I spoke with Jillian Berman about getting her first credit card, and here’s the resulting Huffington Post article.
We talked about most importantly paying off your credit card each month, and if you’re not going to then rewards aren’t the first consideration, interest rates and fees are.
We also discussed credit card signup bonuses, which came up in the article in the form of not being afraid to apply for multiple cards, the additional salient point is that having more availability credit that you aren’t using is good for your score (shows how responsible you are with credit). If you spend $2000 in a month and have a $5000 limit (even if you pay off that $2000) you are using 40% of your available credit. If you spend that same amount and have $20,000 in available credit, you’re using only 10%.
I did like this rather vexing comment from Matt Towsend, senior manager of community affairs at Discover, on the need for better financial literacy education:
“Parents are more comfortable talking to their kids about sex, drugs and alcohol than they are talking about money,” he said.