Say Goodbye to Traditional Credit Cards and Welcome Plastic: The Benefits of Using Plastic Credit Cards
Table of Contents 
- Plastic Credit Cards
- Features of Plastic Credit Cards
- Benefits of Plastic Credit Cards
- Pros and Cons of Plastic Credit Cards
- Case Studies: Plastic Credit Card Use
- Frequently Asked Questions About Plastic Credit Cards
- Mistakes People Make When Using Plastic Credit Cards
- Best Practices for Using Plastic Credit Cards
Plastic Credit Cards
Plastic Credit Cards: An Introduction and Summary Review
Since their introduction to the marketplace in 1958, plastic credit and debit cards have become a mainstay of money management for millions of people. From easy access to tracking transactions to convenient access to funds in case of emergencies, many people now consider plastic cards to be essential financial tools. While there are both advantages and disadvantages of using plastic cards, it is clear that Americans depend on them every day.
Features of Plastic Credit Cards
The convenience associated with plastic cards is one of the main draws of using them. With a plastic credit card, travelers can access their funds no matter where they are in the world, provided they have a reliable wi-fi connection or a local payment provider. Plastic card holders also have the option to use contactless technology, where they simply tap their card to a reader to make a secure payment. This makes transactions much faster and more secure.
Emergency Access to Funds
Having access to funds in an emergency is a major perk of using a plastic card. Card holders can use their cards to access their funds in the event of a sudden need for cash or an unexpected expense. This security can be invaluable, especially if the card holder is away from home and does not have access to their bank.
Easy Access to Cash Back, Points, and Rewards
One of the advantages of using a plastic credit card is the opportunity to get cash back or rewards for making purchases. Depending on the card issuer, plastic card owners can usually take advantage of cash-back or points from participating vendors and stores. This type of reward program can be a great incentive for using a plastic card regularly.
Online Tracking of Transactions
Plastic cards are also incredibly helpful when it comes to tracking transactions. With a simple online portal or app, card holders can easily monitor their spending and make sure that they are not going over their budget for the month. This can be a great way to easily manage finances and make sure that bills are being paid on time.
Benefits of Plastic Credit Cards
Security is one of the main benefits of using a plastic card. The credit card issuer typically provides exceptional protection, with most cards requiring the use of a PIN or a fingerprint in order to complete a transaction. This security can be extremely helpful for people who are typically travelling or who are frequently at risk of having their card stolen.
Another advantage of using a plastic credit card is the access to low-interest rates. Depending on the card issuer, plastic card holders can take advantage of reduced rates when making purchases. This can be especially helpful for people who need to make an emergency purchase and don't want to be charged the full price.
Easy to Obtain
Plastic cards are typically easy to obtain, with most banks and credit card issuers offering instant approval as long as the applicant meets the necessary requirements. This makes it much easier for people to access funds when they need to, without having to wait a long time to get approved.
Pros and Cons of Plastic Credit Cards
- Convenience: easy access to funds wherever you are in the world.
- Easy Access to Cash Back, Points, and Rewards.
- Security: Most cards require the use of a PIN or a fingerprint to complete a transaction.
- Low-Interest Rates: Lower interest rates from participating vendors and stores.
- Easy to Obtain: Instant approval as long as the applicant meets the necessary requirements.
- Debt: The temptation to overspend with plastic cards can be hard to resist.
- Risk of Fraud: Despite the security measures in place, plastic cards are still vulnerable to theft and fraud.
- High Fees: Depending on the card issuer, there may be various fees associated with the use of the card.
- Misuse of Information: If cardholders are not careful, their information might be misused by third parties.
Case Studies: Plastic Credit Card Use
Case Study 1: Mark, Late-twenties in California
Mark is a late twenties Californian who travels frequently for his work. He needs quick and easy access to funds while away, and he wants to be able to accurately track his expenses. A plastic credit card fits the bill perfectly: offering secure access and online tracking capabilities with the added convenience of being able to tap and pay with a contactless card.
Case Study 2: Sarah, Early-thirties in New York
Sarah is an early 30s New Yorker who has just been through a difficult financial situation. She is looking for access to funds with low-interest rates to help her make sensible purchases that won't take a toll on her finances. A plastic credit card allows her to access cash back and points from participating stores while enjoying the convenience and security of using a plastic card.
Frequently Asked Questions About Plastic Credit Cards
- What are the advantages of using plastic credit cards? The advantages of using plastic credit cards include convenience, access to funds in an emergency, cash back or rewards for making purchases, online tracking of transactions, and low-interest rates.
- What are the disadvantages of using plastic credit cards? The disadvantages of using plastic credit cards include the risk of debt, vulnerability to fraud, and high fees.
- Are plastic credit cards safe to use? Yes, plastic credit cards are typically safe to use. Most cards require either a PIN or fingerprint to complete a transaction, making them more secure than other payment options.
Mistakes People Make When Using Plastic Credit Cards
When using a plastic credit card, it is important to remember to be diligent about your spending and make sure you understand the terms and conditions of the card. Some common mistakes people make include forgetting to pay the credit card balance off in full each month, taking on too much debt, and not understanding the fees associated with plastic cards.
Best Practices for Using Plastic Credit Cards
To make the most of a plastic credit card, it is important to practice responsible money management. Make sure to pay off your balance in full each month and be aware of the fees associated with your card. Monitoring your spending and setting a budget are also essential steps to ensure that you are staying on top of your finances.
Plastic credit cards are convenient, secure, and easy to obtain, offering essential access to funds in an emergency or when travelling. Plastic cards come with both advantages and disadvantages that must be carefully considered before use, and there are certain best practices that should be followed to ensure responsible use. With the right information and an understanding of the pros and cons, plastic credit cards can prove to be a valuable financial tool for anyone.