You can purchase credit cards online easily enough, but they will be prepaid credit cards that you manage yourself. Prepaid credit cards serve the same purpose as traditional credit cards except you are not assigned a maximum limit from a financial institution; your limit depends on individual deposits you make.
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Prepaid credit cards are excellent options for people who want to keep an eye on their finances a bit more closely than others do. They allow you to remain in control of your budget because you are never able to over extend yourself by going over your credit limit.
You are not borrowing money from a bank or credit card company; you are spending your money. If you have a teenager in your family, using a prepaid credit card can be a wise decision because you will be able to track their spending habits, which almost every parent worries about.
How do I know if a prepaid credit card will work for me?
To determine if you should use prepaid credit cards, you should first reflect on how you spend money. Do you pay your bills in person or over the telephone? Do you utilize the Internet for shopping or planning vacations? If your lifestyle shows you are constantly using advanced technology to complete most of your transactions, you may want to consider using a prepaid credit card.
Prepaid credit cards are fast becoming the alternative to cash and checking accounts because of their flexibility; prepaid credit cardholder’s also find assurance knowing that their credit cards can easily be replaced if they become lost or stolen. This is something that cannot be completed using cash and a checking account can become a nightmare if it goes missing.
One of the best benefits surrounding a prepaid credit card is you will never suffer over-the-limit fees or overdraft fees like traditional credit cards and checking accounts. You can also setup automatic payments and debits to ensure timely payment of your monthly bills.
What about online credit card companies?
Virtually every credit card company has an application process that you can complete, including:
- American Express
Within a few moments, you are advised of your credit rating and status. If you choose to sign-up online, be sure to research the company thoroughly.
There are resources available, like the Better Business Bureau that will be able to assist you with acquiring all of the information you need to make an informed decision. They have access to annual reports so you can see how the company you are researching handles issues like customer complaints.
A simple click of the mouse will lead you to their archives where you can track the number of positive and negative reviews they have received and if they are making progress in resolving customer disputes. You will also be able to review their current policies and procedures. All of this is crucial to selecting the correct credit card company.
What kind of credit card is the best for a beginner?
Depending on what your plans are, you may want to start with a department store credit card. Using credit cards gets a little tricky when you are first starting out. You need a good understanding of the process and you also need to make sure you are dealing with a reputable company.
You also want to read and comprehend all of your obligations, including monthly payments and any associated fees if you become delinquent. While this may not seem like a pleasant thought, you should be realistic when you are thinking of using credit cards. If not carefully watched, you may encounter a pitfall of worry and concern that can be avoided.
You can review your credit card company choices at JD Power and Associates. This company compiles a yearly Credit Card Satisfaction study based on seven factors according to consumer reviews of the various credit card companies. These factors include:
- Overall Satisfaction
- Credit Card Terms
- Billing and payment
- Customer interaction
- Problem resolutions
Credit cards can be a lifesaver when utilized correctly. They are designed to supplement your income if you experience an emergency and can even be used if you just want to go on a mini-shopping spree. Nevertheless, credit cards should be managed with extreme care. Whether they are traditional or prepaid, credit cards should be respected.
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