True or False? Credit card companies lure you in with big promises, but bury the nasty stuff in fine print.
It would be hard to find many people that disagree. Unfortunately, when the consensus is that card companies are out to get you, you might be tempted to throw up your hands and give in, saying “What can I do?” If that's your attitude, you can be sure they'll take full advantage.
Because you read Get Rich Slowly, though, I'm guessing you're a little more savvy, a little more proactive about your finances, a little more likely to look before you leap. So, let me give you five specific things to watch out for, both when getting a credit card and when using the card you have, and how to avoid each trap.
When people ask me what I do and I tell them I run a credit card comparison site, they generally look away, as if I've just said I'm a pimp. Or a crack dealer. Or a crack-dealing pimp. When I tell them credit cards aren't all bad, they're skeptical. You probably are, too. I might not be able to change your mind, but if one less person in the world thinks I'd give cigarettes to an asthmatic, this post will have been worth it.
Used properly, credit cards can offer you some real benefits. (Yes, used poorly they can ruin your life, but that's been established elsewhere. I'm here to give you a few positives.)
Before his trip abroad, J.D. mentioned getting his first credit card in a long time. He talked about the dangers of doing so, but he also exhibited what I'd consider the mindset of a responsible credit card user. This mindset can be summed up in a single sentence, which you should make your credit card mantra: