That seems counterintuitive right? Credit cards are evil, debt-building devices that will bankrupt even the most fiscally responsible consumers. WRONG. Credit cards in the hands of a smart, savvy consumer act as valuable assets. How, you ask?
You’ve probably heard the saying, “You need credit to build credit.” Payment history makes up 35% of your credit score. Showing you know how to manage and payoff your debt responsibly will make it easier when applying for a loan. Carrying over a balance is never a good practice but building a small balance and paying it off at the end of every billing cycle will go a long way towards growing your credit score. Your score is checked for everything today. Don’t expect to get an apartment or a job offer if your credit score is in the dumps.
Building credit is essential but what about the other benefits? Most credit cards have reward programs to entice cardholders into more frequent use. If you use your card frequently and payoff your balance, this is essentially free money. Our Avadian Rewards Card offers one point for every dollar you spend. These reward points are redeemable for gift cards, cash and travel miles. Of course the cash is good for any purchase and the gift cards include restaurants, hotels, retail stores and even car rentals. Our new online banking platform has a built in link to your rewards page for quick and easy access as well as redemption.
Credit cards can help you avoid costly overdraft fees as well. Maybe you don’t keep up with your checking account balance religiously. If your account is low and you charge even one cent more than the balance, you’ll be slammed with a $30 overdraft fee. You should definitely start keeping a better eye on that balance, but until you establish that habit, use a credit card. Keep up with your receipts and pay the charge off as soon as possible after making the purchase.
Finally, credit cards offer higher levels of security than debit cards or cash. When cash is gone, it’s gone. It doesn’t matter if you lost it or someone stole it. You are never seeing that money again. Credit cards allow you to instantly put a stop to spending when your card goes missing.
Credit cards are a valuable asset if used correctly. Spend responsibly and avoid the pitfall of building a high balance. Manage your card wisely to start down the path to a high credit score and loads of rewards.