We can never be too educated on something like credit cards, and how to use them properly. They are an amazing tool, but also can be a scary trap. Here are 4 credit card traps that a lot of people don’t know about that can help you in the long run. Interest We all know about interest (at least I hope you do if you own a credit card), but what you need to be aware of is how credit card companies use it to their advantage. First by having an incredibly high interest rate. They can make it seem like the best deal around, but unless you really take your time and look around you won’t know if you really are getting a good deal on that rate. Also, make sure you know the fine print of their interest charges. Some companies if you are late even one day on a payment can seriously increase your interest rate. Take the time to research….better safe than sorry. Fees Credit cards usually have 2 kinds of fees….punishment fees, and transaction fees. Punishment fees are usually your fault and can be avoided.. such as late fees, or a returned payment etc. They can be avoided by you being aware of your account and all activity that is taking place. Transaction fees are where credit card companies can really get you, so be aware of what they are with your particular credit card and if they are worth it. Examples include cash advance fees, foreign transaction fees, and annual fees. Minimum Payment If you pay your credit card online there is usually a minimum payment due. It’s easy to make that minimum payment and feel like we are good to go until next month. This is exactly how they want you to feel. That minimum payment is such a small % of what you owe that it will take years more to pay it off and the interest you acquire during that time can be ridiculous, and the credit card company is making a lot of extra cash off you! Instead figure out how long until you want to have that card paid off, and you decide what your monthly payment needs to be to get there. Ignore the minimum payment altogether. No Annual Fees Some credit card companies will advertise “No annual fees” and this makes us automatically assume that there will be no annual fees for having their card right? Well a lot of times if you read the fine print what they aren’t telling us is that there is no annual fee IF you reach a certain spending limit. So, if you don’t use the card enough you will be charged an unexpected annual fee. Again I can’t stress enough to read the fine print and do your research. Credit card companies…like so many others…will get you to see only what they want you to see.