Friday, March 13, 2009

Credit Cards: Our Best Friends?

Given their convenience and pro-consumer advantages, are credit cards really the “Devil Incarnate” they are touted to be?

By: Ringo Bones

Despite of the latest high-level exposé of the predatory lending practices of some credit card companies, from a legal standpoint, majority of credit card company’s by-laws are actually pro-consumer. Even though – through varying degrees of factuality – all credit card use (spending?) problems can be “conveniently” blamed on cardholder’s inability to curb spending avarice. While the truth lies somewhere between your credit card being the closest thing of your money acting as your very own consumer advocate and credit rating agency, or just the best thing since free money.

If you are strong enough to resist the temptation of using cash on items that can be purchased by a credit card – in spite of the shopkeeper’s promise of an attractive discount via cash purchase – then be prepared to enjoy the penultimate benefit of using credit cards to buy stuff. The main – if not the overriding – advantage of paying with your credit card is that if you don’t receive what you were promised – very useful in mail order and on-line transactions – you, the customer, can always dispute the charge with the credit card company. All credit card companies have the legal right to temporarily withhold payment while it conducts its own investigation.

Although credit card companies usually protect you – their valued client – if you don’t get what you pay for, but not if you merely change your mind about a purchase. Credit card companies has the advantage of having the legal authority of doing this type of caveat emptor for you. Just be sure to pay your monthly obligations on time to keep interest rates of your charges low and please never forget to curb your spending avarice. Other than that, your credit card – as promised by your credit card company – could really open new doors of purchasing opportunity for you.

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