‘Flexible friend’ or ‘plastic money’ are two of the most widespread unofficial terms used to refer to credit cars in the English-speaking countries. These are quite affectionate terms and most people are pleased to have a credit card or two. There are also individuals who cannot trust themselves with a real credit card and they normally use pre-paid cards, which means that you have to put the money into the card’s account before you can draw any money out. These are obviously not credit cards as the holder does not get any credit. Debit cards are like this.
A credit card is an vital function of modern living for many people. There are reasons for this such as: mugging is a concern in some cities; people do not have time to go to the ATM and some people buy a lot of goods over the Internet such as from eBay. A lot of people purchase their groceries on line and have them brought round when they get home from the office.
Before you apply for a credit card, it is worth learning a little about the precautions you ought to take in order to be protected by federal law in the USA and national laws in other lands.
Make sure that you can be properly identified from the details that you provide on the application form especially if you have a common name like John Smith or Ann Jones. After all, you do not want to be denied for something that your namesake was guilty of and you do not want somebody else to be able to steal your identity and get their hands on your savings account either.
The average American citizen has about ten credit cards, so you can imagine the number of applications for credit cards that need to be processed every day. If you do not assist with your identification as much as you can there could be long delays as well.
When a credit card form states that you have been ‘pre-approved’ it does not mean that you are guaranteed to get a card. It means that the company guarantees you that they will reflect on your application. In other words, it is nonsense – just a marketing trick.
If you get one of these pre-accepted forms, you might just as well go online and apply to the same bank there. The on line application form will often ask for a reference number and you have that on your piece of paper. If you use that number, you will not lose any of the incentives that you were being offered, but your application will be looked at far more quickly that if you post it.
When you receive your credit card, sign it on the back right away. You should also make a note of the card number on the front and the telephone number on the back. If you lose the card or suspect fraud, you should get in touch with that number right away and have the card ‘stopped’. You can get another one from the same firm pretty quickly.
You will probably be offered some kind of insurance with the card. Read the information about this very carefully. Some schemes are excellent others are junk.