12 Days of Personal Finance

Credit Cards: Spend Smartly

Texas CPAs Offer Advice on Reading the Fine Print

How much money are you planning to spend on friends and loved ones this holiday season? If you’re putting your purchases on credit and you aren’t paying the monthly bill in full, it’ll cost you.

Texas CPAs say consumers should read the fine print on credit card offers very carefully and be wary of cards with low introductory interest rates that increase significantly after the introductory period. Paying high rates and late payment penalties can leave you blue this Holiday season.

Recently credit card issuers have significantly hiked rates and fees ahead of federal legislation that takes effect in February, to make it harder to raise rates.

According to Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA) Chairman, Kym Anderson, people should take time to carefully read and understand the financial terms and obligations when they apply for credit, and to make sure they are can afford potential rate increases.

“Not all credit cards are created equal. Consumers should shop around for a card with the best rates,” said Anderson.

Once you get a credit card, make sure you pay your bill on time each month and keep your eyes open for changes to the card’s terms.

Texas CPAs say you can establish a good credit history by using a credit card responsibly and making timely payments. Not doing so can negatively affect your credit score.


Day Nine