How to Get a Credit Card for the First Time

How to Get a Credit Card for the First Time: A Step-By-Step Guide

Getting a credit card for the first time comes with a unique set of challenges. A lack of a credit history can make it harder to qualify, and you’ll have a learning curve when it comes to how to choose and use your first credit card. However, the actual process of applying for a credit card for the first time isn’t all that different from applying for a second or a tenth credit card.

Keep reading to learn how to get your first credit card.

Qualifying for a Credit Card

When someone applies for a credit card, the credit card issuer will take a number of factors into consideration, including their credit score and income, when deciding whether to approve their application. It’s also necessary to make sure you’re old enough to get a credit card — you usually must be at least 18 years old.

Someone’s credit score can indicate how likely they are to pay back their credit card on time. The higher someone’s score is, the more creditworthy they appear. Income is also a major factor that’s considered, especially when figuring out someone’s credit card limit. Applicants under the age of 21 who can’t show independent income generally must get a cosigner.

Additionally, those applying for a certain type of credit card, such as a student credit card, will have to make sure they meet that card’s particular requirements. While a student credit card may be available to those with no or limited credit, the cardholder generally must be enrolled in a qualifying program.

Recommended: Charge Cards Advantages and Disadvantages

How to Apply for a Credit Card With No Credit History

It can be difficult to qualify for a credit card before you’ve built a credit history, given what a credit card is. The catch? It takes credit to build credit. Thankfully, there are a few credit card options that consumers can consider if they don’t yet have a credit history.

Starter Credit Card

Starter credit cards are a type of credit card designed for consumers who have no credit history or a very limited credit history. Starter credit cards help cardholders build a credit history when they use the card responsibly. If they make on-time payments each month, they’ll see their credit score rise over time and will start to build a solid credit history.

Generally, starter credit cards don’t come with the best rates and terms, but when used to make purchases someone can afford to pay off each month, they can be a very helpful financial tool. Student credit cards are an example of starter cards that can help someone establish a credit history.

To apply for a starter credit card, you generally must provide the following:

•   Social Security number

•   Sources of income

•   Monthly housing or rent costs

Those under the age of 21 who do not have your own source of income will need to get an adult cosigner who’s over the age of 21. For those who are applying for a student credit card as their choice of starter credit card, the credit card issuer may request information such as the name of your school or program, your major, and your expected year of graduation.

Secured Credit Card

Another credit card option for those who are new to credit is a secured credit card. With a secured credit card, the cardholder must deposit money to use the card.

The amount they deposit will act as their credit limit, and they’ll then borrow against that deposit. For example, if they deposit $500, they can make up to $500 worth of purchases anywhere that accepts credit card payments. Once they pay off their card balance, they can spend up to $500 again.

When at least the credit card minimum payments are made on time, the cardholder will build a credit history and improve their score. Functionally, a secured credit card works more similarly to a debit card but helps to build credit.

Applying for a secured credit card requires much of the same information as applying for an unsecured credit card. This includes your name, address, Social Security number, and income information. Additionally, it’s necessary to have the cash on hand to make the security deposit. Depending on the card, there may or may not be a credit check required.

How to Choose Your First Credit Card

When shopping around for a credit card, it’s a good idea to compare the fees, interest rates, and cardholder benefits of multiple credit cards. Here’s why these factors matter when choosing a first credit card:

•   Credit card fees. From annual fees, to foreign transaction fees, to late fees, all credit cards have some fees that cardholders need to be aware of. Certain transactions, such as buying a money order with a credit card, can also involve fees. Being aware of the fees a card may charge and finding a credit card with low fees can help save money.

•   Interest rates. If a cardholder carries a balance, they’ll need to make interest payments. Credit cards interest rates are displayed as annual percentage rates (APRs) and the higher someone’s APR is, the more they’ll pay in interest. What’s considered a good APR for a credit card will vary depending on someone’s credit profile as well as the type of card they’re applying for, but it’s generally below the average rate, which is around 16%.

•   Rewards. From cash back to travel points to discounts at major retailers, credit cards can come with some pretty cool rewards. It’s worth comparing the rewards offerings of multiple credit cards to see where it’s possible to benefit more from good credit habits. Keep in mind, however, that the top rewards cards are usually reserved for those with solid credit histories.

How to Apply for a Credit Card

The process of figuring out how to apply for a credit card online for the first time is usually pretty straightforward. When it’s time to apply for a credit card, the applicant generally needs to supply the following information as a part of the credit card issuer’s application process:

•   Identification (such as a Social Security number)

•   Source of income (such as pay stubs or W-2s)

•   Credit score (generally a score starting in the mid 600s is required)

Further information may also be requested, as the process can vary somewhat from issuer to issuer.

Once you’ve submitted your credit card application, you’ll wait to get an approval or a denial. It may take just minutes to get a response, or it may be a few days or even a few weeks. The creditor must send a decision within 30 days at the most.

If you’re approved, you’ll then receive your new card in the mail. You won’t have to worry about replacing it until your credit card expiration date, at which point the issuer will send you a new card.

How to Use Your First Credit Card

The key to using your first credit card is to limit charges to those that you can afford to pay off — and then making sure you do so in a timely manner. Doing so will ensure you never miss a payment, which will boost your credit score, and avoid late payment fees and interest payments.

Further, paying off your balance at the end of each month (or more often) will help keep credit utilization rate low. Credit utilization measures how much credit someone is using in comparison to how much they have available. The lower someone’s credit utilization, the more their credit score will benefit.

For instance, a potentially good way a student could use their first credit card is to limit their purchases to their textbooks for a semester. This will put guide rails on their spending as they learn to budget and stay on top of their credit card statements.

As someone adjusts to using a credit card, it’s also important to gain an awareness of credit card safety best practices. For instance, be on the lookout for credit card skimmers, which are devices attached to credit card readers designed to steal your information. Also be wary of sharing your credit card information, such as the CVV number on a credit card, with anyone.

What Should You Do if Your Application Is Denied?

