|Practically everyone in the United States has credit cards. From teenagers to retirees, almost everyone has at least one credit card. Everywhere we go we see ads - in the television, radio, newspapers, billboard advertisements - on credit cards. Some credit cards are even mailed directly to our homes. But what are credit cards and why should you have one?
Simply stated, a credit card (or for many, just known as credit, is a financial arrangement between you, the consumer or the card user, and an institution (in most instances a bank), that you have to borrow instant money from them and promises that you will repay them back in the future. The institution agrees to that it will give the money you need and expects you to pay them over a certain time period, like on a monthly basis. Your payment will include not just the entire money you owed the group or institution but also an additional charge that is known as an interest rate, if you are unable to pay your full balance on time monthly.
Credit can provide various services, making it an indispensable tool for today's consumers. These include:
Convenience. You saw this wonderful dress in a shop. Perfect for tonight's party, you thought. But you don't have money right now. Thanks to your card, you can buy anything you want right now. Credit cards give you that wonderful allowance not to bring that much cash and to order goods from catalogs. In addition, many of the online-based shops and stores, such as Amazon.com, mainly accept payment using credit.
Emergency Protection. For emergency situation, credit cards can be an extremely helpful tool that could be your friend that could pay for your emergency needs, like when your car conked out in the road, or your mother gets hospitalized, or any emergency situations that you need money but can't get it from the usual means.
Putting you in the right budget. Want to keep a detailed record of your expenditures? Credit cards can do that.
Security. In today's world, carrying large cash has become a problem. If your cash gets lost, there's no way you can retrieve it. Compared with credit cards, money cannot be returned back when it got lost or stolen. If your card, for example, got broken or it got lost or someone stole it from you, you can always ask for a credit card termination or cancellation. You will have another card, a new one that will replace it in a few days.
Traveling. If you're quite a traveler, whether across the town or country, or outside the US, it is relatively easier to travel with a credit card.
When used responsibly, credit cards are can help improve our daily lives. With cards, life could be so much easier.