Does Your Credit Card Measure Up?

Knowing your card’s mechanics can help you avoid high rates and fees.

You probably know that your credit card comes with an interest rate, a limit on how much you can spend and a minimum amount that you must pay each month. But if you’re not familiar with the nuts and bolts of each card component, take a little time to brush up. Knowing the types of activities that trigger a cash advance, for example, could save you a bundle in interest and fees, and smart use of the grace period lets you finance a purchase interest-free for several weeks.

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Lisa Gerstner
Editor, Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine

Lisa has been the editor of Kiplinger Personal Finance since June 2023. Previously, she spent more than a decade reporting and writing for the magazine on a variety of topics, including credit, banking and retirement. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.