If someone’s credit card application is denied, the best thing they can do to move forward is to work on improving their credit score. This will improve their creditworthiness, and thus their odds of getting approved in the future. Making on-time payments and keeping a low balance on an existing credit card are both ways to improve a credit score.

But if someone can’t qualify for any credit cards, how can they improve their credit score? In this scenario, one option is to become an authorized user on a family member’s credit card, such as a parent’s.

When someone is an authorized user, their score will improve as the main account holder makes on-time payments. However, both the account holder and authorized user’s credit scores are at risk if either party makes purchases they can’t afford, so it’s important that everyone has a plan for paying off the bill at the end of the month.

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due

Things You Need to Know as a First-Time Credit Card User

When someone is a first-time credit card user, it’s important that they understand the basics of how a credit card works. Specifically, they’ll need to know what interest rates and fees they may end up paying by using their credit card (especially if they plan to carry a balance).

Using a credit card can feel like shopping with free money, but at the end of the month, the cardholder needs to be prepared to pay their balance off in full. Otherwise, they risk paying more for the purchases they already made in the form of interest and fees. Once debt starts racking up, it can become hard to get rid of.

What If You Are Not Ready to Apply for a Credit Card?

Applying for a credit card for the first time is a big responsibility. If someone isn’t ready to take on the responsibility, they do have the option of using a debit card to gain some of the convenience that comes with a credit card.

A debit card is attached to a bank account and allows the account holder to make payments without keeping cash on hand. Debit cards don’t involve borrowing money, so interest rates aren’t a concern.

However, debit card holders will still need to look out for potential fees. Additionally, debit cards don’t have quite the level of protections that credit cards offer, such as the option to request a credit card chargeback.

Get a Sofi Credit Card Today and Earn 2% Cash Back

Getting your first credit card is a big step in the direction of financial independence. Much of the same information is required when it comes to how to get a credit card for the first time as is requested of any credit card applicant. However, first-time applicants will have to navigate the added challenge of having no or limited credit history.

Whether you’re choosing your first credit card or your fifth, it’s important to evaluate a number of factors to select the right card for you, including APR, fees, and rewards. For instance, SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back when redeemed to save, invest, or pay down eligible SoFi debt. Cardholders earn 1% cash back when redeemed for a statement credit.¹ Learn more about the SoFi Credit Card today.

FAQ

What is a good credit limit for a starter credit card?

The credit limit for a starter credit card is usually low. With a secured credit card, the limit is the amount of the security deposit that the cardholder makes.

What are the requirements to apply for a credit card?

To apply for a credit card, it’s usually required that the applicant provide proof of income and identifying information such as a Social Security number. They will also need to have an acceptable credit score to qualify.


Photo credit: iStock/Demkat

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. A hard credit pull, which may impact your credit score, is required if you apply for a SoFi product after being pre-qualified.
Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s
website
.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
The SoFi Credit Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri (TBOM) (“Issuer”) pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.
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What Is Credit Card Protection? How It Works

The Ultimate Guide to Credit Card Protection and How to Use It

Credit cards can offer a number of additional protections, including if you were to lose your job or otherwise become unable to pay your bills. Some credit card protections, like travel insurance, are perks of the card included in the annual fee. For others, like credit card payment protection, you may have to opt in and pay an additional fee.

Read on to learn more about the types of credit card protection you can get, how they work, and when they may be worth it.

What Is Credit Card Protection?

Credit cards may offer various forms of protection in their perks and benefits. These protections can help protect your purchases and ensure you don’t pay for charges that aren’t yours. They can also help you in a dispute with a vendor. For example, if you ordered an item that never made it to you, and the merchant won’t give you a refund, you could invoke a credit card chargeback with your credit card company.

Perhaps the most common form of protection associated with the term ‘credit card protection’ is credit card payment protection insurance. This is an insurance plan that you can opt into for a monthly fee that would offer protection if something were to happen that prevented you from paying your bills.

Recommended: Charge Cards Advantages and Disadvantages

Types of Credit Card Protection

Some of the types of protection that may be available on credit cards include:

•   Fraud protection

•   Return protection

•   Price protection

•   Purchase protection

•   Travel insurance

•   Car rental insurance

Read on for more details on each of these forms of credit card protection.

Fraud Protection

A key part of what a credit card is, fraud protection is a big reason why people use credit cards over debit cards or cash. If someone were to steal your credit card number or your physical card, fraud protection shields you from being responsible or liable for charges.

Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, creditors cannot “take actions that adversely affect the consumer’s credit standing until an investigation is completed.” This means that all credit card companies will launch an investigation if fraud occurs, during which you will not be held liable (though make sure to make your credit card minimum payment so you don’t incur late fees or a ding to your credit during the investigation).

Some credit card companies may go beyond that and offer even more fraud protection, including $0 liability. (The FCBA caps liability in case of fraud at $50 if the thief presents the card. The liability is $0 if the card is not physically present, as in the case of someone stealing a credit card number and using it online).

While fraud protection can offer peace of mind, it’s also important to be proactive about recognizing fraud. If you lose your credit card, call your issuer to have the card frozen. And always let your issuer know ASAP if you notice a charge that isn’t yours.

Return Protection

Return protection is another form of purchase protection offered by some credit cards. It allows you to return an item for a set period of time defined in your membership agreement. This return window may offer more leeway than that of the merchant you made the purchase from (for example, 90 days instead of 30 days.)

There are exclusions to what can and can’t be returned. Further, there also may be a cap on the cost of the item being returned, as well as an annual cap per card, though it depends on how your credit card works specifically.

Price Protection

Have you bought something, only to see the item go on sale a few weeks later? That’s where credit card price protection comes in. With this perk, you may be able to receive a refund for the difference in price if you purchased something with your card.

Generally, it’s your responsibility to track price drops. And your issuer may have certain terms, such as limiting the protection to price drops within a set time period. Price protection also may exclude certain types of purchases, such as tickets to sporting events or concerts.

