Choosing and Using Credit Cards

Chances are you've gotten your share of "pre-approved" credit card offers in the mail, some with low introductory rates and other perks. Many of these solicitations urge you to accept "before the offer expires." Before you accept, shop around to get the best deal.

Credit Card Terms
A credit card is a form of borrowing that often involves charges. Credit terms and conditions affect your overall cost. So it's wise to compare terms and fees before you agree to open a credit or charge card account.

Advertiser Links for Credit Cards
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Shopping Tips
Keep these tips in mind when looking for a credit or charge card.

  • Shop around for the plan that best fits your needs.
  • Make sure you understand a plan's terms before you accept the card.
  • Hold on to receipts to reconcile charges when your bill arrives.
  • Protect your cards and account numbers to prevent unauthorized use. Draw a line through blank spaces on charge slips so the amount can't be changed. Tear up carbons.
  • Keep a record - in a safe place separate from your cards - of your account numbers, expiration dates and the phone numbers of each issuer to report a loss quickly.
  • Carry only the cards you think you'll use.

Information is courtesy of the Federal Trade Commission
Source: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/credit/choose.htm