Credit cards – back up for financial emergencies
Credit cards can get you out of a bind if you use them properly.
11:11 09 May 2013
The strain on personal finances has led many people to turn to their credit cards to help them with everyday necessities such as groceries. It’s easy to turn to credit cards in a time of emergency, and interest rates are definitely preferable to certain other options such as payday loans.
If you’re worried about financial emergencies, but don’t have a credit card yet, consider a few things so you ensure you have the best deals:
- Interest rates—this is always one of the first things you should look at when comparing credit cards. There are often multiple interest rates so make sure you pay attention to all of them and understand how, and when, those rates apply.
- Late fees—if you are apt to forget payments, credit cards can gradually ruin your credit rating. Figure out how much late fees cost and when they are assessed. Also, it’s best to see if they have a website which allows you to set up recurring payments. That way you can avoid extra fees completely and keep your credit rating intact.
- Introductory offers—credit cards often like to entice new customers with excellent offers. You might be able to get a 0% interest rate on purchases for a limited amount of time. Compare introductory offers, but don’t forget about those interest rates after the offer if you plan on keeping the card long-term.
- Balance transfer policy—if you have other bills or loans which you pay at a higher interest rate, it saves you money to transfer the balance or portions of the balance to credit cards, if you have a better interest rate. Some companies assess a balance transfer fee, so take that into consideration when you compare advantages and costs.
These points will help you choose the best credit cards for you and may even help you pay off some old debt faster.