Being a Responsible Credit Card Holder

Credit cards can have a pretty bad reputation, but so long as the user is a responsible credit card holder, there are tons of valuable advantages.

Here are some of the perks and benefits that can result from being a responsible credit card holder:

Points and Rewards

Most banks have their own rewards systems, but some banks have joined up with national programs (like Air Miles Reward Miles and Aeroplan) to help you collect points. The more you spend, the faster your points rack up. Once you have a sizeable number, you can redeem them towards things like flights, hotels, concert tickets, and other products and fun experiences.

You have to use your card a lot to really benefit from these rewards programs, but if you’re a small business owner (or just someone who tends to pay for everything with credit), you can earn points fairly quickly.

Some hotels, restaurants, and attractions also offer discounts to customers who pay with credit (to get a better idea of what types of locations are included, check out Mastercard Priceless). Most credit cards also offer car rental discounts as well.

High Credit Rating

This applies to all credit cards, regardless of your bank or your credit limit. The more responsible you are with your spending (paying your bill in full [or as close as possible] each month, not spending above your credit limit, not making late payments or allowing them to become delinquent), the higher your credit score will become and the easier it will be for you to be approved for an auto loan, mortgage, or any other kind of bank loan at a low interest rate in the future.

Protection Against Fraud and Theft

If your account is compromised, you lose your credit card, or your wallet is stolen, you can breathe a deep sigh of relief. As long as you call your bank the moment you notice (or suspect) that your information has been stolen, then you’re off the hook for any purchases that you haven’t actually made. Because your credit card is not a debit card, you don’t lose any of your own money either. Instead, the credit card company covers the bill for any fraudulent purchases.