Purchase Protection

Similar to return protection, purchase protection can help protect you if purchases are lost or damaged, or services aren’t rendered or delivered as expected. Generally, you would bring the issue up with the merchant or service provider. But if they don’t initiate a refund, then you can dispute the charge with your credit card company. This process initiates what’s called a credit card chargeback.

There may be limitations and exceptions to purchase protection. It can be a good idea to talk directly with the merchant before reaching out to your credit card company.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance can be a big reason to put a trip on a credit card. In fact, some card issuers offer insurance as a perk for using the card.

The specifics of travel insurance depend on the card issuer, but it may include insurance for lost luggage, or coverage for trip interruption or cancellation. In general, these insurance policies may not be as comprehensive as a standalone policy, but they can provide some peace of mind when planning a trip.

Car Rental Insurance

Car rental insurance is another type of insurance offered as a credit card perk. If you rent a car with the credit card, the card may provide insurance protection in case of damage. Generally, this includes collision/loss damage waiver coverage.

Car rental insurance through your credit card may allow you to forego the insurance options offered by the car rental agency. However, as with any insurance policy, it’s a good idea to read the fine print to know exactly what is and is not covered.

How Credit Card Protection Works

Most protections are part of the overall perks and benefits of the card. But credit card payment protection is a little bit different. It’s generally an opt-in program that offers protection if you are no longer able to pay your credit card bill. The protection offered can be short term, such as for a life event like a change in employment, or long term, extending for 12 to 24 months in the event of a job loss or hospital stay.

Usually, credit card payment protection carries an additional monthly fee. Also note that payment protection doesn’t let you off the hook from paying the bill down the road. Rather, for a set period of time, your credit card issuer would offer a break on making payments or lower your minimum payments due, as well as pause any fees. Your issuer will continue to report your account in good standing during that time.

Tips to Keep Your Credit Card Safe

Protection programs can give you peace of mind. But losing a credit card or dealing with fraudulent activity can be stressful regardless of what protections you have in place. It can also potentially open the door to identity theft, which could potentially harm your credit.

That’s why it’s smart to set up some smart security behaviors. Read on for some tips for how to keep your credit card safe.

Practice Credit Card Protection From Day One

When you’ve applied for a credit card, keep an eye out for the card to arrive in the mail. It should come in between five and 14 days; your issuer may provide a timeline.

If you don’t receive your card within that time period, call your issuer. They will issue you a new one. And as soon as you do get your card, follow the steps to set it up for use.

Keep Your Account Number Private

Don’t write down your credit card account number. Also consider whether or not you want to save payment information online. While it can be convenient, it could leave your information vulnerable. If you are using your credit card to make a payment, make sure that you are doing so through an encrypted service.

Keep Your Information Current

Make sure that the email address, mailing address, and telephone number on file with your card issuer are up to date. That way, you are aware of any communication between you and your card issuer. Further, this will prevent a new card from being delivered to the wrong address.

Be Careful With Your Receipts

While federal law prohibits how much credit card information is on receipts, this may not be true in other countries. If you’re traveling abroad, it may make sense to be even more mindful about how you dispose of receipts.

Secure Your Devices and Networks

Being mindful of how and when you use your credit card online can help you avoid fraud. Using your own network, rather than public WiFi, can be one security step. It can also be helpful to check that a website uses encryption for payment.

Protect Yourself Online

When you’re using a credit card for payment, it’s important to be cyber-savvy. Credit card scams to try to obtain your information or your credit card number are not uncommon.

You’ll want to be on the lookout for phishing attempts. If a merchant or bank asks you to email your credit card number, call the merchant directly. Know that banks will never ask for sensitive information over email.

Additionally, pay attention to any odd links, misspellings, or emails that include a link. Instead of following the link within the email, consider manually typing in the URL of a website.

Check Your Account Often

It can be good to get in the habit of regularly checking your credit card balance. Doing so a few times a week, instead of just waiting for a statement to come out, can alert you to fraud as soon as it happens. And remember, a fraudster could steal your information even if your physical card has always remained in your possession.

Report Lost Cards and Fraudulent Activity Right Away

If you see something odd on your credit card balance, let your card issuer know right away. The same goes if you can’t find your credit card.

Even if you’re 99% sure your card is somewhere in your house or car, it can be a good idea to call your card issuer. In some cases, they can freeze your card. This means that you’ll be able to unfreeze it once you’ve found it, without getting a new card and a new card number.

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due

What Does Credit Card Payment Protection Cover?

In general, credit card payment protection insurance has restrictions regarding when it applies, and it may require documentation.

Some reasons you may be able to request long-term credit card payment protection may include:

•  Job loss

•  Disability

•  Hospitalization

•  Death of a child, spouse, or domestic partner

•  Leave of absence (for family or child care, or for military duty)

•  Federal or state disaster

Meanwhile, you may be able to get short-term protection for the following reasons:

•   Marriage

•   Divorce

•   Graduation

•   Childbirth

•   Adoption

•  Retirement

•   New job and job promotion

•   A move to a new residence

Situations that may not qualify for payment protection include incarceration or voluntarily leaving your job, such as to pursue higher education.

Pros and Cons of Payment Protection

Is payment protection right for you? That depends. The opt-in program usually costs an additional fee. Plus, while paying your full balance each month is ideal, you could potentially pay the credit card minimum payment if you were going through hard times to keep your account in good standing, though your annual percentage rate (APR) would still apply.

In many cases, it may make sense to focus on bringing down your balance so your minimum payment is relatively low. That way, if the worst were to happen, you might still have wiggle room in your budget to handle minimum payments.

Pros of Payment Protection Cons of Payment Protection
Gives you a breath on monthly payments Will incur an additional monthly fee, adding to your balance
Offers peace of mind May be other assistance options with no added cost
Helps protect your credit in the event you can’t make payments Generally limited to two years of assistance
Pauses your credit card’s fees Limits on what qualifies for protection insurance to kick in

Is Credit Card Payment Protection Worth It?

