While all credit cards can be processed to make online purchases, online credit card companies allow consumers to submit their applications online. Before online credit card applications became popular, consumers mainly had the option of applying through the mail or over the phone. Online credit cards usually give applicants instant decisions, which may also give consumers access to their credit card number so that they can start making purchases on the web immediately.
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When you are able to review all of your choices, you will be better able to make a determination based on current promotions, interest rates and other features.
Applying for a credit card through an online credit card company may also give you access to additional web based billing and payment options. If you prefer to receive notifications via email, online credit card companies are usually more inclined to send their communications digitally.
Choosing an Online Credit Card Company
Because there are so many different online credit card companies to choose from, making a selection can be difficult. Some credit card companies may offer cards with very similar names, but the credit requirements and features may differ vastly. Your best option is to compare them closely and then see which ones best suited to meet your financial needs.
Consumers can also review their annual credit reports to see if there is any reason that their applications would be denied. If you know that an online credit card company you want to apply with prefers applicants that have established history, examining your credit file will give you better perspective. In this instance, going with a credit card issuer that has credit cards for first time applicants like students, or lines of credit for consumers that want to rebuild their credit might be ideal.
Online Credit Card Companies are Regulated
Credit card laws concerning interest, payment terms and fee caps are different in each state, but federal laws supersede the rules set forth by state governments. Michigan residents can read up on credit card laws and learn how to exercise their consumer based rights in the event of exploitation.
Credit card companies are regulated on a state level, which means that they have to be licensed to operate within whatever states in which they choose to do business. On the federal level, only the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is equipped to handle complaints on all credit card companies. Other agencies can take measures to regulate and discipline both online and traditional credit card companies if they happen to also be a bank or credit union.
Contacting the department that regulates banks in your state can give you information on the practices that online credit card companies must follow. Consumers may also lodge complaints with these state agencies if they believe that their credit card company has violated the law.
Security of Online Credit Card Companies
As consumers become more aware of the potential shortcomings in Internet security, online credit card companies may be especially at risk. In general, applying for a credit card online is secure, but there are also other mitigating factors. If a consumer already has a virus or malware installed on his or her computer, a data breech can take place.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does not indicate whether online credit cards are safer than traditional cards. However, this agency specializing in dealing with consumer complaints and reviews credit card terms as opposed to security issues.
Features Offered by Online Credit Card Companies
If you are used to getting monthly credit card statements in the mail and calling customer service to resolve all your issues, chances are that you are dealing with a traditional credit card issuer. Comparatively, online credit card companies give consumers access to various online customer service, payment and other account accessibility options because it allows for faster problem resolution.
As far as credit card options are concern, traditional credit cards and online credit cards features also vary. Neither type of company is superior to the other and their customers are held to the same standards. You may enjoy the flexibility that online credit card companies give consumers, but other than instant approval, there is really no difference. All of the things that online credit card company customers can do on the web can also be performed on the phone, so it is really a matter of personal taste.
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