Credit cards can be a benefit as well as a blight to everyday consumers. Among the pros for owning a credit card is that you always have a way of paying for something in an emergency. You can make hotel, airline and car rental reservations. You can make online purchases. You can build a good credit rating and history by using your credit cards responsibly, which will aid greatly when it comes time to ask for a big loan such as a car loan or a mortgage. Another pro of owning a credit card is that you can purchase a good or service and then dispute the charge if a problem arises from the purchased good or service – that kind of protection is not offered when you pay for something in cash. Also, now-a-days, most credit cards offer holders privileges and perks for loyalty in the form of cash back, air miles, discounts on hotels and car rentals, etc… These perks can add up when used properly. The cons of owning and using credits cards are simple – they give consumers a false sense of their purchasing power, they charge horrendous interest on balances that are not paid off in full and they can wreck havoc with your credit history if they are not used correctly. Credit cards can trap people in a terrible cycle of constantly playing catch up with their money. Many people who overspent on their credit cards spend years trying to pay off the balances and end up paying double and sometimes triple the original cost of their purchases in interest. In the end, the pros of owning and credit card far out number the cons. However, though they may be few, the cons have much heavier and far reaching consequences in the long run. So own the cards, but be smart with their usage!