Study Finds Most Atlanta Credit Card Users Don’t Know the Perks, but They Probably Know the Pitfalls
According to a new study released by MasterCard, 55 percent of consumers are not familiar with their credit cards' benefits and some even paid extra for the perks they already had, lowcards.com reports.
Credit cards often get a bad rap for interest rates and hidden fees, and for good reason. These companies use the lure of benefits such as airline miles and cash back promises to rope people into signing up for cards that typically land them in hot water. These companies love to put out seemingly positive stories to try to get people interested in their product.
But, the bottom line is that Atlanta Bankruptcy Lawyers have seen many consumers trapped into unmanageable debt because of predatory fees and surcharges that result in filing for bankruptcy in Atlanta.
The pro-credit card article cites many of the benefits that card owners can get:
Car Rental Loss/Damage Insurance
Security From Unauthorized Purchases
Travel Accident Insurance
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Lost Luggage Insurance
Travel Emergency Assistance
While some of these offers could be useful, often they go ignored, the article states. But what can't be ignored are the outrageous interest rates that many of these credit cards bring to people who are simply trying to help their credit score or get by with a little financial help.
Credit card debt is one of the top reasons people file for bankruptcy in the first place and there's no denying that sticking someone with a 20+ percent interest rate contributes to their financial decline. Even paying the minimum a few times can ruin a family's finances.
According to Forbes.com, credit card companies have sent billions of credit card offers out as people try to pick up the pieces and try to recover from one of the worst financial crises our country has ever seen. Forbes reports that in 2010 there were 2.82 billion credit card offers mailed to residents, which soared from 1.39 billion in 2009.
And it's these perks that companies are using to try to entice new customers into signing up for credit cards. Experts believe companies are also trying to lock in customers with good to excellent credit scores.
"The competition among credit card issuers has definitely stepped up," said CreditCardFlyers.com senior analyst Doug Levy. "They are sending out more solicitations."
The issue is rampant -- according to U.S. Census data, there were 173 million credit card holders in the United States in 2006 and that was expected to grow to 181 million by 2010, according to www.money-zine.com. And along with all those card holders comes the debt. In 2006, Americans carried about $886 billion in credit card debt, which was expected to increase to $1,177 billion by the end of 2010.
If you have been a victim of predatory credit card practices and are considering bankruptcy to start over, contact our firm. Our lawyers are ready to advise you on any financial issue that may be plaguing you. Call today for a free consultation.
If you need to speak to an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney call the DebtStoppers Bankruptcy Law Firm at 800-440-7235 today for a free debt analysis. Call 800-440-7235.
Credit Card Perks Unknown to Majority of Users, by Lynn Oldshue, Lowcard.com
Credit Card Offers on the Rise, by Ilana Greene, Forbes.com