From meager beginnings in the 1920s, the credit card market has exploded over the years, thanks in large part to the computerization of society. Credit cards revolutionized consumer spending habits and changed the face of business. In today’s economy, credit cards represent an important part of household, business and global activity.
For individuals, credit cards are an important part of everyday life. Whether purchasing gas and groceries or reserving a hotel and rental car for an upcoming vacation, credit cards represent a convenient and secure form of payment for consumers. Benefits ranging from damage protection on purchases to the ease of disputing suspicious charges or fraudulent activity make credit cards an attractive form of payment. Beyond the ease of use and added security, credit cards can also help you build a solid credit history. With regular use and prompt payment, responsible consumers will find that lenders are more willing to offer them additional credit in the form of increased credit lines, mortgages and consumer loans.
Credit cards are not only important for individuals and businesses; they’re an important aspect of continued economic growth. A February 2013 report by Moody’s demonstrates the importance of electronic payments, including credit cards, in a global economy, saying that electronic payments increase gross domestic product and consumption, both of which lead to job creation. Credit cards play an important role in the cycle of increased consumption and production by offering merchants a guaranteed method of payment and providing consumers with a way to bridge the gap between paychecks in times of emergency.
Capital for business formation can be hard to come by for entrepreneurs looking to get a new business off the ground or expand an existing one. For small businesses, credit cards represent an important financial lifeline when traditional funding sources, such as small-business loans, aren’t available. Credit cards help businesses financially, and they also have a positive impact on small-business employment growth.
Credit cards offer additional benefits for consumers. Based on the type of card you have, you may qualify for rewards such as cash back or discounts on purchases, trip cancellation insurance, and air miles. With a little comparison shopping, you can find a credit card that offers rewards to fit your lifestyle.
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