Scott Adair of the New York State Society of CPAs discussed the benefits of using credit cards and some of the dangers as well Monday during News 8 at Sunrise.

Adair said in light of the Equifax breach, it’s a reminder that anytime you have a credit card account your personal information is at risk for being hacked. But there are other considerations for people considering applying for credit.

“First and foremost is the concept you need to stick and adhere to your budget,” Adair said. “Your budget is the primary focus of your financial plan. Credit cards allow ourselves to restrict ourselves in spending but also expand ourselves in spending and also potentially impact our personal budgets.”

Adair noted there is a price to pay for borrowing money, and that price can change over time. “You really need to take a look at the fine print on your credit card information because interest rates may increase over time. You may get a special introductory rate that might creep up there and create some problems for you longer term.”

There are advantages to having a credit card, beyond the increased purchasing power, especially if you are able to pay your balance in full each month. “There are a lot of benefits out there, and again make sure you read the fine print of the credit card to make sure you can adhere to the prescriptive judgments that they require you to have, but in particular there is purchase protection, there’s travel insurance that you can take advantage of if you pay attention to the details of credit card,” said Adair.

Establishing the ability to pay credit card balances on time can help improve your credit score. For business owners, there are benefits to having a credit card as well. “Certainly it can be very helpful from a stand point of documenting business expenses that could be deductible on your tax return at the end of the year, especially charitable contributions if you give through your credit card,” noted Adair.

For more on this topic, visit the New York State Society of CPAs website, click here.