card Having your own credit card can be both a godsend and a punishment. While it's nice to be able to buy things through credit, there can be hell to pay once the bill arrives. Charges you aren't aware of, purchases you don't remember making, compounding interests to pay off--these are just some of the problems an average credit card user might encounter.

Still, credit cards can be great--if you know how to use them. To make sure you walk the straight and narrow path, here are 10 credit card rules to live by:

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(First published as "Charge It! 10 Strategies to Be Credit Card Smart" in the "Personal Finance" section of Good Housekeeping Philippines' March 2002 issue. Photo by Dan Iggers via Flickr Creative Commons)

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