might have include: trip cancellation and interruption coverage, roadside assistance, baggage delay coverage, travel insurance, hotel/motel burglary insurance and the opportunity to purchase some concert tickets in advance.

           With all credit cards, never spend more than you have or will have when the statement arrives – that insures you are in control of the card – not the card in control of you.  When you control your credit cards there can be good reasons to use them.


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