Tips For Using Credit and Charge Cards
Written by Paul Richard - Institute of Consumer Financial Education, Executive
The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) now has available
for consumers, educators and counselors "Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels"
and NEW "Credit/Debit Card Sleeves," a/k/a condoms. Visit our Online
for more information.
- Reduce the number of cards you carry and use just one or two.
(Optional: Place credit card warning labels on front of credit cards.)
- Use credit cards only for essential purchases.
- Return all unwanted credit cards, cut up into pieces, to the card issuer.
- Keep unused cards in a safe place.
- Carry credit cards separately from your wallet or purse.
- Keep your card in view whenever you hand it to a merchant.
- Destroy carbon papers on receipts.
- Never lend your cards to anyone.
- Promptly report questionable charges.
- Avoid signing blank charge vouchers.
- Don't give card numbers out over the phone on calls you didn't originate.
- Enter charge purchases in your checkbook register as though they were a check.
- If your cards are stolen or lost, call the card issuer(s) immediately. Most
issuers have toll-free numbers for reporting missing cards and usually maintain
24 hour service. The law says once you make a report of the missing card(s) you
have no further liability - in fact your maximum liability is $50 per card for
unauthorized charges. If you suspect someone of using your account number write
the issuer via certified mail. Only a letter protects your rights under the law.