Credit Cards

Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.

Before applying for a credit card:

  • Determine:
    • The interest rate for purchases (watch out for unspecified rates, e.g., "as low as" a certain rate);look here for great credit options available to you, or get help from credit counseling as well.
    • The interest rate for cash advances
    • If there’s an annual fee and, if so, how much
  • The waiting period before finance

When you receive a new card:

  • Make a note (in wallet, home files, etc.) of phone number to call in event card is lost or stolen

When you receive a notice (e.g., "important changes") with your credit card statement:

  • Read it carefully, looking for:
    • New or increased penalties for paying off your balance (look here for more details)
    • Cutbacks in rebate programs, etc.
    • Shorter waiting period before payments are late
    • Higher late charges
    • Penalty interest rate if you’re late making payments, e.g., twice


Thanks for reading!