Weighing the pros and cons of credit card payment can help you assess whether it makes sense for you. If you carry a very high balance and are in the process of paying it down, payment protection may give you peace of mind — especially if you don’t have a good APR for a credit card. But keep in mind that you could potentially switch to minimum payments during a hard time and still maintain your payment history.

To decide whether credit card payment protection is right for you, read the fine print and assess how the fees would impact your overall financial picture. Also take into consideration your current financial situation, your savings account balance, and the general stability and security of your job and lifestyle.

Credit Card Protection Scams and How to Avoid Them

As credit cards offer protection, scammers see opportunities — and these can be tailored, beyond just credit card skimming. There are several credit card protection scams that may target card holders, including:

•   Phone scams offering loss protection for a fee. Some scammers have been calling people and telling them they may be liable for charges beyond $50 on their credit card. They then try to get people to buy loss protection and insurance programs. If you get this call, know that credit cards include fraud protection at no additional fee — plus, your liability is limited to $50 by law. Call your credit card company if you have any questions about its fraud protection programs.

•   Scams claiming your account has been compromised. In this case, the scammer will ask you to provide personal details, such as your credit card number, claiming your account has been compromised. Don’t ever give sensitive credit information over text or email. If someone calls claiming to be your credit card company, call the company directly from the number on the back of the card, instead of any number you may get during a call.

•   Fraudulent text alerts. Scammers also may send text messages asking for your CVV number on a credit card to “fix” a security problem. A real credit card company would never ask for this information.

•   Fake account protection offers. Any account protection should come directly from your credit card company, not from a third party. If you receive these offers, don’t take them up on it.

The Takeaway

Credit card protection can be one of the great benefits of using a credit card. While some credit card protections are standard, including fraud protection, it can be helpful to weigh what protection offers are important to you and what you’ll get the most use out of if you’re adding on any others. With credit card payment protection insurance, for instance, you can get protection if something were to happen that prevented you from paying your bills, but you’ll owe an added monthly fee.

Protections are just one of many factors to consider when it comes to choosing a credit card. The SoFi Credit Card, for instance, allows you to earn rewards, lower your APR with regular on-time payments, and enjoy protections like cell phone protection and Mastercard ID theft protection.

Learn more and apply for a credit card online today with SoFi.

FAQ

Are there limits to credit card payment protection?

There may be limits on what qualifies for credit card payment protection, and your issuer may need to see proof of hardship. Further, there may be a time limit on how long credit card payment protection is offered.

Is there a time limit on credit card payment protection?

Generally, issuers have a time limit for credit card protection policies. These vary between issuers, but may be as short as several months or as long as two years, depending on the circumstances.

Should I get credit card payment protection insurance?

Credit card protection insurance may incur an additional fee, unlike other protection options offered as part of your overall perks and benefits within your card. That fee can add to your balance. If your credit card balance is at or near $0, credit card payment protection insurance may not be necessary.


Photo credit: iStock/9dreamstudio

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. A hard credit pull, which may impact your credit score, is required if you apply for a SoFi product after being pre-qualified.
Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s
website
.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
The SoFi Credit Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri (TBOM) (“Issuer”) pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
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History of Credit Cards: When Were Credit Cards Invented?

History of Credit Cards: When Were Credit Cards Invented?

Curious to know when credit cards were invented? There were actually a number of early iterations of what we know and use today as a credit card, with the first versions of the concept dating back to the early and mid 1900s.

Let’s take a look at the major milestones in the history of credit cards and how this payment method developed.

Invention of Credit Cards

Who invented credit cards? As mentioned before, there were several precursors to the modern version of the credit card. Credit card history can be traced back to 1914, when Western Union rolled out the idea of “Metal Money,” which was granted to a handful of customers and allowed them to push back payment until a later date.

The next iteration of credit cards was introduced in 1946, when New York City banker John Biggins introduced the Charg-it card. These charge cards were usable within a two-block radius of Biggins’ bank. Purchases made by customers were forwarded to his bank account, and merchants were reimbursed at a later date.

Recommended: Charge Cards Advantages and Disadvantages

When Were Credit Cards First Used?

Let’s take a look at when different types of credit cards were first used, from the first store card to the first international card.

First Store Cards

The first store card that gained widespread use was the Diners Club Card. The idea for the card arose when businessman Frank McNamara misplaced his wallet and couldn’t pay for dinner at a New York City restaurant. The good news is that his wife was there to cover the tab.

In 1950, McNamara returned to the same restaurant with his business partner, Ralph Schneider, where he used a cardboard card to pay the bill. That card was the Diners Club Card, and the dinner became known as the “First Supper.”

First Bank Cards

In 1958, American Express developed its first credit card that was made of cardboard. The next year, the plastic credit card was developed and released.

Also in 1958, Bank of America mailed its credit card to certain segments of the market in California, where it was based. The bank offered a pre-approved limit of $300 to 60,000 customers in Fresno.

Then, in 1966, Bank of America’s BankAmericard became the country’s first general use credit card, meaning more places would accept credit card payments with it.

First Interbank Cards

In 1966, a cluster of California banks joined together to form the Interbank Card Association (ITC). The ITC soon rolled out the nation’s second major bank card. Initially called the Interbank card and later the Master Charge, this card became Mastercard in 1979.

First International Cards

The first international credit card is claimed to be the Diners Club card, mentioned above. It’s said to have become the first globally accepted charge card in 1953 when businesses in Cuba, Mexico, and Canada began accepting payments from those with Diners Club cards.

And in 1970, Bank of America rolled its BankAmericard on a global scale, prompting the formation of the International Bankcard Company (IBANCO).

Regulation and Litigation

Over the decades, credit cards have undergone several rounds of regulation. Let’s take a look at some of the major regulatory milestones in the history of credit cards:

1970:

•   The Fair Credit Reporting Act was passed to regulate the collection, access, and use of consumer credit report data.

