Credit Cards

  • ohioguy12

    Posts: 2024

    Apr 08, 2010 3:11 PM GMT
    Hey, I guess it's time for me to get my first Credit Card to use on emergencies, I have a decent job right now but I don't make too much money right now, anyone with advice on a card with a low rate? Should I worry about getting points? Any advice is appreciated...
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    Apr 08, 2010 3:13 PM GMT
    Don't!

    Kidding. Sort of.

    Get one with no annual fee. Make a point of paying it off in full every month, so the interest rate won't matter. Watch out for the billing cycle, it's usually way less than 30 days and creeps up sooner every month.

    Use credit cards wisely and with extreme caution.


    *I no longer have or use credit cards on purpose.
  • ohioguy12

    Posts: 2024

    Apr 08, 2010 6:56 PM GMT
    yea I don't want to get one, but I guess I need one in case my car breaks down or something
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    Apr 08, 2010 7:21 PM GMT
    Can you not get a VISA or Mastercard DEBIT card?

    If all you need is the portability of funds you should just get the VISA debit, use your own money, but with the freedom of VISA.

    I have two credit cards myself, however I only use it to pay for bills and groceries, and make sure I pay it off. This is to give me Frequent Flyer points allowing me some free flights each year.

    However if you do get a credit card and think you might have trouble with it- only ever use it for emergencies, and make sure you can afford the credit limit. Set it to 1000 limit so you are not able to get yourself into big debt.
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    Apr 08, 2010 7:24 PM GMT
    A credit card is a powerful financial tool. Just like any tool, such as a knife, it can "cut both ways". It can help you or hurt you.

    A credit card is an important step in establishing a credit history. An established credit history can be important in obtaining employment, entering into leases and other obligations such as mortgages.

    A credit history is an important part of establishing reputation.

    Learn about the wise use of credit and you can use it to make your money work for you, instead of selling out your future.

    Aloha and Be Well!

    Alan
  • masculumpedes

    Posts: 5549

    Apr 08, 2010 7:25 PM GMT
    What about the cards that your personal bank offers? I have a number of both personal and business cards all offered by the banks where I have my various accounts. It may be worth checking into.....(no pun intended) icon_twisted.gif
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    Apr 08, 2010 7:32 PM GMT
    ohioguy12 saidHey, I guess it's time for me to get my first Credit Card to use on emergencies, I have a decent job right now but I don't make too much money right now, anyone with advice on a card with a low rate? Should I worry about getting points? Any advice is appreciated...


    Get a card with no annual fee and ALWAYS pay your monthly charges off each month. If you have trouble doing that some months, then take out a line of credit at the bank, borrow the money, and pay the credit bill off. You'll save a ton of money by not paying finance charges on credit cards. People who have a revolving balance on their cards are spending a lot every year on finanace charges. You can get a line of credit at the bank for a lot lower interest rate. But, yeah, banks love it when you have a revolving balance.
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    Apr 08, 2010 7:38 PM GMT
    I have a CC through my bank.

    Each month, the balance is automatically withdrawn from my checking account, so there are never any finance charges.

    I also get points for each purchase, so I can get a variety of things for free (electronics, airline tickets, rental cars, cruises, etc).

    I never overspend or buy things I can't afford.


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    Apr 08, 2010 7:47 PM GMT
    jmals23 saidI have a CC through my bank.

    Each month, the balance is automatically withdrawn from my checking account, so there are never any finance charges.

    I also get points for each purchase, so I can get a variety of things for free (electronics, airline tickets, rental cars, cruises, etc).

    I never overspend or buy things I can't afford.




    Yeah, a lot of cards give points for free stuff, which is great as long as you pay your bill off each month without paying finance charges. I have a Cabella's card and I get a point ($1) for every $100 I spend. I think I've accumulated 115 points, so I can get $115 free of anything from their company. They always ask when you check out, if you want to use your points. It doesn't have to be purchases from their company either, but gas and anything counts. so I always pay for my gas on there.
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    Apr 09, 2010 2:07 AM GMT
    You can also simply open a savings account to use as a rainy day fund. Even if you can only put a little bit in each month, it's not too hard to build it up to whatever your card credit limit would have been. (Also, not a bad place to put any tax refund you might be getting.) It's far, far cheaper than any kind of credit card if an "emergency" actually does come up. If you get into trouble, your bank won't actively try to swindle you. And hey, you could end up with some liquid assets.

