Pros and Cons to Credit Cards

There are several pros and cons to getting a credit card, so take a look at these before you apply for the credit card for the first time or attempt to get a new credit card.

Pros to Credit Cards

Let’s start with the positive reasons to get a credit card. With a credit card, you can:

  • Build credit: One of the biggest benefits to getting a credit card is that your credit card will communicate with the credit bureaus how well you handle credit. If you handle your credit card responsibly, it will have a positive effect on your credit score. 
  • Tap into convenience: Credit cards offer a lot of convenience because you don’t have to have a lot of cash, especially when you need to make large purchases. If unauthorized charges show up on your card, you won’t have to pay them. 
  • Get rewards options: Many credit cards offer cash back, airline miles, hotel points or gas rebates. You can also get access to shows, concierge services, special gifts and much more.
  • Take advantage of travel insurance: You can get insurance against cancelled trips, accidents, delays, lost luggage and even death. However, some cards offer better benefits than others, so check around before you dive in. 
  • Get small business owner perks: Business credit cards offer specific rewards for various items that small business owners need.

Credit cards also offer other perks, so check with individual credit card issuers to figure out what each one offers.

Cons to Credit Cards

Let’s take a look at some of the cons you may find with a credit card. You can face:

  • Debt: One of the biggest cons to having a credit card involves the fact that because “it’s plastic,” it doesn’t seem like you’re spending real money. It’s easy to overspend with a credit card, which can put you in debt, in collections or even lawsuits.
  • High interest rates: Credit card interest rates hover around 18%. This high interest rate can put you in a precarious financial position if you continue to only pay the minimum or miss making your regular payments. 
  • Fees: You might pay several fees for your credit card in addition to high interest rates. For example, you might pay an annual fee, balance transfer fee, cash advance fees, account overdraft fees and foreign transaction fees, to name a few. That’s why it’s really important to review your credit card disclosures so you don’t encounter any future surprises. 
  • A short-term credit ding: You could take a small credit hit when you open a new credit card. Therefore, never take out a credit card right before you decide to get an important loan like a mortgage.

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College Savings Calculator is a hypothetical tool that demonstrates how monthly contributions, age-based asset rebalancing, and tax savings may impact the long-term value of your account, and do not take into account a portfolio’s underlying investment management fees. Calculations assume the private institution cost inflation is 2.8%, public out of state cost inflation is 3.9%, public in state cost inflation is 2.7%. Portfolio is assumed to have only stocks and bonds. Monthly equity returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the stock market (SPY). Monthly fixed income returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the bond market index (AGG). The current college expenses are provided by the Actual account performance may differ due to market fluctuations, changes in recurring investments, and asset allocation. The information provided here is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent actual or future performance of any investment option and is not intended to predict or project the investment performance of any security or index.

Ksenia Yudina, CFA, MBA

Founder and CEO

Ksenia is the Founder and CEO of U-Nest, the first mobile app that makes it easy for families to save for college. As an entrepreneur and finance professional, Ksenia has focused on alleviating the impact of student debt on families across the economic spectrum. Previously, Ksenia was a Vice President atCapital Group/American Funds, the largest 529 provider in the U.S. In this role, she played a leadership role in helping parents plan and manage their finances, with a focus on the future well-being of their children. Prior to Capital Group/American Funds, she was founder of a residential real estate company. Ksenia earned her bachelor’s degree in finance from CaliforniaState University Northridge, and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Mike Van Kempen

Chief Operating Officer

Mike joined U-Nest in September 2019 as COO. He was previously at Acorns, a financial wellness platform, where he spearheaded the analytics and growth initiatives. Mike successfully expandedAcorns’ paid acquisition strategy, adding over 4.5 million investment accounts. Mike began his career in strategy & analytics at Belly, a Chicago-based loyalty startup in 2012. At Belly, Mike led projects that fueled growth across all aspects of the business, growing the customer base from1,000 to over 11,000 merchants, and accumulating a membership of over 2 million customers.Mike holds a B.B.A. in Finance from Loyola University of Chicago.

Steve Buchanan

Chief Technology Officer

Steve has over 20 years of experience in delivering digital innovations in the financial sector. Steve previously orchestrated product architecture and innovation as a Solutions Architect/ Fintech consultant at Union Bank. Prior to Union Bank, he was Chief Architect and Director of Engineering at Calypso, a Silicon Valley startup, where he architected and built multiple financial solutions. He was also Head of Global Integrations at Globe One in Vietnam where he integrated its Peer-to-Peer lending products into core banking solutions. Steve also built the first ever electronic Equities &Equity Options trading systems for Scottish stock brokers Wood Mackenzie (acquired by CountyNatWest). He is a graduate of Edinburgh University.

Peter Mansfield

Chief Marketing Officer

Peter has built an impressive track record in multiple financial industry segments including payments, credit/prepaid cards and lending. He has played an instrumental role at a succession of financial industry leaders, co-founding companies such as Brand3 (acquired by American Express) and PropertyBridge (acquired by Moneygram), and, as the early stage marketing lead at Marqeta (where he was team member number two), BillFloat and WallabyFinancial (acquired by Bankrate).He has helped fast-growth companies reach an aggregate market value of close to $8 billion. Peter holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Angila, UK.

Sonya Kidman

Client Relationship Manager

Sonya Kidman is a Customer Success professional with a decade of experience in advocating for consumer through user research and genuine empathy. Sonya specializes in user behavior and regularly attends national and global training sessions in wellness and people analytics tools. Sonya is a true global citizen was born in Russia, grew up in Israel, lived and worked in Canada and NewZealand. That global expertise along with an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Tel AvivUniversity have helped to shape a bullet-prof Sonya's framework to develop a winning customer strategy.

Frank Mastrangelo

Board Member

One part banker and one part technologist, Frank spent his early days with the Annenberg Foundation and PNC Bank. His career path led him to Jefferson Bank, where he led the build-out of its electronic banking platforms, and where he would forge a powerful alliance with The Bancorp co-founder Betsy Z. Cohen. As President and COO of The Bancorp from its inception in 1999 Frank played a critical role in helping the organization become an industry bellwether for branchless financial services and a global leader in payments. For this, he has become a widely respected fintech expert, and thought-leader. Frank was recognized in 2013 by Banking Innovation, a leading industry journal, as an “Innovator to Watch.” and as one of the innovators shaping the future of banking. Frank is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania.