Credit is a powerful tool that opens up a world of possibilities. But whether you’re just getting started, or in the market for a new card, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by jargon like APR, grace period, and minimum payment.
So, don’t fret or be afraid—there’s a glossary of common terms and definitions for all you need to know about credit cards.
Credit cards can be confusing, especially to the uninitiated. What are they? How do they work? And which card should you get? Before applying, it’s important to understand as much as you can about the different types of credit cards, how each one works, and which ones might be best for you.
What Are Credit Card Terms and Conditions?
Credit card terms and conditions are the terms you agree to when you apply for a credit card. Credit card terms and conditions are important to review before you apply for a credit card—after all, these terms may be negotiable, and you might even be able to get the credit card limit you desire. When you buy something with your credit card—whether it’s online, over the phone, or at a brick-and-mortar store—you will be committing to adhering to the terms and conditions of your credit account.
What to look for in Credit Card Terms and Conditions
The types of terms and conditions that credit card companies use can be confusing and often leave people uncertain of the legal consequences of simply making a credit card purchase. Credit cards’ terms and conditions can vary, so knowing what to look for is important.
Credit cards are a great source of convenience, but they also have terms and conditions that can hold you back. Most credit cards have a grace period of around 21 days, which is the amount of time you have before you need to pay off the balance in full. However, some cards have longer grace periods, such as the Discover it® Balance Transfer, which offers a 0% intro APR (annual percentage rate) for 15 months on balance transfers that post to your account within 60 days of account opening, which means you have more time to pay off the debt. Other credit cards have shorter grace periods, so make sure you know exactly what the grace period is of whatever card it is you are looking to get.
Don’t ignore Credit Card Terms and Conditions
Your credit card is a legal document (even if you don’t realize it), and you must be familiar with all the terms and conditions. Ensure that you fully understand all the terms and conditions before you apply.
Credit cards are a convenient way to pay for everyday items, but they come with a price. The industry’s goal is to get you to buy more things than you can reasonably afford. Credit card companies use loopholes in the law to trap you in paying interest on purchases you made when your interest was deferred. In other words, if you spend $10,000 on a credit card with an interest rate of 18%, the company will defer the interest for 12 months. After 12 months, the company starts charging you interest on the unpaid balance. Then you can get another credit card, with a new interest rate, and another one, and another, and so on.
Understanding the fine print of your credit card is important. This is important because if you miss the fine print or don’t read all the way through, you could miss out on some great benefits. Your credit card should not only be a tool for you to make purchases, but it should allow you to earn rewards, save money, and, most importantly, protect your identity.
Special Considerations for Credit Card Terms and Conditions
Consumers may be presented with various terms, conditions, and disclosures when applying for a credit card. Most of these terms, conditions, and disclosures involve how consumers will be able to pay off their bills, as most credit cards include an interest rate. However, some agreements may include special considerations for consumers, such as special perks, rewards, or fees that consumers should be mindful of.
Credit cards offer wonderful rewards and flexible financing options. However, they can also be very confusing, especially the fine print buried deep within the Terms and Conditions. Credit card companies justify this by maintaining that it’s in their best interests to protect their customers. However, the fine print may be so one-sided that it compromises your consumer rights in some cases. That’s why you should use resources like this article in order to educate yourself about credit card terms and conditions and evaluate how you can get the most out of your credit cards.
Credit cards are a part of life for most of us these days. They’re convenient, help us get out of debt, and offer rewards. But what happens if you suddenly find yourself facing unexpected expenses? What if you should need to cancel your card? These scenarios and more are covered in the terms and conditions you agreed to when you signed up for the card, so make sure that you read these carefully and you should find out how to manage this so that you can have a good experience of owning a credit card.