    (But check to see if your bank charges a "maintenance fee" for accounts with balances below some minimum. If so, go to a different bank or just save up the minimum in cash. An emergency cash stash isn't a bad idea either, as long as interest rates are zero. If you draw five bills out of the ATM, put one in the stash. It's easy.)
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    Apr 09, 2010 2:15 AM GMT
    as a first step it might be a good idea to get one with a max of $500 credit.

    you'll get used to handle it and over time increase your limit. If your profile is good, the company will offer or just do it anyway.

    It's a practical thing when you travel, need to rent a car, hotel ...

  • allatonce

    Posts: 904

    Apr 09, 2010 2:32 AM GMT
    Credit cards are good to have and convenient. They build up a credit history, and you can book and buy things online when you need to. I have mine so that the whole balance automatically comes out of my bank account every month, that way I have to know I have the money before I buy something and I don't worry about interest payments from being late.
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    Apr 09, 2010 2:47 AM GMT
    Credit cards are actually very good if used properly, so owning one shouldn't be a concern. Don't get one that has annual fees, and interest rate shouldn't matter so go for the card that gives you back the most money in pts, miles, cash, etc. I have it so my balance is automatically paid in full every month so I never worry about it.

    http://www.creditcards.com/
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    Apr 09, 2010 2:55 AM GMT
    Better to just be liquid and not need the damn things. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 09, 2010 3:00 AM GMT
    I use an Amazon visa. The rewards are great.
    I recommend getting one through a credit union.
    I do not have a local C.U.
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    Apr 09, 2010 3:10 AM GMT
    Something to ponder: "No annual fee," "points, miles, etc." are all paid for by late charges and penalty fees. Banks that offer those things also actively try to trap people, in order to generate big fees. Do you really want to do business with a company like that? In any case, many "no fee" cards will suddenly gain fees next year, as new consumer protection laws take effect - if anybody enforces them.

    BTW: Many years ago, I sometimes had trouble paying hotel and rental car bills with a debit card, but over the last 15 or 20 years, there has been no problem.

    (The one situation where a credit card (with a deep limit) turns out to be handy is chartering a boat - you can choose to "charge" a large damage deposit - later refunded - OR purchase insurance for a small non-refundable fee.)
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    Apr 09, 2010 4:27 AM GMT
    Start with a card from your bank. Since you've banked with them you've already establish history. Also if you're a student, in which case they're give you the student apr rate, which isn't bad. Happy card hunting.
  • ohioguy12

    Posts: 2024

    Apr 09, 2010 4:36 AM GMT
    thanks for the help, you all gave me good advice!
  • trevchaser

    Posts: 237

    Apr 09, 2010 7:38 PM GMT
    A great thing with credit cards are they are safe with using to purchase. Credit card companies insure you if there is any fraud. You end up carrying less cash so if you lose your wallet or get it stolen, you don't lose too much. A lot of credit cards offer an extra year of warranty on products you buy with it. Some even give you travel insurance which could be the same cost or less than what you would pay separately. Most credit cards give you loyalty points which let you collect and you can redeem for gifts or travel.

    On bad thing with credit is it can be abused if you are not the kind who watches spending. If you're simply clueless about your finances then any type of credit will break you and help dig you into a hole that will cost a lot more to dig out. Look at what the banks of America have done.

    Just remember don't be like most Americans and don't live above your means. Credit is not your answer to long term hapiness. Don't think that because you have $2,000 of credit you can afford a $2,000 item when you don't have $2,000 cash to pay for it. The government hasn't got a bailout for your credit abuse.
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    Apr 10, 2010 6:00 PM GMT
    For many years I refused to keep a credit card because I knew without a doubt that they are inherently evil, but now I have a few cards because I was discriminated against for not having a credit history when I tried to buy homeowners' insurance a few years ago.
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    Apr 10, 2010 9:13 PM GMT
    dont get one..especially with the new changes with rates that was recently announced.