10 Things Everyone Should Know About Credit Cards

Virgin founder Richard Branson holds a giant Virgin Money credit card.

Founder Richard Branson holds a giant Virgin Money credit card. | Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images

Odds are you don’t have much money on you. That is, you don’t have very much physical cash. On the other hand, it’s becoming increasingly likely you have credit cards and debit cards at your disposal. Or perhaps you use your phone for payments, through the number of virtual payment applications out there. Either way, credit cards, debit cards, and other cashless payment systems are becoming the norm.

That’s bad news for your server or valet, who is probably hoping you have some extra cash for a tip.

But you’re not alone. Paying with plastic is pretty much the standard these days. And though your debit and credit cards might have a web of confusing fees, terms, and conditions associated with their use, most of us don’t give that much thought. We just swipe, insert, or tap; grab our purchases; and get on with our day.

It’s never a bad idea, though, to take stock of your credit cards. If you haven’t shopped around for a new or better card in a while, or even if you’re thinking about applying for the first time, there are certain things you need to know. From wildly varying interest rates, rewards programs, and perks to the issues associated with credit card debt, you need to do a bit of research.

If you plan on applying for a new credit card in the near future, here are 10 things you need to take into consideration.

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