Credit cards have been one of the most widely used forms of paying various types of bills. This may range from regular purchases, to bill payment transactions in large amounts.
This is different from debit cards in the sense that the former may purchase in its behalf even if the owner does not have a corresponding amount credited to the card.
Generally, the issuer of the card provides a credit limit. The predetermined amount is the maximum permitted transaction to be made by the consumer or owner of the card.
Credit card companies compete for the fast growing market by offering various promotional strategies such as the following:
1. Interest rates
Credit card companies try to offer the lowest possible interest rate per payment due. Said interest rate may range from 1.2% up to 5%.
2. Minimum amount due
Every month, the credit card company has a predetermined percentage of amount due based on the current charges or purchased made by the owner of the card.
Failure to pay the said minimum due would result in additional charges on the part of the owner / consumer.
3. Waiving of dues
The usual practice had been that of waiving the first of the cards' annual dues.
Other offers had been cut off one or two billing periods without any additional charges if the consumer did not pay for the period covered by the promotional advertisement.
Should the consumer pay the whole amount charged to the card before its billing period, the interest due from the balance is likewise waived
4. Extension card
Supplementary cards are usually offered for the cardholder to enable them to extend the use of the card for any family member (or friend) to whatever they would want to grant access to its use.
5. Balance transfers
Most credit card companies offer a very low interest rate charging for any balance transferred to their card from that of another one.
The catch is to encourage consumers to transfer all the balance charges from their current card to their very own card company.
Payments are arranged on a predetermined period of time. The disadvantage of this is that if the consumer decides to pay the whole balance earlier than the stated date, no rebates would be granted.
Consumers that are not wary of their purchases may find themselves in immense debt if payments are foregone or if the individual makes purchases more than he or she is capable of paying at the end of the billing period.
Missed payments would result in finance charges that would have been added on top of the month's interest charges. That result to higher charges.
It has been said that the rampant use of the credit card system had been rejected in the Great Depression of the 1920's.
The rise of the automobiles during this period resulted to a great increase in the demand for fuel. To accommodate the large purchases, fuel companies accepted credit payments so as not to lose transactions to their competitors.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Still, if the individual is wary and cautious when making purchases using a credit card, one may find that he or she may use it for his or her own convenience.
Below are some of the advantages of using a credit card:
1. Low risk of losing cash.
Large purchases may be made without having to carry the money around.
2. Readily available
Emergency purchases, such as that of medicines, may immediately be accepted at any store that accepts credit payment.