Watching Your Wallet: Credit card use during the pandemic
Credit cards can be dangerous if you don't have discipline. However if you are diligent and careful you can make credit cards work for you.
During the pandemic, credit cards are helpful to keeping many afloat. During this crisis, however, they work for you.
First, when having a credit card and using it responsibly, helps build your credit history. If you are able to pay off your balance each month in full, while avoiding interest charges, credit cards have some valuable perks.
They may offer sign on bonuses and even give you cash back. Cherry Dale, Financial Coach from the Virginia Credit Union, says they can also protect you from fraud because credit cards inherently offer more protections than debit cards.
"It's really kind of somebody else's money if you want to kind of think of it like that versus when you're using your debit card," said Dale. "If in fact they get access to your direct account, you could be out thousands of dollars and it would take a process of seven to 10 days usually to get reimbursed."
Dale says the Fair Credit Billing Act offers all sorts of protections for you. She says you should use your credit card instead of a debit card for any online purchases. That way you are protected if your credit card number gets in the wrong hands.