When used correctly, credit cards may offer advantages over all the other forms of payment.  If you’re using a card with a rewards program, for example, you can earn cash back or points toward travel or merchandise. Unfortunately, credit cards have long held a bad reputation for being gateways to endless debt and financial ruin.


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Hiding in the jargon-filled “Terms and Conditions,” credit card issuers reserve their rights to turn a manageable credit card account into a nightmare. Everything may seem fine when you’re swiping your card and making on-time payments. But, miss a payment here or go over the limit there and — with the flip of a switch — you’re faced with fees and penalty rates.

By understanding some of the lesser-known pitfalls of having a credit card, you can minimize the detrimental effects of a credit card slip-up:

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  • Patricia Michaels

    I’d say the one that people get taken on the most is when the introductory rate ends, and you’re retroactively hit at the high interest rate for either the balance or the original balance if it was a transfer. I had this happen with a home improvement credit card one time. I still had a hundred bucks left after the year and they tried to go back and charge me 18% interest in my original purchase of over $2000. (appliances). I fought them on it and they actually relented, but that’s a big one to watch out for, especially on balance transfer cards. I found a few other credit card “secrets” that aren’t touched on in this article. Hope it’s ok to post it as a resource for your readers. http://www.creditflare.com/articles/credit-card-secrets-the-banks-dont-want-you-to-know.