5 Must-Have Charge Card Services to Look For

Charge card services can make your charge card even more useful than a standard payment card. When you are shopping around for the best type of charge account, look for these features.

#1 Online Bill Pay

If you cannot pay online, then you will see unnecessary delays that can often result in late payment fees or even credit score problems. Most charge cards can be paid through a direct transfer from your bank account. You will never have to write another check to your charge card company, and you will save money on postage. Further, online notifications can even be added to help you remember when a bill is due.

#2 Overdraft Protection

You can often link your charge card to your bank account. When this occurs, you will have the option of covering an overdraft by changing it into a charge to your charge card. Overdrafts often come with extremely high fees. Having the protection of your charge card means you will never have to be worried if your account is too low again, although it is prudent to watch your balance. You will also avoid having your debit card declined due to insufficient funds.

#3 Revolving Credit Options

Charge cards and credit cards may be the same form of financing, or there may be unique differences between the two. One possible difference is that some charge cards do not allow you to let balances revolve month-to-month. If you have to pay down your entire balance before the month is over, you can run into financial difficulties. Look for charge cards that allow you to make minimum monthly payments and then pay off balances at a time convenient to your schedule instead of each billing cycle.

#4 Bonus and Reward Points

You will be surprised how quickly you can rack up bonus points or rewards on a charge card. Some offer cash back; others offer points to shop at a number of favorite stores and restaurants. Some people assume the benefits of rewards programs are very small and not worth changing cards or shopping around for. However, these people will be surprised to see how quickly they rack up points in order to make even large purchases. It is not uncommon for people to purchase plane tickets, electronics and other large items by spending only points earned through their charge card reward program. This is especially true for small business charge cards.

#5 Fraud Protection

Your card should offer you protection from fraud or identity theft. Your charge card company should call you if your card is being used out of state or out of the country. You should also have an easy option to dispute a charge if you know you did not actually make the purchase. Charge card companies that do not offer this option are failing to provide you with one of the key benefits of using plastic instead of carrying cash: protection. Look for the most secure options possible with the least amount of hassle. This will come in particularly handy when you are traveling or shopping online.

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