Credit card deals almost always sound good when you first get an offer. With names like gold and platinum attached to a card, it’s easy to fall for the hype–until you realize how these cards are marketed. Having a basic understanding of the common tricks of the trade in the credit card industry can help you make better financial decisions.

Here are some to watch out for:

  1. Low Interest – Sure, you may be promised a low rate, but these often don’t last. The best rates are reserved for those with impeccable credit. If this isn’t you, make sure you pay attention to the fine print.
  2. Precious Plastic – Many credit card offers try their best to make you feel important. Simply adding the word platinum to your card may seem like you have achieved some higher status, but oftentimes it’s just a marketing gimmick to lure you in.
  3. Small Business Credit Cards – Often a business credit card doesn’t carry the same protections as a personal credit card. In addition, it doesn’t build credit for your business because it’s attached to your personal credit.
  4. Pre-Approved – This doesn’t carry with it any sort of guarantee. You are still required to go through the same approval process as everyone else.
  5. Bonus Offers – Extra points or cashback may require that you spend a certain amount by a specific time. This may force you to spend in ways you hadn’t considered before, offsetting any sort of bonus you may have attained.

Bottom line, make sure you are always looking out for yourself and reading the fine print. You may benefit from the use of a credit card or two, but don’t let credit card companies take advantage of you.