Personal finance  |  October 12, 2022  |  Jen Ryan

Benefits of having a credit card

Getting—and using—a credit card can be a powerful tool that helps you work toward financial goals, like building a solid credit history.

What you'll learn
  • Why credit cards help you build credit
  • Why credit cards may offer you more security online

If you don’t have a credit card yet—or if you don’t use your credit card often—you may wonder what’s the benefit of regularly using one.

Well, a credit card can be a powerful tool that helps you to work toward financial goals. Here are just three benefits you can take advantage of by getting—and using—a credit card.

Establish and build your credit.

The biggest perk of having a credit card is the ability for you to build a credit history, which will translate into a credit score. A credit score is important because you need a good one to rent an apartment, get a car loan, buy a home, and more. You primarily build a good credit score by spending under your credit limit and making on-time payments towards your credit card balance.

Earn rewards for your regular spending.

Points. Cash-back. Travel perks like hotel discounts. There’s no end to the types of credit card rewards you can earn for buying your everyday purchases like groceries or gas. Think about your personal goals—Do you want to travel more? Do you want to pay off a debt, like your student loans? You can choose a credit card that gives you rewards you can put toward your goals.

Enjoy extra security and protection.

Your credit card can give you more peace of mind when you’re making purchases online. Most credit card companies will help you fight fraudulent charges and won’t hold you responsible for unauthorized charges. Plus, some cards even include extra security benefits, like card encryption and the ability to instantly freeze your account if you lose card.

Every credit card will offer additional perks and benefits that go beyond these three basics. So when it’s time to choose a card, be sure to shop around to see what can best help you reach your financial goals.

footnote Sallie Mae does not provide, and these materials are not meant to convey, financial, tax, or legal advice. Consult your own financial advisor, tax advisor, or attorney about your specific circumstances.