Credit cards can help people to improve their lifestyles. Having a credit card dramatically increases a person’s financial freedom. But, there is no substitute for wise decision making when it comes to using credit cards. In the following paragraphs, you’ll find essential tips on using your credit cards responsibly.
Try your best to stay within 30 percent of the credit limit that is set on your card. Part of your credit score is made up of assessing the amount of debt that you have. By staying far under your limit, you will help your rating and make sure it does not start to dip.
Emergency, business or travel purposes, is all that a credit card should really be used for. You want to keep credit open for the times when you need it most, not when purchasing luxury items. You never know when an emergency will crop up, so it is best that you are prepared.
You must make a habit of paying credit card bills in a timely fashion. Neglecting your credit card’s due date can result in late charges for you. Furthermore, many credit card providers will increase your interest rate if you fail to pay off your balance in time. This increase will mean that all of the items that you buy in the future with your credit card will cost more.
If you have any credit cards that you have not used in the past six months, then it would probably be a good idea to close out those accounts. If a thief gets his hands on them, you may not notice for a while, because you are not likely to go looking at the balance to those credit cards.
Make sure that any websites that you use to make purchases with your credit card are secure. Sites that are secure will have “https” heading the URL instead of “http.” If you do not see that, then you should avoid purchasing anything from that site and try to find another place to buy from.
Avoid prepaid cards at all costs when looking for cards. This is because they are classified as debit cards, so they will do nothing to help your credit score improve. A lot of them charge additional fees and they act just like a checking account. Put a deposit down and get a secured card that reports to the credit bureaus and helps to improve your score.
It is important to always review the charges, and credits that have posted to your credit card account. Whether you choose to verify your account activity online, by reading paper statements, or making certain that all charges and payments are reflected accurately, you can avoid costly errors or unnecessary battles with the card issuer.
Use a credit card that offers rewards. Not every credit card company offers rewards, so you need to choose wisely. Reward points can be earned on every purchase, or for making purchases in certain categories. There are many different rewards including air miles, cash back or merchandise. Be wary though because some of these cards charge a fee.
Shred old credit card receipts and statements. You can easily purchase an inexpensive home office shredder to handle this task. Those receipts and statements, often contain your credit card number, and if a dumpster diver happened to get hold of that number, they could use your card without your knowledge.
When your credit score is good, it may be time to contact your credit card provider about bringing your interest rate (APR) down, especially if your current rate is a high one. In some cases, they will work with you. Each time you do not pay off your balance, you will save money.
Keep a highly visible note posted somewhere, reminding you of your card’s balance and your recent purchases. Doing this is a good way to keep an eye on your spending and how much you are spending. It can be very, very easy to get deeper and deeper into debt without being aware of it.
Use cards that you do not want to lose. Most creditors will close accounts that have been active for a period of time. One way to prevent this problem is to make a purchase with your most desirable credit cards on a regular basis. Just don’t forget that you must pay the balance in full each month.
Before applying for a secured card, take time to read all of the small print and be sure that you fully understand the terms of the card. Any deposit you make initially may be overshadowed by fees, resulting in a low credit limit.
It’s a great idea to let your credit card provider know in advance that you are going to make a type of purchase you don’t normally make. For example, if you are going out of the country or if you are buying something very expensive, you should tell the credit card company in advance. This could keep your credit card company from shutting your card off due to identity theft.
Be wary of signing up for credit cards for all the wrong reasons. Yes, enough miles for an incredible vacation sounds terrific, but do you really need that additional card? You may find the interest you pay on that card, especially when it is maxed out, will pay for that trip multiple times over.
Credit cards can offer many advantages and increase spending options to create a better lifestyle for consumers. When used properly, they are great assets; but bear in mind that improper use can also ruin a consumer’s financial life. The tips in this article provided credit card advice that will help any consumer in making wise decisions.