Theme 4 Lesson 15:
Shopping for a Credit Card

In 2007, nearly three-fourths of all U.S. families had at least one credit card. According to the Federal Reserve, 46 percent of families carried a balance on their cards. The median balance carried was $3,000. Americans are obviously in love with their credit cards, but they are not always well informed about them. They may not know that all credit cards are not created equal. The first part of this lesson emphasizes that credit cards differ from one another in terms of annual fees, annual percentage rates, grace periods, and credit limits. The second part shows students how to read a credit card statement so that they can see the real cost of charging goods and services.

Visuals & Activities


  • Annual Fee
  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
  • Credit
  • Credit Card
  • Credit Limit
  • Grace Period

Standards in Economics and Personal Finance

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