Resources, Guides, And ArticlesCredit cards are a part of American life. You probably carry two or three of them: the average American has 2.6 of them. You probably use it regularly as well. 40% of Americans selected credit cards as their preferred payment method in 2016, with 35% preferring debit and only 11% sticking to cash. Americans spent $5.3 trillion using cards in 2016. Naturally, all of that spending means a lot of debt. If you're part of an average American household with credit card debt, your household owes around $9,600. With the average variable interest rate standing at 16.1% per year, that makes interest on debt one of your major expenses.
What do all those numbers mean to you? Let's keep it simple. Credit cards are useful, and for many people they are essential. We have a lot of them, and we use them all the time. A lot of us use them too much and get ourselves into serious trouble with large quantities of high-interest debts.
Let's make it even simpler: choosing and using our plastic wisely can make the difference between a sound and sustainable financial life and sinking without trace into an ocean of debt. That's how important knowledge is, and many Americans know very little about how credit cards work and how to use them effectively.
This site is designed to help average Americans choose the right offerings to fit their needs and lifestyles, understand how they work, and make informed choices and plans to guide their use. Credit cards are valuable tools that can enhance our lives in many ways, but like any tool, if we use them without planning and information, they can hurt us. We hope the information presented here can help you to develop and implement your personal responsible strategy.
There's a lot of information here, and we've divided it into sections to make it easier to find what you need.
Finding The Best Credit CardBest of 2018 – The marketplace is highly competitive, and the players are always trying to get a step ahead of the pack. If you're looking for your first card or another one, these are the top deals on the market right now.
Best Reward Programs – Reward programs are a key attraction for credit card users. Almost all companies offer a reward package, but you'll need to understand how you use your card and how programs work to choose the one that's best for you.
Best No-Interest Promos – Companies offer deferred interest to attract new customers. You'll want to assess the whole package, but a good no-interest plan can be a real winner if you choose right.
Best Cash Back Cards – Cash back plans give you bonuses when you buy. That's not necessarily a reason to buy more, but if you use it for items you need, a cash back plan can save you quite a bit. Here are some of the top offerings.
Best For Bad Credit – If your financial profile has taken a hit, the best way to rebuild it is by using credit carefully and paying your bills on time. Here are some of the best options for putting broken finances back together.
Best Store-Specific Cards – Many major stores have options. If you have a favorite store or are looking to concentrate your shopping, here are some top offerings to consider.
Best For College Students – As a college student, you're probably just beginning to establish yourself as a user, and you have unique and specific needs. Here are some options you should consider.
Best For Travel – Not all cards are created equal, and you need to focus on the ones that fit your lifestyle. If you're a devoted traveler, have a look here, selected specifically for people who love to go on the road!
Best For Dining and Shopping – If you pull your plastic primarily for eating out and the occasional bit of retail therapy, these are designed for you!
Best For Gas and Groceries – Gas and groceries are the daily spending staples for the average American family on a budget. These options will get you the necessities with the best terms.
Best Credit Cards For The Holidays – Struggling to choose the best credit card deal? Our handy list breaks down the best credit card options for this coming holiday season.
Credit Card FAQEverything You Need To Know About Applications – Applying can be daunting, especially if it's your first time. Understand the application and take it step by step to improve your success rate!
Understanding Interest and Fees – Credit isn't free, and sometimes companies aren't completely straightforward about how much you will pay for it. Understanding your interest and fee structure is a key part of your management strategy.
How To Read The Application Fine Print – Have you read the fine print on your application? Just because it's small doesn't mean it's not important. Here's what you're likely to find there, and what it means to you.
Why Applications Get Denied – Have you had an application denied? That doesn't necessarily mean you have bad credit, or that you can't get a card. You need to understand why applications get denied to improve your chance of success next time around.
Use Your Card To Build Better Credit – Credit cards have helped a lot of people kill their credit score, but if you use them right they can also help you improve it. Here's how.
Combat Identity Theft & Fraud – 15.4 million Americans were victims of identity fraud in 2016. These simple, practical tips will help you protect yourself.
Financial Help And AssistanceDo Debt Relief Programs Work? – There are many ways to get out of debt; some heavily advertised, some less known. Understanding what works and what doesn't is the first step to relief.
Check Your Credit Score For Free – Your credit score is a little number with a big impact on your life. Knowing what it is can put you on the road to better money management. Here's what you need to know.
Repairing A Bad Credit Score – A low score can make it difficult to get cards, and has many other adverse impacts on your financial life. You can repair it, and the sooner you start, the sooner you'll be able to take advantage of better access.
Your Score And Your Limit – Your limit is a direct consequence of your score. If you're looking to expand your available credit, you need to understand the connection.
Managing Your Holiday Spending – The holidays are meant to be happy, but if your budget is barely enough for day to day expenses, the added costs of gifts and goodies can be a serious problem. If you're looking to pinch a few pennies this winter, this article is for you.
I'm Buried In Debt! – Credit card debt carries a high rate of interest, and it's very easy to take on more debt than you can handle. If you've overstepped your boundaries, you need to get back in control. Here's how to do it.
How To Settle Debt – If your debt has gone beyond your ability to pay, you may want to look into the possibility of a settlement There will be an impact on your rating, but under some circumstances, it's the right move to make.
We Want To Hear From YouWe thank you for visiting this site. If you found programs that ended up working (or not working) for you and your family please let us know. If you are seeking help and didn't find a guide or article that provided details on your specific topic of interest please let us know.
Write us at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you.
1. "Credit Card Ownership Statistics" . CreditCards.com
2. "2016 US Consumer Payment Study" . TSYS.com
3. "US General Purpose Brands Purchase Volume in 2016" . NilsonReport.com
4. "How Much is the Average Credit Card Debt in America" . CreditCards.com
5. "The Average American's Credit Card Debt May Shock You" . USAToday.com