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Anatomy of a smart credit cardholder

From your head to your feet, learn to manage your credit wisely

By Michael Berg

Using a credit card is easy. Grasp it between your thumb and forefinger, swipe it through a reader and, like magic, your purchase is rung up. However, being a savvy credit card customer -- one who deftly avoids burdensome balances while enjoying all the perks offered by credit-issuing companies -- takes a bit more effort, engaging multiple body parts, so to speak. This handy credit card anatomy chart shows you what you need to know to keep your debt load low and your credit score safe.  


See related: 6 credit card terms you can negotiate and change, Best practices for debit card useThe FICO 5: The components that make up a FICO credit score

Published: July 30, 2010

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Credit Card Rate Report

Updated: 03-27-2015

National Average 14.90%
Low Interest 11.62%
Business 12.85%
Student 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.04%
Reward 15.04%
Airline 15.10%
Cash Back 15.28%
Instant Approval 17.93%
Bad Credit 22.48%