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I certainly seem to see a lot more stories of young people who are injured through unwise use of credit cards than those who gain some significant benefit from them.

Well, we usually only hear the horror stories. "Everything Normal Today" never made the news headlines.

I actually had my own independent credit card right at 18. Got it because GTE Capital (since merged into Citibank) cold-called me at home with the offer. No idea why, but I'm glad they did. The only real catch was the $20 annual fee, which I did pay for about five years before the account got converted to one without it. It also offered rewards in the form of credit on a phone card, which I relied on quite heavily through college and it probably saved me $100 or more.

I charged about $3000 on that card while in college -- and don't regret it. College was significantly more fun when I let myself have a new computer and Playstation and money to go out for pizza and beer. I knew I could pay it off within six months of working after graduating, and I did.

- Erik
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