scorecardresearch
Be A Smart Card User

Be A Smart Card User

Turn over for the complete story about credit cards—the good, the bad and the ugly. So that the next time you extract your card from your wallet, it is with flourish and intelligence.

Money has seen many makeovers— clinking coins to rustling paper notes and now the squeaking plastic cards…  Each avatar has managed to accomplish the seemingly impossible—add value to money by improving accessibility, convenience, security and ease of transaction. Probably no one even remembers what paper notes did to currency… imagine carrying a thousand bucks in coins!

But the impact of credit cards has surpassed all imagination. By rolling credit and currency into one, it has changed the attitude towards afford ability of a product. Today, lifestyles are no longer a reflection of incomes but the credit taking capability of people. With each card, the smart user can get up to 52 days of free credit for the amount determined by his creditworthiness. If expenses are planned well, reward points can aggregate to buy a home theatre or even a car or that bottle of bubbly.

And then there is user smartness. A call to the issuing bank, and the payment cycle and interest charge on late payment can be easily altered. Good credit history can be leveraged while negotiating loans with banks too.

A tiny chip embedded in flashy plastic can literally access crores of rupees, quite a bit of which you don’t own. And too much money can be dangerous. As the critics of the ‘credit card society’ will tell you. They have long accused card users of succumbing to the seduction of easy money and raking up debt piles that last longer than their lives. Lately, the card issuing companies and banks have been put under the scanner for luring customers by zero annual fees, teaser rates and rewards for higher usage.

Almost everyone has heard of or knows someone who has struggled with credit card debt.

In reality, most credit card users are ignorant of the facilities, proper usage and costs of credit cards. This is not to say that card issuers do not make mistakes. But that is true for all service industries like telecom and hospitality. There is a fine print everywhere. However, if you have trouble reading and understanding it, we present the magnifying glass. Turn over for the complete story about credit cards—the good, the bad and the ugly. So that the next time you extract your card from your wallet, it is with flourish and intelligence.