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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: 07-23-2014

National Average 15.03%
Low Interest 10.37%
Balance Transfer 12.64%
Business 12.80%
Student 13.27%
Cash Back 14.91%
Reward 15.00%
Airline 15.46%
Bad Credit 22.73%
Instant Approval 28.00%