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					      MONEY MATTERS
Q. I've finally "got it" when it comes
                                                   However, Bill has a good point about
                                                   credit cards - if you have an
to credit cards. After charging up four            emergency and can't get to cash or
credit card accounts and spending                  checkbook, a credit card will come in
four years paying them off, I don't                handy.
ever want to see my name on
another credit card.                               The key for using a credit card, as
                                                   you've probably heard is, never
My friend, Bill, however, insists I get just       charge more in a month than you
1 major credit card to carry for                   can pay off at the end of the month.
                                                   Consider this:
I don't think I need a credit card now
that I know how to manage my
                                                      •   If you have a credit card that
money.                                                    offers free airline miles for
                                                          purchases, you'll earn free
I told him if someone can give me 3                       flights occasionally.
good reasons why I need a credit
card, I'd get one. What do you think?
                                                      •   If you get a card that provides
                                                          a check at the end of the year
Are there advantages to having credit                     amounting to 1-2% of total
cards that I haven't considered?                          annual charges, that's free

A. Good for you that you've paid                      •   Some credit cards let you earn
                                                          "points" for purchases to later,
off your credit cards and vowed not
                                                          "spend" on items, like stereos,
to get into debt like that again!
                                                          cookware, and house wares.

You've no doubt figured out better
                                                   So, if you appropriately use your
ways to manage your money.
                                                   credit card and pay it off monthly,
                                                   you can rack up extra money, free

flights, or various housewares at no                  be refunded such price
cost to you. Believe it or not, there are             differences, some major credit
even more reasons to have and                         card companies allow up to 60
occasionally use a credit card:                       days and will refund you such
                                                      price differences.
   •   Car rental liability insurance is
       offered by some major credit             So, it's a good idea to have one major
       card companies. If your card             credit card for these reasons.
       has this coverage, you don't
       need to pay the incredibly high          Take extra effort to read all the fine
       fees for the "loss and damage            print on a credit card application to
       waiver" car rental companies             determine which of these options are
       try to charge you when you               included with any credit card you're
       rent a car.                              considering.

   •   Insurance coverage for
       baggage lost when you fly is
       also available, depending on
       the credit card you choose. In
       fact, some credit card
       companies offering this
       insurance actually cover in
       addition to what the airline will
       pay you for lost bags.

       This baggage coverage is no
       cost on some credit cards and
       is well worth having.

   •   Price protection for items you
       purchase that drop in price
       after you buy them is offered by
       some companies. That's right,
       even though stores tend to
       allow 30 days after purchase for
       you to take in your receipt to

Curtis Rose is an experienced professional with extensive experience in all
aspects of personal finance. Curtis writes and publishes articles, courses,
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