Did you know?
At SCCU, our debit cards offer Visa® Zero Liability Protection14, we send 2Way Text Fraud Alerts, and you can turn cards “on” or “off” with Card Controls.
What is a credit card?
With a credit card, you’re borrowing funds from a financial institution—which expects you to pay back the amount later. But no, the sky isn’t the limit if you’re thinking of going on a shopping spree! You’ll have a credit line, which is the maximum amount you can borrow during a specific timeframe. Usually, the better your creditworthiness, the higher your credit line. You’ll need to be 18 years old or older to get your own credit card.
Advantages of Credit Cards
Here are the top advantages of using your credit card:
- Rewards programs: Whether it’s cash back or points, earning rewards with credit card purchases make usage worth it. Learn more about the differences between Visa® Platinum and Visa® Signature rewards programs here.
- Travel benefits: Some credit cards offer travel benefits, such as roadside assistance, rental car insurance, free checked bags, hotel upgrades, etc. Some rental car companies and hotels will require that they have your credit card on file.
- Credit building: If you’re just starting out in life, responsible credit card usage will help you get on the fast-track to building your credit. If you’re under 18, you may be able to become an authorized user on a credit card account to start building credit early. Learn more about ways to build your credit here. Keep in mind that using more than 30% of your credit line and not making payments on time can hurt your credit score.
- Emergencies: Unfortunately, with life, many unexpected events may happen with accidents, illnesses, job loss, etc. Credit cards can help you foot the bill for many of these emergencies, giving you time to make payments later.
- Fraud protections: With credit cards, you’ll typically have more time to notice suspicious activity on your statements before the bank withdraws money from your account. You’re also only liable up to $50 with credit cards thanks to the Fair Credit Billing Act. SCCU credit cards have Visa® Zero Liability Protection14 and ID Navigator powered by NortonLifeLock46.
Disadvantages of Credit Cards
Let’s take a look at the disadvantages of credit cards:
- Interest: As long as you pay off your balance entirely every month, you won’t have to worry about accruing interest with your credit card; however, if you carry over a balance, the interest charges quickly add up. Pro tip: Set up ACH payments (automatic payments from your checking account) with your credit cards so that you’ll always have on-time payments.
- Fees: Main credit cards will issue balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, or annual fees. At SCCU, our credit cards don’t have these fees!
How to Identify a Credit Card vs. a Debit Card
Not sure if you’re looking at a credit or debit card? They really do look a lot alike. First, check to see if the word “Debit” is on the card, typically on the front. If you see it, then it’s a debit card. Piece of cake!
Is it better to use a debit or credit card?
Debit cards come in handy for everyday small purchases, such as coffee or lunches. They can also be useful in convenience stores and “mom and pop” shops to avoid certain types of fees that you would have to pay if you were to use a credit card, helping you save a few bucks here and there. They also help many people stay accountable with their budgets.
With many credit cards, you can earn points or cash back when making purchases at certain places, such as restaurants, gas stations, or grocery stores. Plus, with their fraud protections, it’s wise to use them for online purchases. Remember that while it may be possible to finance purchases with credit cards, a home equity loan
or a personal loan
may offer a lower interest rate.
The best time to use a debit or credit card often depends on the location of the purchase, whether you’d like to pay now or later, and the benefits you’re looking to get.
SCCU Has Your Back with Credit and Debit Cards
As a credit union, we’re not out to get our members with hidden fees or gotcha terms. We also offer several fraud protection features for debit and credit cards, loans, and accounts because we are our Members’ Watchdog, always protecting their financial interests. If you live or work in these counties in Florida
, you can become a member with a $5 deposit in a Share Savings Account.