Money Talks: Convenience Checks: Crack Cocaine of Credit

If you have a credit card, you've probably seen these before: they're called convenience checks, sent by your credit card company.

But these aren't checks, they're bait. If you bite, you're liable to end up paying high interest and fees in what amounts to a cash advance against your credit card.

So before using these checks, be sure and check out exactly what the deal is: for example, these checks look good: 0% interest for the next six months.

But turn it over and look at the fee: 4% of the check amount - that's $200 bucks on a $5,000 check.

And what happens if someone comes along and steals these checks from your mailbox? True, you're not ultimately responsible, but get ready for major identity theft issues.

Which is why also have to guard against someone taking them from your trash.

And if you want them to stop coming? Good luck with that.

While you can call your credit card company and ask them to stop sending these things, there's no law requiring them to do so.

So if these things annoy you as much as they do me, then you should call and ask to get off their list, and keep your shredder handy.

Want to see a list of the best credit cards? It's right here at I'm Stacy Johnson.