The Ultimate Credit Card Quiz

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

The Ultimate Credit Card Quiz
Image: iStockphoto.com/Irina Tischenko

About This Quiz

Americans just love to shop, causing us to buy stuff that we really don't need and sometimes can't afford. Total consumer debt in the United States has reached epic proportions, though it is down since the current fiscal crisis began. If you're one of those people who could use some sound advice on how to use your credit card wisely, our quiz is for you.
Credit card finance charges can go as high as:
3 percent
13 percent
23 percent
Despite finance charges that can go up to a staggering 23 percent, American consumers charged about $1.2 trillion on their general-purpose credit cards in 1999.

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The information on a credit card is read by :
store readers
automated teller machines
both of the above
Your credit card contains identification information and allows you to charge purchases or services to your account. The information on your card may be read by automated teller machines (ATMs), store readers, and bank and Internet computers.

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The first universal credit card was introduced by:
Diners Club, Inc.
In 1950, Diners Club introduced the first universal credit card. Consumers paid an annual fee for the privilege of charging their purchases at a number of stores and businesses.
Diners Credit Card Company
Diners Corporation of America

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Credit card holders can pay their bills:
in their entirety
in installments
both of the above
Bank credit card systems deal with both the merchants and the cardholders, paying the merchants and billing the cardholders. Consumers have the option of paying their bills in their entirety every month or in installments with interest over several months.

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Visa started out as:
BankAmericard
BankAmericard started out as a statewide card in California in 1959 and became the first national bank plan when it received licenses in other states starting in 1966. We know it as Visa since 1976.
American Express
MasterCard

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The first digit in your credit card number signifies:
the credit card system
The first digit in your credit card number indicates which system it belongs to. If you have an American Express card, its number will start with a three. If it's a Visa, it will start with a four, Master Card, a five and Discover Cards start with a six.
the state you live in
the first letter of your name

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The stripe on the back of a credit card is:
a radioactive stripe
a magnetic stripe
The magnetic stripe (or magstripe) on the back of your credit card is made up of tiny iron-based magnetic particles in a plastic-like film. Each magnetic particle is actually a tiny bar magnet
an electrical stripe

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Which device is used to "read" your credit card information?
a card reader
a magstripe reader
A magstripe reader can understand the information on your card's magnetic stripe. If the reader can't read your card, the stripe is probably either scratched or has been erased.
a system reader

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How does the magstripe on your credit card get erased?
through exposure to cold
through exposure to heat
through exposure to a magnet
If your magstripe has been erased, it was probably exposed to either a household magnet or an electronic article surveillance (EAS) tag demagnetizer in a store.

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How many tracks are there on a magstripe?
three
There are three tracks on a credit card magstripe. Each track is about one-tenth of an inch wide and follows the ISO/IEC standard 7811.
10
20

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In order to get cash from an ATM machine, you will need to know your:
personal identification number
Your personal identification number (PIN) allows you to withdraw cash from an ATM machine anywhere in the world. It is encrypted in a database to protect you from unauthorized use of your card.
personal identification code
personal identification data

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A new generation credit card that was introduced in France in 1984 is known as the _____card.
new
smart
A "smart" credit card uses a microprocessor instead of a magnetic strip to store data. All transactions are carried out in an encrypted form that offers greater security than traditional cards.
safe

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Which government body regulates credit card safety?
the Federal Credit Card Commission
the Federal Credit Reporting Commission
the Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) watches out for credit cardholders. In one instance in 1994, the FTC ordered TransUnion credit-reporting bureau to stop selling consumer data to junk-mail producers.

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How can you protect yourself from credit card fraud?
Always sign your card.
Guard your PIN number.
both of the above
To protect yourself from credit card fraud, always sign your card as soon as it arrives, guard your PIN number closely, shred all credit card receipts and statements before discarding and never give your credit-card number over the telephone unless you initiated the call.

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Shopping for a credit card is just as important as shopping for:
a mortgage
Since the choices you make regarding a credit card can save you money in the long run, it is important to do some research first. The Internet is a good place to start, but it's a good idea to call the company yourself to confirm that the information you read on line is up to date.
groceries
clothing

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You should _____ choose a credit card with the lowest annual percentage rate.
always
never
sometimes
Choosing a credit card with the lowest annual percentage rate (APR) -- which is the yearly percentage rate of the finance charge -- is usually a good idea, but do take perks such as cash rebates, discounts or frequent-flier miles into consideration.

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If you've had credit issues in the past, you might have to opt for a _____credit card.
secured
To obtain a credit card if you've already had credit problems, you may have to settle for a secured credit card. You will have to deposit money into a savings account that acts as collateral against your credit line and the interest rate is usually higher, but you will have the convenience of a credit card.
unsecured
insecure

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Which information is important to you when choosing a credit card?
finance charges
size of the credit line
both of the above
The Truth in Lending Act guarantees you access to information that will help you choose a credit card plan. This includes finance charges, size of the credit line, minimum monthly payment required, annual fees and more.

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Which type of credit card carries the logo of an organization in addition to the lender's emblem?
a bank card
a house card
an affinity card
Bank cards are issued by banks, American Express and Diners Club are travel and entertainment cards and house cards, like Sears, are only good in one chain of stores. An affinity card carries the logo of an organization, like Disney, and is basically an advertising tactic with benefits for both the cardholder and the organization.

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What is the most common mistake consumers make when paying their credit card bills?
They make only minimum payments on their credit card bill.
Whenever you can, try to make more than the minimum monthly payment on your credit card bill. You will save money on interest and get out of debt sooner if you pay more each month than what is required.
They make too many payments on their credit card bill.
They make too few payments on their credit card bill.

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You Got:
/20
iStockphoto.com/Irina Tischenko

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