•   Also this year, the Unsolicited Credit Card Act was introduced to prohibit credit card issuers from sending credit cards to customers who didn’t request them.

1974:

•   The Fair Credit Billing Act of 1974 was created to protect consumers from unfair credit billing practices. It stated that consumers have the right to dispute unauthorized charges, charges made due to errors, and charges when goods are undelivered and services not rendered.

•   The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) was passed, which prevented lenders from discriminating against credit card applicants based on gender, race, age, religion, marital status, national origin, and whether you receive benefits from a public assistance program. It also specified that a lender can’t charge higher fees or a higher than average credit card interest rate for any of those reasons.

1977:

•   The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was introduced to prevent debt collectors from using deceptive, unfair, or abusive practices in their efforts to collect debt that have gone to default and are in the hands of debt collectors. It limited calls to between the hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and prohibited contact at an unusual time or place. Further, it specified that if you’re represented by a debt attorney, the debt collector must stop calling you and reach out to your attorney instead.

2009:

•   The CARD Act boosted consumer protection by “establishing fair and transparent practices related to the extension of credit.” It prohibits credit card issuers from offering credit without first gauging the consumer’s ability to pay, and introduced special rules when it comes to extending credit to consumers under the age of 21. The CARD act also limits the amount of upfront fees an issuers can charge during the first year after an account is opened, as well as the instances that issuers can charge penalty fees.

Technological Evolution of Credit Cards

Here are some of the main technological milestones and changes of credit cards throughout their history:

1980s: Magnetic Stripe
Credit card networks and banks started rolling out cards with the magnetic stripe, which became widely adopted. While it’s on the verge of being phased out, consumers still use magnetic stripe for payment today.

2004: Contactless Credit Cards
Contactless credit was used for the first time in 2004. They started to become more popular in 2008, when major credit card networks like Visa, Mastercardm and American Express started offering their own versions of contactless cards.

2010: Chip Cards
Pin-and-chip technology made its way to America in 2010. This technology offers greater security than magnetic credit cards, which can be copied. These days, the majority of credit cards in America have EMV chips.

2011: Mobile Wallets
In 2011, Google introduced the first mobile wallets, and Apple followed in its footsteps in 2012. In 2014, Apple Pay was released, followed by Android and Samsung Pay in 2015. As mobile wallets are stored on your smartphone, they grant greater security than physical cards, which can be more easily stolen. Plus, smartphones have security features, such as fingerprint recognition and passcodes, which make them more secure.

How Do Credit Cards Work?

Credit cards are a tangible card that you can use to make purchases. If you’re wondering how credit cards work, they’re a type of revolving loan, which means that you can tap into your line of credit at any given time to borrow funds up to your credit limit, which is set when you apply. Your line of credit gets depleted when you make transactions, and it gets replenished when you pay back what you owe.

Credit cards have an interest rate, expressed as annual percentage rate (APR). This represents how much interest you pay during an entire year. You’ll only pay interest if you have a remaining balance after your payment due date. When you pay the full balance that you owe on your card, your balance is zero and you will not owe interest. When you pay more than you owe, or if a merchant issues you a refund for an amount larger than your total balance, then you have a negative balance on your credit card.

Credit cards might also come with perks, such as rewards points and cashback. Cardholders may also enjoy additional benefits like travel insurance and discounts at select merchants. Credit cards also have built-in security features, such as pin-and-chip technology, fraud monitoring, and a three-digit CVV number on a credit card.

As for how to apply for a credit card, you’ll first want to know your credit score, as this will indicate which cards you may be eligible for. You may consider applying for preapproval to determine your odds of getting approved. When you’ve compared your credit card options and decided which one is right for you, then you can apply online, over the phone, or through the mail.

Credit Cards and Credit Scores

Credit cards can have a major impact on your credit score. For one, your account activity is reported to the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Making on-time credit card minimum payments can help your credit, as payment history makes up 35% of your FICO consumer credit score. On the flipside, making late payments can drag down your score.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on how much debt you rack up relative to your total amount of credit available. Your credit utilization ratio, which measures how much of your available credit has been used, accounts for 30% of your score. It’s generally recommended to keep your credit utilization below 30% to avoid adverse effects to your credit score.

Other factors related to how your credit card can impact your score include the length of your credit history, which makes up 15% of your score, and your mix of credit, which accounts for 10% of your credit score. Having an account open for longer and holding a mix of different types of credit accounts both can help boost your score.

Types of Credit Cards

Nowadays, there are a number of types of cards to choose from. Let’s take a look at the different types of credit cards in modern times.

Rewards Cards

Rewards cards feature a way to earn rewards through travel miles, cash back, or points. You usually collect rewards when you make purchases. For example, you may earn one point for every dollar spent.

You usually can redeem the rewards you earn in different ways, such as on travel accommodations, airline tickets, gift cards, merchandise, or as credit toward your balance statement.

Low-Interest Cards

As the name suggests, low-interest cards feature a low APR. Having a card with a low APR can certainly benefit you if you carry a credit card balance or plan to use your card to make a large purchase, as you may be able to save money on interest.

When looking for low-interest credit cards, you usually need to have a strong credit score to qualify.

Credit Building Cards

If you have a short credit history or less-than-stellar credit score, a credit building card can help you boost your credit. As payments made on a secured credit card are reported to the three major credit bureaus, using your card can help build your credit as long as you stay on top of your payments.

While these cards are more accessible than many other credit cards out there, they also tend to have higher interest rates and fees. They may also offer a lower credit card limit.

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due

The Future of Credit Cards

As demonstrated in the past few decades, credit card technology is constantly evolving to meet the needs and demands of consumers. The next time you reach your credit card expiration date, you could see an updated product in the mail.

It’s expected that contactless payments, which increased in popularity during the pandemic, will continue to proliferate. In the future, it may even become possible to make payments via voice command tools.

Additionally, the security used in credit cards will continue to evolve. It’s anticipated that magnetic stripe cards will soon fall by the wayside, getting replaced by biometric cards, which use fingerprints and chip technology to enhance security.

