Convenience checks tied to a person's credit card account are not somewhy that widely discussed as fees, rates, rewards and various tips of a smart card use. Meanwhile convenience checks are nothing more than just a hidden form of hefty charges imposed on a cardholder straight after cashing it.
So, when next time you receive a mail and find a convenience check with a good amount of money on it, remember about three key factors that can turn your desire of using the easy money into a big headache.
If you have ever taken out a credit card cash advance, the idea of a convenience check is getting clearer for you. Convenience check looks like an ordinary check and contains a certain dollar amount that will be withdrawn from your account once you decide to cash it.
A convenience check that may be filled up with such enticing and provocative sums as $300, $500 and even $1,000 may be a driving force for impulsive shoppers to go on a spending fee, but don't let it take you into deep trouble.
Stop and think of the following traps that a convenience check has prepared for a credit cardholder addicted to spending and strapped for cash.
Convenience can be pricy. A credit cad convenience check allows you to make a big purchase or use it as a balance transfer but you will have to fork out for the privilege. Do not imagine that you can spend this "instant money" and avoid paying charges on it.
You begin accumulating credit card interest rates of up to 20% as soon as you cash the check. The interest is usually accompanied with a flat fee of 2% to 5% of the check amount.
You won't find any information on the interest charges right in the credit card statement. To know the exact figures you will have to dig into the fine print of the credit cardholder agreement or contact the card provider.
Also, beware of the provider's policy of allocating your monthly bill payments. The general policy to use the payment to cover lower interest balances in the first place may keep you accumulating finance charges on the convenience check balance for quite a long time.
Convenience is not protected. Remember a purchase protection plan available on almost any credit card account? When the merchandise bought with a plastic appears faulty, you can request the company to return you your money and remove the purchase from your statement.
It is impossible to fix up with a convenience check. In this case the check operates like your own cash irrevocably gone to the merchant.
High cost and low protection would already be enough to stop a smart cardholder from cashing the check, but there is one more thing.
Convenience provokes crime. Crooks are on their lookout when it comes to a cardholder using a convenience check. Being freely sent by mail and requiring no signature verification, the check can be picked up and used for cashing, going shopping or opening a new credit card account.
Credit card fraud is very often associated with and a frequent result of convenience check using.
Cost. No protection. Fraud. Think no less than 3 times before you cash the alluring dollar amount on the insidious convenience check!