Sorting through all the credit card options on the market can be overwhelming. From varying credit limits to airline miles to award points to membership rewards, all these incentives are designed to give us reasons to choose one credit card over another. It can be difficult to figure out which card suites your needs best. One thing is for certain, though; a credit card is only as good as its security features.

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Credit card fraud is real and happens more than you would expect. Many credit companies offer fraud protection, and these are the companies you want to use for credit. If the card you are interested in applying for doesn’t come with at least the following three security features, look elsewhere.

1. Automatic warnings for questionable purchases: You need a card that promises to automatically notify you of any and all questionable charges. Some credit cards can even be set up to notify you of charges made over a certain amount. This is an important security feature, because most consumers don’t have the time to check their credit card accounts every day. With potential fraud notifications, you don’t have to worry about not noticing a fraudulent charge too late.

2. No liability for fraud: Be sure to read the fine print of the credit card’s terms and conditions. Only cards that can guarantee you will never be held responsible for fraudulent charges are acceptable. This guarantee may only be given if you follow certain procedures, but these procedures are usually fair and lawful. Make sure you understand and agree with these terms before applying for the card, as being held liable for charges you never authorized can cause personal financial trouble, including damages to your credit score, debt and bankruptcy.

3. Full-service fraud department: Just as important as the previous two features is a credit card that offers excellent customer service, especially in the fraud department. To find out how credit companies rank in this department, look for credible online reviews at websites like and In addition, give each credit company a phone call and quiz the customer service representative about their fraud department to gauge competence and product knowledge before you apply for a card. Chances are, if they don’t seem interested in gaining your business, they won’t be interested in keeping it, either.

Most major credit card companies, like Visa, American Express and Discover, offer fraud protection for their customers. However, the specific terms of each card vary, so you will need to review the fraud protection plans of each in detail to make a fully informed decision. It is also highly important to not discount the importance of a company’s customer service history, in regards to fraud. It reflects the company’s ability to handle the issue in a satisfactory manner.

As a regular contributor to several finance websites, like, Stella Walker uses her knowledge of economics, consumer trends and budgets to help readers better understand their own personal finance issues.

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