See What your Credit Card Can Do for you

by : Andrew Regan

Two-thirds of adults in the UK have a credit card, and over 60% of those have more than one. In fact, studies show that in 2004 there were more than 4 cards in use for every adult in the country. It seems obvious that many of us appreciate the convenience and ease of using credit cards, and there are other advantages available depending on which card you choose.

Credit cards are very useful for online shopping and for travelling outside the UK as they're more secure than carrying cash and usually offer some protection for your purchases in the event that they are damaged in transit or arrive not as advertised. The added security makes credit card payments, in general, good for retailers, and of course the system is healthy for banks and credit companies too.

What all this means for consumers is that there's a very competitive market of different schemes effectively lining up to lend you money, and there can be some attractive benefits and incentives attached to the various options.

If you're a football fan, for example, you could choose a credit-card scheme which offers 0% interest when you buy season tickets, plus exclusive offers on experiences like stadium tours, and reward points to spend on kit, match tickets and more. There are also cards tailored to students and graduates, with offers on entertainment and leisure, or that will give a percentage of the profits to charity every time you use them so you can benefit from a different kind of retail therapy.

Perhaps the fastest-growing and most important concern for today's consumers is the problem of climate change and the impact our lifestyles are having on the environment. Financial organisations are beginning to realise the urgency of this issue and it's now possible to apply for a credit card which is made out of environmentally friendly materials and donates 50% of its profits to projects
to tackle climate change, such as installing renewable energy sources to replace polluting and unsustainable fossil fuels. You'll also enjoy low interest rates and special offers on 'green' purchases like bicycles, public transport, insulation, organic products and gardening supplies.

Whatever you use your credit card for, don't forget you can get much more out of it - the best cards can help you save money and even help others and the planet at the same time!