Credit Cards

More in Credit Cards

Loading...

Understanding Credit Cards

A credit card can be a helpful financial tool when you use it responsibly, or it can lead to overwhelming debt when you abuse it. Credit cards are great for building credit, handling big expenses and earning rewards, but it's important to pay the balance in full and on time, or you'll face interest charges and fees. Finding the best offers can help you keep your balance under control, which is essential to making a credit card helpful, not harmful, to your financial situation.

Average interest rates tend to fluctuate over time, but generally range anywhere between 13 percent and 23 percent, depending on your FICO score, so having very good — or very bad — credit can make a big difference.

Many credit card companies also offer generous rewards in the form of points, cash back or airline miles. Be sure to compare many offers from a variety of companies before making a decision.