If you have trouble getting a credit card with low interest rates, then you may have to opt for a credit card with a slightly higher interest rate. If you have poor credit or no credit, some banks will issue you a secured credit card, wherein a deposit in your saving account will serve as a guarantee against your credit limit.

Secured credit cards are often the most excellent alternative for people who have a blemished payment history or bankruptcy in their past. Make sure you select a credit card that pays you interest on your deposit. If, on the other hand, you have very good credit score and would like a higher limit, you can opt for a Gold or Platinum card at the same interest rates with little or no annual fee.

You may be receiving offers like a new credit card with a pre-approved Credit Limit. Before applying for it, make sure you read all the terms and conditions carefully because it could carry a very high rate of interest. Otherwise, by accepting the offer you may agree to transfer the entire balance of your other credit card to the new high interest account. You could end up paying extra interest without realizing what you have agreed to do. You should thoroughly examine the whole list of terms and conditions of the credit card before you sign so that you don’t fall into this trap.

According to the Federal Truth in Lending Acts, credit card companies must provide certain pieces of information. This information is listed below, and by familiarizing yourself with it, these facts will help you evaluate Credit Cards with one another.

• Finance charges in dollars and as an annual percentage rate (APR)
• Credit issuer or company giving the credit limit.
• Size of the credit line
• Duration of the grace period if applicable, prior to payments which must be made
• Minimum fee required
• Annual fee, if applicable
• Fees for credit insurance (if any)

Types of Credit Cards

Mainly there are three types of Credit Cards:

• General credit cards, such as MasterCard, Visa, and Discover cards.
• Travel and entertainment cards such as Diners Club and American Express.
• Merchant cards which are usually used in one chain of stores.

Some credit cards are associated with certain organizations, such as universities, labor unions, professional groups, charitable groups, etc. These are called affinity cards, and they generally carry the MasterCard or Visa logo. The main difference is that the designated organization is paid a small percentage of all transactions.

Reward cards give you some rewards like cash back and incentives when you use your card. Frequent flyer credit cards, for example, offer free air miles plus reward points each time you use these cards. However, they usually have a higher interest rate, so it might not be a good idea to choose these cards if you don’t pay off your balance in full each month.

The right credit card for you is the one that is accepted everywhere you shop and charges you the least amount of money for the services you utilize. Nearly any U.S. business or organization that accepts MasterCard also takes Visa, and vice versa. To that end, it does not matter whether you choose a Visa card or a MasterCard, because you will be able to use both at the same places.

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Did you ever think about how your Credit Card works, how a piece of thin plastic makes you able to purchase big costly things and services without any worries of carrying cash and that too at so much of convenience. It means a lot to a great number of people around the globe. Majority of United States Citizens have at least one credit card and usually more than four or five.

These cards also work as your source of Identification, for example if you want to rent a car then you do require a major credit card. Used intelligently this card can give ease, comfort and allows you to make purchases with almost a month to pay for them prior to finance charges put the boot in. This sounds excellent but in reality many card consumers don’t take this benefit as they do carry a balance from month to month and some times even from year to year. Carrying a balance on your credit card may cost you a whooping 24 percent of charge. Most of the people find it very hard to resist themselves from using this piece of plastic.

We will discuss History and technical things behind a Credit Card. Starting from the scratch a credit card is thin piece of plastic, typically 3-1/8 inches by 2-1/8 inches in size, which contains ID information like a signature or photo, and authorizes the individual printed on it to charge for purchase or services to his account. Today, the information on the card can be read and used on ATMs, store readers and Internet. Users pay out their bills on a monthly or yearly basis plus the annual fees. The earliest Credit Card that could be used on variety of stores and businesses was introduced by Diners Club in 1950 and after eight years American Express came with its universal credit card called “Don’t Leave Home without it!” and then came the Bank of America in 1959 which was renamed as Visa later on. Master Card followed them with the name of Master Charge earlier.

Now the Credit Card Number system, although the associated cards like departmental card have their own numbering system but ANSI standard is used by most of the national card systems. A total of 16 digits are there on front of Cards. The first digit in Credit Card Number signifies the system:

3 – American Express and Diners Cub

4 – Visa

5 – Master Card

6Discover Card

Usually, digits from two to six stands for Bank Number, digits from seven to fourteen stands for Account Number and last digit is a check digit. This system varies from bank to bank.

When a purchase is completed, the credit card consumer agrees to pay the card issuer. The cardholder indicates his/her approval to pay, by signing a receipt with a record of the card details and signifying the amount to be paid or by entering a Personal identification number (PIN). Also, many merchants now accept verbal authorizations via telephone and electronic authorization using the Internet, known as a ‘Card/Cardholder Not Present’ (CNP) transaction.

Electronic authentication systems allow merchants to confirm that the card is valid and the credit card customer has enough credit to cover the purchase, allowing the verification to happen at time of purchase. The authentication is performed using a credit card payment terminal or Point of Sale (POS) system with a communications link to the merchant’s acquiring bank. Data from the card is obtained from a magnetic stripe or chip on the card.

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