Whether you’re still recovering from your New Year’s celebration or are starting to plan your spring break vacation already, a credit card can make shopping and travel easier, safer, and help you keep track of your spending so that you don’t overextend your budget. When used responsibly, credit cards offer many advantages, especially if you choose a card such as the Visa card from PrimeWay Federal Credit Union, which has no fees, a low interest rate, rewards, and other beneficial features for qualifying members.
Credit Card Benefits and Perks You Need
People are more and more frequently becoming victims of identity theft, bogus charities, scam shopping sites, phishing emails and other forms of theft involving personal financial information. Credit cards can offer more safety than cash and checks. If your card is lost or stolen, PrimeWay offers zero liability for cardholders. Any fraudulent charges, whether through identity theft or a phishing scam, can be disputed through your credit card company and recovered. PrimeWay also offers personal identity theft protection.
2. Travel Protection
Using a credit card is the most convenient way to book flights, and a credit card is almost always required by rental car companies. The PrimeWay Platinum Visa card offers travel protection features such as trip cancellation and trip interruption protection, hotel/motel burglary reimbursement, lost luggage reimbursement, roadside dispatch and auto rental collision damage waiver. So if your trip is looking like something from a National Lampoon vacation movie, you’ll be covered.
3. Short-Term Loan
With the great introductory rates that are available from PrimeWay, you can use a credit card as a short-term loan for larger purchases and travel. As long as you have a plan in place to pay the card down over a specified period, you can avoid racking up debt and the accompanying interest. Before making a big purchase, set a goal to pay the card down as quickly as possible. Use an online credit card calculator to find out how much interest you’ll pay over the term you selected, add it to the principal, then calculate the monthly amount you’ll have to send in to pay off the purchase. Make sure you’ll be able to afford to pay the card back even if unforeseen expenses come up.
By using a credit card responsibly, you can cover your expenses and treat yourself to rewards at the same time. Earn points for shopping and then use them toward gifts, travel or even donations to charities. PrimeWay’s credit card rewards program also includes restaurant discounts and perks, so you can purchase discounted gift certificates and save up to 40 percent when dining out at various restaurants.
5. Improved Credit History
Credit cards help you build credit. If you use your credit card and pay off the balances on time, you can increase your credit score. A good credit score can not only save you money through lower interest rates on credit cards and home and car loans but also can make you eligible for lower home, car and life insurance rates. If you are rebuilding your credit, consider starting with a secured credit card. By putting some cash down, you can use this type of card to help you improve your score.
Credit cards are not for everyone, and each person should assess his or her financial situation before applying for a credit card. Remember, the credit limit on your card is not a goal of how much to spend. It is best to only charge amounts to your credit card that you can afford to pay back right away.
PrimeWay is a Houston-based credit union that offers different credit card options with no annual fee, no balance transfer fee and one of the lowest APRs available.
PrimeWay Federal Credit Union is a GOBankingRates client.
Photo credit: Ciaran McGuiggan