By Brigitte Yuille

Are you thinking about making a purchase? Among the payment choices tucked away in a consumer's a wallet is the credit card. Its popularity since its debut in the late 1950s has skyrocketed. Many people enjoy the convenience and protections it offers, such as the ability to defer payments and keep records of purchases. However, credit cards can either help to improve your lifestyle by offering convenient payment and helping you build credit, or they can leave you with a pile a of debt - it all depends on how you use them. Problems can be avoided but understanding the terms of the credit card agreement, spending wisely and selecting the appropriate card. Here we take an in-depth look at credit cards and provide useful information about how you can use one to your best advantage. (For background reading on the credit card industry, check out How Credit Cards Built A Plastic Empire.)


Next: Credit Cards: A Brief History »

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