Sunday, February 19, 2012

Credit Cards: Do Not Just Use Them, Seize The Benefits!

Having a credit card provides you with an excellent source of flexible financing. And when you find a credit card product that features a reasonable interest rate, even if it is a bit higher than that of a personal loan, credit cards provide you with more ease and comfort due to being lines of credit and not a fixed amount loan. Yet, there are many other benefits that you should seize when using your credit cards:

These additional benefits may always be included on any credit card product like the ability to purchase by phone or online while protecting your consumer rights and avoiding frauds or scams but there are also other benefits that may or may not be present depending on the type of credit card you chose like rewards, promotional terms, product insurance, etc.

Online Purchases

The ability to purchase goods online is undoubtedly a benefit. You do not need to move from the comfort of your home to purchase anything from groceries to furniture or house appliances. Almost anything that is sold in stores can also be purchased from online stores and the purchases are just as secure as regular purchases and sometimes even more.

In order to suppress the fear that most people have as regards to online frauds and identity theft, credit card companies have implemented new security systems and insurances that protect you from online scams. Besides, most online stores have both very strict validation systems and secure transaction measures that encrypt all your data to avoid third parties from obtaining it. Thus, it is easier for an employee to copy your credit card information when you make a purchase at a local store than for anyone to see your personal and credit card information online without your authorization.

Consumer Rights and Insurance

Credit Cards provide two interesting protections. For starters, they are an excellent way to protect your consumer rights as the payment is not directly made to the merchant but through the credit card company which acts as an intermediary instead. In the event you are dissatisfied with the product or the terms of the transaction you can exercise your consumer rights with the company you purchased the item from and if unsuccessful, through the credit card company which can roll back the transaction, hold the funds till the dispute is resolved or instruct a chargeback. Though you can contact the credit card company directly, it is advisable to go to the merchant first.

Items that you purchase with your credit card may be insured for a limited period of time that usually does not exceed six months. During this period, any damage to the goods that are covered by the insurance policy will be compensated by the insurance company either replacing the item or refunding the amount of the purchase through the credit card.

Rewards and Discounts

There are many different credit card products and each one offers advantages and discounts. Almost all credit cards have a reward program associated with the line of credit. Some of them offer cash back at the end of a period of twelve months or on a monthly basis. A percentage of your purchases add up and at the end of the period the credit card company credits you the amount.

Other reward programs let you accumulate points with your purchases that can be redeemed for products at any time. There are also mileage programs that let you exchange the points for plane tickets or vacation products that include the flight and the accommodations. There are many programs and discounts and the best way to compare is to do a search for credit cards on the internet.

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