Get a better understanding of how credit cards work, including how to manage credit cards, in this free lesson.
Other types of cards
If you have trouble keeping track of your spending, consider:
- A secured card
Some banks offer secured cards. You deposit a certain amount in a bank to serve as collateral. You can then get a Visa or MasterCard with a credit limit equal to the amount in the bank. The money must remain in the account while you have the card. The downside is that secured cards usually come with a higher interest rate and annual fees. One advantage to a secured card is that if you show that you are responsible with a secured card, issuers may be more likely to consider you for a traditional credit card.
- A debit card
Most banks offer debit cards in addition to traditional checking accounts. This card also features the Visa or MasterCard logo, but the money is drawn directly from your bank account. Because the money comes out of the account shortly after you use the card, keep track of your spending just as if you were writing checks. Some banks charge annual or monthly fees for debit cards.
You'll learn more about debit cards later in this tutorial.