“Millennial Money: Decode Your Credit Card Terms Like A Pro”
We’ve all been guilty of reading through a service’s terms and conditions with less than sleuth attention. But when it comes to something as significant as your finances, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the details. One area where this especially applies is with your personal credit cards. Partner Yusuf Abugideiri shared tips for “navigating the fine print” in an article featured in The New York Times. Below are the quotes from Yusuf on what you should keep in mind.
HOW MUCH WILL THE CARD COST?
You can understand the long-term expenses of carrying a credit card by reviewing the card agreement that comes with it. Identify every potential charge and stay organized.
“Have all the material laid out in front of you, pull out your highlighter, and identify the key pieces of information that you need to be aware of — the interest rate, any fees, conditions, things of that nature,” says Yusuf Abugideiri, a certified financial planner at Yeske Buie, a financial planning firm.
ARE THERE REWARD LIMITATIONS?
If your card offers a rewards program, its terms might be included in the general card agreement or in a separate document. Here’s what to look for:
While these can be generous, you’ll have to meet a spending threshold first — typically several thousand dollars — within a certain time period. Don’t overspend just to earn a bonus; make sure you can truly afford it, Abugideiri says. If you plan to keep the card long term, its ongoing rewards will be more important than a one-time bonus.