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"Knowledge is Power" when it comes to using credit cards,
A Kid's Review
This review is from: The Skinny on Credit Cards: How to Master the Credit Card Game (Perfect Paperback)
Among my first experiences with credit cards was in the early 1990s at weekend Mets games. A credit card marketing firm had set up several tents festooned with Mets beach towels and t-shirts around Shea Stadium.
The towels and t-shirts were not for sale, but for filling out a credit card application. The nice young people manning the booths were quick to point out that there was no obligation to use the card. "There is no catch," one of them said.
All you had to do was fill out the application and they would immediately present you with a towel or t-shirt. And if your application was approved, the new credit card would shortly arrive in the mail.
I had a feeling that there was a catch. I took one of the applications, and between innings, I looked at the fine print. Once you charge an item, there was a 28-day grace period where you would not be charged interest. However, if you didn't pay the full amount, you would hit with an annual 21% finance charge. I tore up the application.
I didn't fall for the ploy. However, I saw plenty of other folks signing up and walking away with Mets beach towels and t-shirts. They may have been free for that day, but I would bet that they would turn out to be the most expensive towels and t-shirts they had come to own. I am sure that many of the naive baseball fans would never have applied for the cards if they understood the fine print.
Too bad these folks didn't have a copy of The Skinny on Credit Cards. Unlike many personal finance books that use long paragraphs to explain the perils of credit card debt, this book uses the "Power Point" slide approach. In a page or less it explains how APRs work, why it's important to pay in full every month, and why credit card companies are not your friend.
This book is geared towards both young and old consumers with short attention spans and little time to read. I read it in an evening. It is well worth the purchase price and is an excellent gift to a college student or young person who is just starting out as well as a guide for those mired in credit card debt looking for a way out.
Author Jim Randel mentions Sir Fancis Bacon's famous quote, "Knowledge is Power" several times in the book. Indeed, read this book and you'll understand credit cards and why you should avoid using them.