Pros and Cons of Credit Cards

Pros & Cons of Credit Cards

It's important to weigh the pros and cons of credit cards as you decide on one that's right for you. When used responsibly, credit cards can be safe way to purchase large items, earn rewards and build credit. However, if credit cards are overused, it's easy to miss payments and accumulate debt. 

Pros:

  • With a credit card, you can make a large purchase within your credit limit and make payments on the purchase over time. 
  • Rather than carrying around large amounts of cash or check books, credit cards are a safer and more convenient way to access your accounts. 
  • When used responsibly, credit cards can be an excellent way to build credit, which will benefit you if you choose to finance a car, apply for a mortgage, or make other large purchases. 
  • Many credit cards offer a variety of rewards like air miles, travel accommodations, cash, and other items. 
  • Credit cards are beneficial for emergency and unexpected expenses. 
  • They are secure. Companies can place a hold on your card if it's lost or stolen, and they will typically contact you if they suspect suspicious spending. 

Cons:

  • If you don't stay on top of your spending, you can easily rack up credit card debt. 
  • Because credit cards are so convenient, they can lead you to overspend. 
  • If you max out your credit card (spend enough that it's close to your credit limit) and miss payments, your credit score will quickly decline.  
  • Interest can be high on some credit cards, so maintaining a high balance can be more costly over time.
  • You can accrue extra fees for late payments or spending over your limit.
  • Applying for too many credit cards can hurt your credit score. 


Information provided by Nerd WalletPeer Finance 101, and Forbes.