Apply for a SoFi Credit Card Online and Earn 2% Cash Back

As you can see from learning the history of credit cards, a lot has changed since the payment method was first introduced. Credit cards remain as popular a payment method as ever, and it’s expected they’ll continue to evolve as technology and consumer needs shift.

When you’re looking for a credit card, it’s important to consider what features you want it to have and how you’d like it to serve your needs. One option is to apply for a credit card with SoFi. SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back when redeemed to save, invest, or pay down eligible SoFi debt. Cardholders earn 1% cash back when redeemed for a statement credit.1

Learn more about the SoFi Credit Card.

FAQ

Who invented credit cards?

There were several early iterations of credit cards, so it’s difficult to pin down exactly who invented credit cards. The credit may go to businessman Frank McNamara and his business partner Ralph Schneider, who invented the Diners Club Card, the first store card to gain widespread use. However, there were more limited versions of credit cards around before that.

How were credit cards first used?

While the concept of paying by credit can be traced back to ancient civilizations, the first modern day example of paying with a credit card was the Diners Club card, which could be used at restaurants. However, this card had one major difference between modern credit cards: you had to pay off the balance in full each month.

What was the first type of credit card?

The first type of credit card was most likely the Diners Club card, introduced in 1950. It was the first credit card that could be used at multiple establishments.


Photo credit: iStock/DoubleAnti

Checking Your Rates: To check the rates and terms you may qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. A hard credit pull, which may impact your credit score, is required if you apply for a SoFi product after being pre-qualified.
Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s
website
.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
The SoFi Credit Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri (TBOM) (“Issuer”) pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.
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How to Manage Your Money: 11 Tips To Do It Right

Many of us have an array of financial goals — to own our own home, to get a new car, to retire by age 50…heck, even just trading up to the latest smartphone — but we may not have the know-how to make those a reality. Well, you’re in the right place to learn how to manage your money better.

It’s sad but true that you can earn a high-school or college degree without a class in the basics of smart money management. So let’s dive in for a little self-ed that will help you minimize debt, boost wealth, and make crushing your goals as simple as possible.

We’ll give you wise guidance in the form of 11 tips that:

•   Help you understand your personal financial landscape

•   Manage your money better

•   Avoid debt traps (they’re out there!)

•   Create positive net worth

Ready to build your financial skills? Class is now in session!

11 Tips to Manage Your Money Better

Money management can help you save more, spend less, improve your credit score, and more. Here, we’ll cover 11 of the most effective money management tips to adopt.

1. Set up the Right Bank Accounts

Your bank accounts are the hub of your financial life, so make sure you have ones that are geared towards optimizing your money and facilitating your cash management. You’ll want a checking and a savings account, because keeping cash solely in your checking account has a way of enticing you to overspend. Linking those accounts is wise, too, so that you can easily transfer funds back and forth as needed.

What’s more, you want to strike the perfect balance between accounts that pay some interest and don’t deduct fees for every little transaction. Interest rates have been notoriously low of late, making those minimum balance, monthly maintenance, and overdraft fees all the more painful. You don’t want your balances declining just because you are paying too much for the privilege of banking. A quick online search will reveal interest rates and fees. Typically, online banks pay higher APYs and have lower fees than traditional bricks-and-mortar institutions.

2. Review Your Current Financial Status

With money, it’s vital to know where you stand. It may be tempting not to check your bank balances, how much you owe on your credit cards, and what an upcoming tax bill looks like. But knowledge is power.

Go look, and write down your assets and debts. Confront any issues like a low credit score, bills put in for collection, and/or a negative bank balance. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider seeking professional guidance to help you know how to clean up your finances. Acknowledging any issues is a major first step in the right direction.

3. Make a Money Plan

Because we haven’t been schooled in money management, many of us just live day to day, getting and spending, paying the minimum amount due on bills at the last possible moment. This kind of reactive stance won’t move your finances ahead the way a proactive budget will.

While the word “budget” can strike terror in the hearts of some, who think, “There goes all my fun spending,” the opposite is true. A budget helps you understand how much money you have coming in and what your monthly non-negotiable expenses are (rent/mortgage, utilities, food, and the like). Then it helps you divvy up the remaining funds towards debt, future savings, and discretionary spending.

There are several different budgeting methods. Shop around and find one that suits you best. Some popular ones are zero-sum budgeting, an envelope budget, and the 50/30/20 budget.

4. Check in with Your Finances Regularly

As you become more familiar with your money, it’s a good idea to check your balances regularly. We’re not saying every single day, but a couple of times a week works well for many people

Where exactly are you looking? Definitely look at your checking account balance to see how it’s doing. Perhaps you forgot about an automatic bill payment that you’d scheduled and now your balance is in the danger zone and are about to be charged overdraft fees. Maybe you have so much sitting in savings that you can siphon some off into a separate emergency fund. And how about that credit card statement? Are there any transactions you don’t recognize? Early action can help ward off or resolve fraudulent activity and identity theft. Online apps can make it one-click convenient (or almost) to check where you stand.

5. Set Smart Financial Goals

As you get on top of your everyday expenses, also think big. Setting money goals helps you keep on track and achieve your financial aspirations. Take some time to think about your five- and ten-year plan and beyond. What would you like to achieve in life? Financially? Among the common goals are paying off debt; saving for a big vacation, a wedding, or a home; bankrolling a child’s education; and enriching one’s retirement fund.

It’s possible to set up separate savings accounts for each goal you have. What’s more, you can create automatic withdrawals from checking on payday to help plump up those accounts. Even if it’s a small sum, like $10 or $25 per pay period, it will help. And having it deducted before it sits in your checking account, tempting you to spend it, is a wise money maneuver.

