Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Gift Cards and What You Need to Know About Using Them; Part 1 of 3


Staten Island’s only community-based business bank highlights the positives and negatives of credit cards


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. –  Credit cards are arguably included among most people’s financial tools. But the positives and negatives of these plastic conveniences should never be ignored.

With this in mind, Victory State Bank is sharing the following information from the Department of Financial Services:

Credit Cards

Credit cards give you access to a revolving line of credit, the amount of which is capped by the card issuer. When you use a card to make a purchase, you are borrowing money from the company that issues the card. You sign the card on the back and when you make a purchase, you sign a receipt. The two signatures are then compared to make sure they match. When you buy something by mail, phone or Internet, you provide the card's expiration date and a security code found on the card. Every card comes with a customer agreement. It's important for you to know the terms of that agreement. Simply put: You agree to repay a minimum amount once every billing period and you receive a monthly statement detailing your charges, any interest that may have accrued on an unpaid balance and the minimum payment you must make.

The Positives:

  • $A credit card can help you establish a positive credit history if it is used responsibly.
  • With a credit card you have access to more money than can be safely carried around in cash.
  •  Credit cards can provide an extra source of money for unexpected expenses.
  • Some airline tickets, rental cars and hotel rooms, can only be secured using a credit card.
  • If your card is lost or stolen and used without your permission you are not held responsible for unauthorized charges above $50 as long as you report the card missing.
  • When you use the card to make purchases, you will have a record of that spending.
  • Most credit cards offer warranties against product defects, bankrupt airlines, etc. You may also receive extended warranties and protection from theft and damage for purchases you make with that card.
  • Some credit cards let you earn points or offer discounts or rebates on certain types of purchases.
  • Stop payments on purchases are possible with credit cards. 

The Negatives:

  •  You may buy more with a credit card than you normally would spend in cash. Credit cards can be used too often and for unnecessary items and debt can add up quickly.
  •  You pay a finance charge or interest if you do not pay the full amount every month by the due date and sometimes you pay a yearly fee.
  •  Credit card debt can be compounded by finance charges, a raised interest rate and other fees if payments are missed or late.
  •  Problems with a credit card can show up on your credit report and hurt your credit history.
  •  If you get a cash advance on a credit card there are cash advance fees, interest accrues from day one and there is no grace period. The interest rates are also higher for cash advances than for credit purchases.
  •  Credit cards that offer incentives, like airline miles or other goods and services, often place restrictions on the goods or services or offer services that you don't really need or are unable to use.

Guaranteed Credit Card: A Scam for Sure!

There is no such thing as a guaranteed credit card. Never pay anyone in advance for a so-called guaranteed credit card. If the entity making the offer doesn't steal your "advance payment" outright, what you may end up with is a card that can only be used to purchase certain goods from a particular company. No one can guarantee in advance that you will be approved for a credit card by a legitimate credit card company - you have to apply and be evaluated.



About Victory State Bank:

VSB Bancorp, Inc. (OTC: VSBN) is the one-bank holding company for Victory State Bank. As Staten Island, N.Y.’s only community-based commercial bank, Victory State Bank operates five full-service locations on the Island: The main office in the community of Great Kills, and branches in the communities of West Brighton, St. George, Dongan Hills and Rosebank. For additional information, Victory State Bank may be reached at 718-979-1100 or visited online

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