Many businesses and credit card companies attempt to lure people into signing up for their cards by offering free services or products. This is especially common on college campuses, as young college students who are always looking for free stuff are extremely easy targets.
However, it is extremely important that you exercise caution whenever approached with a deal that involves signing up for a credit card. Consider the following:
1. Do you really need the card? Is this a card that you will use a lot, or are you simply using it to take advantage of the deal that the company promises?
2. How many credit cards do you already have? The more cards that you apply for, the more of a strain it will put on your credit rating. And the worse your credit rating becomes, the more difficult it is for you to secure financing for loans and mortgages.
Now, this isn’t to say that all credit cards are inherently bad. If you are responsible with credit cards, they can be a great way to build your credit rating. If you’re just starting off with a new credit card, make sure that you get a card with a low limit, that you understand all the various fees involved with the card, that you make your payments on time and that you adhere to a strict budget to avoid impulse buying. Check with your credit union to see what credit cards they have available, as they can usually give you a lower interest rate.
What other advice do you have for people who are often tempted by the deals companies offer in exchange for taking out a credit card?