The security benefits of using credit cards have long been recognised. Even with the extra attention that is being placed on identity theft and credit card fraud these days, using your credit card is still one of the safest ways to pay for things available.
All credit card companies will provide you with an emergency number to call if your card is lost or stolen and in the vast majority of cases, any loss that is incurred by your account will be fully refunded by the card provider. This will always be the case unless you are somehow involved or to blame for the fraud, such as by giving out your security details to someone you shouldn’t have trusted. This means that even if your cards and information are stolen, you generally have nothing to worry about so long as you report the incident. Replacement cards can be sent to you very quickly.
Another benefit of credit cards over cash is that you can use them with ease abroad. They are fast becoming an internationally recognised currency. While cash will be accepted everywhere within your own country, credit cards are accepted at a huge number of locations all over the world. As soon as you step off a plane, and especially if you are travelling through a number of countries, a credit card will be an invaluable means of payment everywhere you go.
Another huge benefit of credit cards, that is really only beginning to show itself with the growth of Internet shopping, is the ease with which payments can be arranged online. There are thousands of websites now, all over the world that will conduct business with you and give you access to great prices if you have a credit card to pay for it. Gone are the days when cheques would be mailed in the post. Now, with new payment systems such as pay pal, even individuals can accept credit card payments with great ease and for very little expense. You should take care with your personal information and payment details however, and conduct business either via an intermediary such as pay pal, or only with companies you know you can trust.
The disadvantage of credit cards is that they can cost you money. You pay interest on balances that you carry from one month to another and if you do use your credit card abroad, you will have to accept additional charges from your card provider.