Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
2 minutes reading time (433 words)

Using Credit Cards Safely

Credit cards are wonderfully convenient and safer than carrying around a wallet-full of cash. Keep these points in mind to make your credit card use as safe as possible:

Manage the risk of loss
To reduce the hassle involved in reporting missing credit cards in case of loss or theft, keep a list of all your credit card accounts and card issuer’s phone numbers issuers in a safe place at home.

Consider leaving most of your credit cards in a safe place at home if you have several cards but only use one or two regularly. You’ll have fewer to report if they go missing - and you’ll have back-ups to use while you’re waiting for the replacements to arrive.

Be careful that the wrong person doesn’t get a hold of your credit card or credit card number Avoid leaving your monthly statements out in the open and shred them before tossing them or even better, opt for paperless statements.

Making purchases
Purchases made with a credit card may be given an extended warranty on certain items. Read your credit card’s terms and conditions to learn more.

Buying merchandise online is generally very safe as long as you only enter your credit card number on a secure web page. A web address that begins with https:// and has a “lock” icon on the page is secure and protects your information with encryption. Never send your credit card number through an email.

Debit cards vs credit cards
If a thief gets a hold of your debit card or the debit card number, they could wipe out your checking account before you even knew the account was breached. Your money could be gone for months and your debts and bills could go unpaid while your financial institution investigates.

While a debit card may have its purpose for certain occasions, it could be risky to use it regularly - you’ll be putting the number out there more often. The chance of theft is the same whether it’s a debit card or credit card, but the risk is just so much higher with a debit card.

Using a credit card is safer than using a debit card. If a credit card is lost or stolen and the card is used by an unauthorized person, you are liable for a maximum of $50, by law.

Check your statements
Carefully review your monthly statement to check that there haven’t been any unauthorized transactions on your account. Crooks can make purchases with your credit card number without stealing the physical card. Report any unauthorized activity to your card issuer immediately.
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Friday, 31 March 2023

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