5 Myths About Credit Cards


1. Making the minimum payment is good enough.


Paying the minimum every month will lead to debt and interest. You can pay more than your minimum payment and it’s actually best to pay off your credit card balance in full each month.

2. Retailers can set a minimum amount to charge on a credit card.


You may see signs in stores claiming that they have a minimum amount for credit card purchases. You probably haven’t questioned it, but those stores are actually breaking their agreements with the credit card companies. Because retailers pay interchange fees of about 2% of the sale and possibly an additional transaction fee on each credit card purchase, they want your purchase to make their fees worth it. You can report retailers who post a minimum amount for credit card purchases to your credit card company.


3. You can go over your credit card limit if you pay it back before the due date.


Credit card companies usually don’t want to decline your purchase when you spend over your limit. But every time you pass the credit limit, even by a few dollars, your credit card company has the opportunity to raise your interest rate to penalty levels and charge an over-limit fee.


4. You can prevent a credit card thief from making purchases by writing “Ask for ID” on the signature line on the back of your credit card.


An unsigned credit card is technically invalid as merchants are not supposed to accept an unsigned card. Retailers seldom look at the back of a card since most transactions only require the customer to swipe the card or even pay by phone and when a retailer does swipe your card they rarely look at the back. Additionally, most credit card fraud occurs online and has nothing to do with a stolen card.


5. You need one of each of the four primary credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover) because some merchants only accept one.

Feat Myths About Credit CardsThere are a few picky stores that only accept one of the four major cards but generally it is suggested that you should have two of the four to be safe and of course many people get away with only having one.