Credit Card Gift Cards – 3 Advantages

Using a credit card or a debit card with a credit card symbol for daily purchases has become standard practice today among most consumers. Plastic is often preferred over cash because they are accepted by the vast majority of merchants around the country and around the world. And, relying on them means relying less on carrying paper money and coins.

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Of course, traditional cards require that the user apply for the card through the issuing financial institution. During this process, the consumer’s credit history is checked, and an interest rate is determined based upon their credit score and other factors VCC buy . Translation: they can be a hassle to obtain and are costly to use.

Alternatively, a way to use credit cards while avoiding the hassle of the whole credit check and monitoring process is through the use of prepaid gift cards. Also sometimes called prepaid debit cards, each card carries the symbol of one of the major issuing organizations – such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

The convenient thing is that you get to use these cards while skipping the application process. The cards are purchased (or reloaded) with a certain dollar amount and then can be used until that amount has been depleted. And, they can be used to make purchases anywhere that a regular card is used – including online or in-store.

Recently, before my granddaughter left for university, we chatted about credit cards: uses, abuses, mixed messages, and the alternative she has been practicing from pre-teen. Prior to our discussions, I reflected on current economic challenges and the credit card deception: society tells students they need credit cards (“cards”) early to build credit ratings for early, significant credit access. Parents agree, don’t teach or practice responsible card use, children use cards like parents, and the debt cycle traps them.

Sadly, we don’t see contradictions in our views on credit. Earlier sub-prime debacle resulted from financial institutions’ seeking out, and then lending funds to people with bad credit! Lately, have you listened to advertising for vehicles, furniture, appliances, and other consumer items? To retain or grow sales, merchants offer credit to almost anybody! Christian ministries, too, have entered the fray: they encourage donors to give on credit, irrespective of ability to pay!

Americans are no strangers to plastic. At the close of 2009, there were more than 576 million credit cards in circulation in the United States, according to the Nilson Report. Stacked end-to-end, that’s enough cards to more than circle the Earth.

Of the more than 176 million Americans who have at least one credit card, 56 percent said they carried an unpaid balance in the previous 12 months, according to a recent survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. That leaves 44 percent of us who pay our balances in full each month.

If you’re part of the 44 percent, there are ways to take advantage of your smart use of credit. If, on the other hand, you’re in the group of Americans who carry a balance on your credit cards, these tips aren’t for you. As soon as you pay interest, which you do if you’re not paying your full balance each month, these advantages will work less and less in your favor.

Looking and applying for low rates should be easy as they are common nowadays. A thorough evaluation is needed though because not all offers are absolutely equal even if they offer the same rates. Some credit card issuers may offer different rates for different credit company card transactions and highlights only the rates of one or more transactions with low rates. Would be users must check the rates for all services that the credit company card offers such as purchases, cash advance and other transactions like balance transfer. One credit company card may offer low rates on purchases made but may charge higher interest on cash advance or balance transfer or the other way around. Other issuers may charge interest on interest, which means the resulting interest of the credit company card balance will also be charged with interest on the next statement period. It would be wise therefore for the user to determine as much as possible the purpose for which his credit company card will be used so as to pay the least interest amount and enjoy the benefit of low interest rates.

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