With the introduction of credit cards life has become simpler with easy payments and you no longer need to carry a fat wallet when you go shopping.
VISA and MasterCard are the most popular credit card companies throughout the world.
Commercial banks in collaboration with these companies help provide credit card services, also known as plastic money.
With so many options in the credit card market, it is important to know what features your card provides.
First and foremost is the annual fee that credit card companies charge.
The annual fees may range from $25 to more than $100.
The fee depends on the type of card you choose.
To attract customers banks sometimes waive the first year annual fee and often offer a one-time membership charge.
You should also find out beforehand the other type of fees that the company charges - balance transfer fee, over-the-credit-limit fee, credit-limit-increase fee and others.
The grace period to make payments is another important consideration.
The grace period is normally a certain number of days from the statement date.
Payments not made within the grace period will incur late payment fees.
Most credit cards allow cash advances from ATMs.
For cash advances, a cash advance fee is charged, which is normally a percentage of the cash withdrawal made.
Most cards do not allow any grace period for cash advances and interest is charged from the day of the cash advance.
Credit cards may be of many types - silver, gold or platinum.
The credit limit normally depends on the type of card you choose.
The type of card offered depends on your income level.
Cards with higher credit limits normally attract higher fees but also come with additional features.
Additional features may include discounts on purchases, money back on frequent use, accident insurance etc.
It is important that you carefully read the application form before signing on the dotted line.
An application does not imply acceptance by the company.
Credit card processing takes time and your personal details will be thoroughly checked before your application is accepted.
It is always advisable to make purchases within your financial limits.
However, there are many people who face credit card debt problems.
The best way to eliminate these debt is to enroll in a credit card debt consolidation program.
Debt consolidation programs help reduce the debt burden and allow repayment with easy monthly installments.
Do a thorough research and check the credibility of the company before choosing a debt consolidation plan.