Credit Card 411: ID, Internet, Security & Payments

Credit cards can be used wherever lines of credit are accepted, including most retailers, insurance companies, medical facilities and real estate companies. Credit cards can also be used for online purchases. Check your annual percentage rate before using a credit card as a payment method, so you know how much you will pay out in interest each month.

Identification:
From groceries to insurance premiums, medical bills and rent, you can use your credit card wherever the Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express or Diner’s Card logo is accepted. Locations around the world accept one or all major credit card brands, so call ahead if you are not sure.

Internet Payments:
Credit cards offer the convenience of cash withdrawals. Using your credit card, you can withdraw money up to your credit limit. Bring your credit card to an ATM, enter your password or pin and enter the dollar amount you wish to withdraw. While the withdrawal process is similar to that of a debit card, cash withdrawals from credit cards are subject to daily interest. In some cases, your credit card issuer may funnel your payments to your transaction balance before applying it to your withdrawal balance, which could cost you in the long run.

Security:
Most credit cards contain a card verification code (CVC), which transmits information encoded on your credit card’s magnetic strip. Using your card’s CVC, you can safely make online purchases. CVC procedure ensures that you are making a “card in hand” purchase, which means you actually have your credit card in your possession at the time of your purchase.

Repeat payments:
Credit cards allow consumers to set up automatic payments. It is common for consumers to pay for big ticket items over the course of several months using a credit card. Agree to the terms and conditions of the purchase plan, and provide your credit card number, CVC and expiration date. Set up automatic billing so your payment is automatically withdrawn from your account on a specific date each month. Insurance companies frequently accept revolving credit card payments for insurance policies.

Prevention/Solution:
Making a payment with a credit card offers protection against fraud. If a retailer accepts your payment, then changes the terms and conditions of your purchase agreement or does not issue the product or service as promised, you can dispute the transaction. Simply contact your credit card issuer with details of the transaction and accompanying documents such as a receipt or contract. A formal investigation will end in a dismissal of the charge if the transaction is found to be fraudulent.

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