Chapter 1: Match card and lifestyleThe smart consumer selects the card that matches his or her spending and payment habits.Finding the card for your lifestyleKey questions to ask before signing upHow do you plan to pay?Is a charge card same as a credit card?Read the fine printCards on the WebBeware the scamsChapter 2: Credit reports and scoresHere's how to order and read your credit reports and how your credit score is affected by the reports.What is a credit score?Checking your credit reportHow to read a credit reportHow credit inquiries affect credit scoreHow to fix credit report errorsChapter 3: Costs and feesYou found a credit card with a great low interest rate. Good for you. Now, what about the fees?How finance charges are figuredFAQ on feesHow to avoid late feesWhy your rates go upHefty cost of going over the limitWhen is a 'fixed' rate not fixed?Chapter 4: Managing your cardsYou pay promptly and never go over the limit. But, do you know your consumer rights?Guide to reading your monthly statementAsk for a lower rateStep-by-step guide to balance transfersHow to cancel a cardPaying less than the minimumLost or stolen cardThe high cost of ignoring your billsChapter 5: Using credit wiselySavvy spenders use credit carefully. Discover when it's smart to pull out a card and when it's not.Shop safely on the WebHow to dispute a credit card purchaseCharging your way to free travelUsing a credit card to establish good creditChanging the due date on your credit cardChapter 6: Special-need card usersHere are the cards best for first-time applicants, students and for those with bruised creditGetting your first credit cardCards for college studentsWhy a credit card is useful for studentsBad credit doesn't mean no credit advertisementRelated Links:Smart uses for credit cardsNational credit card rates for Sept. 9, 2010Are your friends sending you into debt?Related Articles:Credit card ratesGet more from credit cardsLower credit card rate?
Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages thoughtful and constructive comments. We ask that you stay focused on the story topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, illegal contents and advertisement posts. Comments are not reviewed before they are posted. Bankrate reserves the right (but is not obligated) to edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused. We do not permit the inclusion of hyperlinks in comments and may remove any comment that includes a hyperlink.
Get advice for managing credit cards, building your credit history and improving your credit score. Delivered weekly.
The U.S. is moving to normalize relations with the nation for the first time since 1961.
... Read more