6. Cut Back on Your Expenses

Don’t wince when you hear about cutting back on spending. Some of this is just about being a shrewd customer and not letting your hard-earned cash slip through your fingertips. Take a look at your debit card and credit card transactions. Have those TGIF lattes become a daily thing? Are you still being charged for some premium channel you haven’t watched in ages? Some expenses are rather easy to ditch and can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

If, after eliminating the no-sweat stuff, you are still tight on funds every month, look again and cut deeper. If you’re, say, saving for your first home, could you downsize to a less amenity-packed rental for a year or two to make your dream happen? How about that pricey gym membership? Could you perhaps find some free workouts on social media to try? Find some trade-offs and trade-downs so you can balance spending and saving.

7. Take a Look at Your Income

This may sound like super-obvious advice, but do consider your earnings. Take a look at your take-home pay when formulating a budget. Also consider what you might do if you’d like a bit of wiggle room in that budget. Could you take on a side hustle? Many people are finding that they can pad their income with money from, say, driving for a ride-share service on occasion, walking dogs, selling their handcrafted items online, and more.

Ready for a Better Banking Experience?

Open a SoFi Checking and Savings Account and start earning 1% APY on your cash!


8. Create a Plan to Pay off Debt

One of the trickiest parts of managing your money is dealing with debt. You might think of debt as existing in two different varieties: good debt vs. bad debt. “Good” (meaning relatively low-interest debt, like a mortgage) can help build your credit history and improve your credit score if handled well), unlike “bad” (the high-interest, “how will I ever get out from under this?” kind, like credit-card debt).

Without ignoring the “good” debt, focus on paying off the high-interest debt first. Credit card interest is currently averaging between 14 and 18+%, and paying the minimum due on your monthly statement will unfortunately keep you in debt for quite a while. Develop a plan to curtail credit-card spending and pay it off ASAP. Consider whether you might consolidate credit card debt into a low interest personal loan and focus on paying off that one loan. Or You might investigate transferring your debt to a zero- or low-interest balance-transfer card. This might give you between 12 and 18 months to have no interest accrue and knock down the balance. If you think that won’t do enough, consider consulting with a debt-counseling organization, like the nonprofit NFCC . (If you’re having trouble opening a checking account due to a poor record with banking, look into a second chance account.)

One last debt management tip: If you have student loans, they may or may not be at a low rate, and regardless, they may or may not feel manageable. It can be a good strategy to investigate how much money you can save when you refinance your student loans into one convenient, low interest loan.

9. Understand Your Credit Score

Your credit score is an important three-digit number that typically ranges from 300 to 850, with 690 to 719 being considered good, and 720 and higher being excellent. Having a solid credit score helps you in many ways, from impressing those considering hiring you or renting to you, to snagging you the best rates when you apply for a home or car loan.

You can get an annual credit report for no charge at Freecreditreport.com . Check your score, and scan the report for credit score errors about which you should alert the credit-reporting agencies. If your score could use some support, be meticulous about clearing any late bills or payments that are with collection agencies. Pay debts on time, and limit the lines of credit you apply for (loans and credit cards, as well as bank accounts with overdraft privileges possibly). Keep your credit utilization at 30% or lower; 10% is ideal. This means if your credit limit on a card is $10,000, your balance would be no more than 30% or $3,000; no more than $1,000 or 10% is better still.

10. Build an Emergency Fund

Here’s a fact about emergencies: You don’t see them coming. Say a flash flood ruins your kitchen, or a car accident involves thousands of dollars of repairs. Or you get hit with an unexpected and major dental bill. Whatever the situation, having an emergency fund to cover these kinds of events can be a life-saver.

But only one in four Americans has six months’ worth of living expenses socked away, according to a recent survey. Join their ranks by starting an emergency or rainy-day fund and adding a small amount every paycheck until you meet your goal. A high-yield savings account can be a good, interest-bearing and accessible place to hold your funds.

11. Save for Big Expenses

Your home-renovation or retirement fund won’t create itself. Your attention is needed to prepare for these big expenses. This is where the pay yourself first principle comes in handy, having money automatically deducted from your paycheck to put into a savings account. As mentioned above, even earmarking $10 or $25 per paycheck to big, long-term goals can start you on a path to achieving your financial goals.

The Takeaway

Smart money management needn’t be hard or time-consuming. It requires a bit of attention, organization, and a commitment to priorities. By following the simple strategies we’ve outlined, you can minimize debt, grow your savings and wealth, and make your financial dreams come true.

We can also help with another path to better money management. SoFi offers Checking and Savings accounts that charge no account fees while paying a super-competitive 1.25% APY. Plus, our app makes deposits, transfers, and more transactions fast, secure, and so simple.

Bank better with SoFi, and start saving and spending in one place.


SoFi members with direct deposit can earn up to 1.25% annual percentage yield (APY) interest on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Members without direct deposit will earn 0.70% APY on all account balances in their Checking and Savings accounts (including Vaults). Interest rates are variable and subject to change at any time. Rate of 1.25% APY is current as of 4/5/2022. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet
SoFi® Checking and Savings is offered through SoFi Bank, N.A. ©2022 SoFi Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
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How to Spot and Avoid Credit Card Skimmers

How to Identify a Credit Card Skimmer and Protect Yourself

Unfortunately, credit card fraud is all too common, accounting for 393,207 of the nearly 1.4 million reports of identity theft in 2020. There are many different ways for identity theft to occur. One hazard to look out for is the credit card skimmers that are most commonly lurking at ATMs or gas station pumps.

To help protect yourself against theft, keep reading to learn what credit card skimmers are, how to spot a credit card skimmer, and what to do if your credit card is skimmed.

What Is a Credit Card Skimmer?

Credit card skimming is a form of theft that occurs when someone installs a small electronic device, known as a credit card skimmer, into a card reader. This device can read and collect information from a credit card when someone makes a purchase. The skimmer does this by reading the magnetic strip on a debit or credit card, which provides the full name on the credit card as well as the credit card number and credit card expiration date.

Credit card skimmers have been around since 2015. They are most commonly attached to gas station pumps, ATMs, and other types of machines that accept payments from both secured and unsecured credit cards as well as debit cards.

