Lately, credit card companies have been doing a better job of being transparent as it relates to the health of our credit and I’m happy to see this. Although credit cards get a bad rep due to how fast debt racks up, many cards have built-in features that can improve your credit profile.

Being aware of – and using – credit card benefits is a great first step toward financial freedom. Whether you already have a card or you’re in the market for a new one, here are the top perks you need to know to ensure the credit cards in your wallet are earning their keep.

Benefit #1: Protection against credit card fraud

At some point you may be faced with a situation where your credit card information is compromised.

Credit card fraud is one of the most frequently committed cybercrimes, so it pays to be alert. Fraud protection helps safeguard your data and prevents you from being held responsible for unauthorized purchases.

Benefit #2: Free credit score monitoring

In the interest of keeping customers informed, credit card companies such as Capital One, Discover and Citi offer their cardholders monthly credit score updates from at least one credit bureau.

Having ready access to your credit score keeps it top of mind and if you notice any unusual changes, you have an opportunity to respond quickly.

Benefit #3: No foreign transaction fees for travelers

If you’re a frequent traveler, this benefit is one you should dig deep into, especially when it comes to international travel.

Most credit card companies charge extra for transactions that happen outside the United States. The best way to combat foreign transaction fees is to get a card that doesn’t charge them. Thankfully, there are a good number of options to choose from.

Benefit #4: Increased purchasing power

Purchasing power is the amount of credit a lender feels you can manage and pay back. Your credit report provides a glimpse into how you’ve handled debt in the past and helps a credit card company decide if and how much money to give you.

Look, don’t fret if your limits are low at first. By establishing a consistent payment history and keeping your balances low, you’ll be approved for a credit line increase in no time!

Benefit #5: Not linked to checking or savings account

Having a credit card is like having access to another set of funds. Your credit card allows you to keep your cash safe when making large purchases. So, instead of making a dent in your bank account, you basically borrow the money from your credit card, then pay it back in increments versus one lump sum.

Also, get in the habit of paying off the full amount of your purchases by your due date to keep the interest charges low.

Benefit #6: Putting a hold on a rental car or hotel room

Whether you’re renting a car or reserving a hotel room, it’s a standard practice for merchants to place a hold equal to or greater than the expected amount of your transaction on your card.

In these situations, using a credit card is the best way to go. The debit card linked to your bank account can be accepted but the deposit will tie up the cash in your account needed for other purposes.

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Credit cards can help you achieve your financial goals or throw you in a pile of debt but when used wisely, the benefits of using credit cards far outweigh the drawbacks. By taking advantage of your credit card’s benefits, you’ll change your money mindset for good. Ready to learn more about how to maximize your credit profile? Join the Flyy Credit University today by clicking here: https://members.flyycredit.com/.

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