Bank credit cards come with huge responsibilities. Your first step to using one wisely is to know how the card works and what duties you have as its user.
A bank credit card allows you to borrow money from a revolving line of credit with a limit, which is determined by the card issuer (the bank). You can use the card to purchase goods or services, like food, clothes, movie tickets, or dinners in a restaurant.
When you use the card to pay for something, you are technically borrowing money from the bank which issued the card to you. You make this ‘loan’ official by signing the receipt when you make a purchase, or inputting the security code found on the back of the card (and in some cases the card’s expiration date) when you are purchasing something over the internet or phone.
Information is your protection against misusing or abusing your card, so be sure to read the terms and conditions of the customer agreement which comes with your bank credit card. The gist: Once you purchase something using the card, you bind yourself pay it either partially or in full on or before the due date. You need to repay at least the minimum amount plus the interest that may have accrued on an unpaid balance once every billing period, in order to keep using your card without running into any legal problems.
Remember that how you use your credit card determines what kind of credit facilities will be available to you in the future. Your credit card history goes into your credit report, which you want to keep in good standing if you plan to take out major loans such as mortgage loans or car loans. You should therefore remember to always pay your credit card bills promptly, keep track of your charges, and not exceed your credit limit. Doing these three things religiously can save you from financial problems.