Identifying Credit Card Skimmers

Knowing how to check for credit card skimmers is a great way to protect against potential theft. Especially when using an outdoor payment machine like a gas pump or ATM, take a look at the card reader for signs of a credit card skimmer. See if the card reader is sticking out at an angle or looks any different from other nearby card readers. Also check if the card reader is loose or the keypad is unusually bulky.

When skimmers first came into play, it was easier to spot a credit card skimmer as the card reader often appeared to be tampered with or wiggled when used. Today, skimmers can fit snugly over the scanner, which makes it much harder to tell if something is amiss.

In the instance that all seems well with the card scanner at a gas station, double check the pump. If a gas pump is open, unlocked, has had the tamper-evident security tape altered or removed, or anything else seems amiss, it’s a good idea to use a different pump.

If possible, it’s best to use a credit card pump that has an encrypted credit card reader. Ideally, use one that has an illuminated green lock symbol near the credit card reader — this symbolizes that it’s been encrypted.

What Happens When a Credit Card Is Skimmed

When a credit card skimmer reads a magnetic strip on the back of a credit or debit card, it can obtain the cardholder’s full name, credit card number, and the credit card expiration date. Sometimes, scammers add a small camera into the equation in order to watch someone enter their PIN number when using a debit card. Really, one of the few things that’s safe is the CVV number on a credit card, which is why it’s so important to keep this secure.

Once the thief has this information in hand, they can use the card anywhere that accept credit card payments. They may have access to the cardholder’s bank account and could steal their identity. Or, the thief can sell the information on the dark web.

Recommended: 10 Common Credit Card Scams and How to Avoid Them

Protecting Yourself From Credit Card Skimmers

If you’re old enough to get a credit card, it’s critical to know how to use it responsibly and safely. Here’s a few tips to keep in mind to avoid falling prey to credit card skimmers.

Use NFC or Supervised ATMs

To help avoid coming into contact with a card skimmer, try to use payment terminals that are supervised by security cameras or skip using the card reader altogether and make a Near Field Communication(NFC) payment. NFC payments are secure transactions made with a smartphone, allowing you to avoid swiping your card at all.

Check and Recheck the Keypad

When it comes to how to spot a credit card skimmer, remember to check the keypad for any signs of tampering. These days it’s a bit harder to identify when a keypad has a skimmer on it, but if anything seems amiss, use another payment machine or go inside the gas station or bank to make a transaction or withdrawal.

Don’t Leave Your Card Unattended

Whenever possible, make a transaction or withdrawal inside of a gas station or bank. The odds of a criminal accessing inside payment terminals with a clerk watching are much lower compared to outside payment terminals. It only takes criminals a few seconds to add a skimmer to an outside payment terminal where no one is watching.

Just like taking the time to compare the APRs on credit cards, spending a few extra minutes going inside to buy gas or take out cash can pay off. It could help you avoid countless hours of dealing with identity theft as a result of credit card skimming.

Use Credit Cards With a Chip

If you’re familiar with what a credit card is, you’ll know that most new credit cards come with a “chip” that allows consumers to make payments without actually swiping their credit card. With an EMV chip, it’s possible to simply tap a credit card instead of swiping it to make a payment, which helps avoid credit card skimming.

Be Vigilant

If someone does need to use an outdoor ATM or gas pump, use one that is close to the building and preferably in the line of sight of an attendant, security guard, or security cameras. The more hidden a payment terminal is, the more likely it is that there is a credit skimmer placed on it. Also make sure to be aware of your surroundings when using any exterior payment terminals.

Sign Up for Credit and Debt Alerts

One way to catch fraud is to sign up for alerts that send a notification any time a purchase is made with the card. After all, it’s unlikely a fraudster’s activity will result in a negative balance on a credit card.

By receiving an alert right when a purchase is made, you can confirm whether or not you made it. If you believe an unauthorized purchase was made, contact your bank or credit card issuer immediately.

Check Your Account Regularly

To be extra vigilant, double check debit and credit card statements frequently to make sure that no unauthorized charges slipped through the cracks. It can be easier to stay on top of charges if you check in throughout the month rather than waiting until you receive your credit card statement and being shocked that you’re almost at your credit card limit due to unauthorized spending.

Can You Get a Refund if Your Card Gets Skimmed?

If you realize your credit card or debit card has been skimmed, check in with your bank or credit card issuer about next steps. You should also put a freeze on your credit report to ensure that the fraudsters aren’t applying for new credit cards in your name. In some cases, you may need to file a police report.

The credit card issuer or bank will have fraud protections in place and should refund you for any money lost. These protections are an important part of how credit cards work. Still, the sooner you cancel the cards and stop the fraud, the better. Most top credit cards have zero-liability policies that will refund the full amount of the fraudulent charges. If they don’t, the maximum liability anyone has as a consumer is $50.

The Takeaway

Skimmers are unfortunately all too common. With a debit card, consumers aren’t entitled to as much protection regarding theft, so it’s helpful to use a credit card whenever making purchases at an outdoor payment terminal that’s vulnerable to skimmers. Still, it’s important to know how to spot credit card skimmers so you can hopefully avoid them.

It can also help to have a credit card with security measures in place and a zero-liability policy. The SoFi Credit Card, for instance, offers cell phone protection as well as Mastercard theft protection, which can help detect potential fraud. You can easily apply for a credit card online today.

FAQ

What does a credit card skimmer do?

Credit card skimmers illegally collect information from credit and debit cards. Skimmers are typically attached to outside payment terminals like ATMs or gas stations.

Are card skimmers illegal?

Yes, credit card skimmers are illegal. This is why credit card issuers are creating new technology like chips to help make purchases more secure.

How common is credit card skimming?

Unfortunately, credit card skimming is all too common. Out of the nearly 1.4 million reports of identity theft in 2020, 393,207 cases were due to credit card fraud.


Photo credit: iStock/greyj

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
The SoFi Credit Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri (TBOM) (“Issuer”) pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
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