Thank God for credit cards

Ask StevenDoyle

There must have been a lot of things people were thankful about this past Thursday on Thanksgiving day; a good job, a happy family, low interest rates on mortgages and a recovering economy would be just a few of them. Although most people have more plastic than paper in their wallets, credit cards would possibly never have figured in thelist of things to be thankful about. Credit is the currency of the nation and there is no denying that without it, people would have a very hard time managing their personal finances. Cash is good but credit is the future of money. Here are just a few of the things which should make you feel thankful for credit cards. Competitive pricing A competitive free market model tends to force manufacturers and service producers to aim for consumer satisfaction through various means, be it through the quality of service or strategic pricing. The same idea applies to the current scenario of credit cards. You might ignore the tens of emails and mails you receive every week talking about low interest rates or great rewards but they are indicators of the fierce competition within the credit card market. How does that benefit you? It is simple actually. The greater the competition, the better the rates and rewards and the more options you will have to choose from. Legislative protection Most people fear credit cards and loan companies not because of the idea of bearing a debt but rather by what they cannot see or are not told explicitly, that is, the hidden charges, fines, fees and penalties. Legislative measures in the form of the 2009 CARD Act has effectively manages to put an end to ‘fine print debt traps’ that were prevalent prior to Congress ratifying the Act. The recently enacted Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is also aimed at protecting consumers against unfair or illegal practices of credit card companies. Rewards, bonuses and offers Given the competitive nature of the credit card business, most card companies tend to offer handsome bonuses and rewards to attract new customers and in order to retain the existing client base, reward structures are forced to evolve in favor of consumer needs and preferences. Rewards are pretty good with some card companies giving away as mush as 50,000 reward points to customers just for signing up and using the credit card for a certain dollar amount. Right from miles, to cash back to reward point offers and 18 months interest free signup offers, credit card companies are ready to offer just about anything to have you sign up for their services. It has been a good year for credit card users as Elizabeth Warren, a key figure behind the formation of the CFPB, won a sit in the Senate, the first woman to do so from the state of Massachusetts, will ensure that the laws protecting credit card users are implemented and upheld.

Last Updated on: Sat, 15 Dec 2012

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