Credit cards may be simple in principle, but they certainly can get complicated when it comes time to charging you, interest rates, hidden fees and so on! The following article will enlighten you to some very helpful ways that you can use your credit cards smartly and avoid the many problems that misusing them can cause.
Do not lend your credit card to anyone. Credit cards are as valuable as cash, and lending them out can get you into trouble. If you lend them out, the person might overspend, making you responsible for a large bill at the end of the month. Even if the person is worthy of your trust, it is better to keep your credit cards to yourself.
Do not sign up for a credit card because you see it as a way to fit in or as a status symbol. While it may seem like fun to be able to pull it out and pay for things when you have no money, you will regret it, when it is time to pay the credit card company back.
Be smart with how you use your credit. Many people are in debt, due to taking on more credit than they can manage or else, they haven’t used their credit responsibly. Do not apply for any more cards unless you need to and do not charge any more than you can afford.
To make sure you select an appropriate credit card based on your needs, determine what you would like to use your credit card rewards for. Many credit cards offer different rewards programs such as those that give discounts on travel, groceries, gas or electronics so pick a card that suits you best!
There are many different kinds of credit cards that each come with their own pros and cons. Before you settle on a bank or specific credit card to use, be sure to understand all of the fine print and hidden fees related to the different credit cards you have available to you.
Use a credit card to pay for a recurring monthly expense that you already have budgeted for. Then, pay that credit card off each and every month, as you pay the bill. Doing this will establish credit with the account, but you don’t have to pay any interest, if you pay the card off in full each month.
It is good practice to check your credit card transactions with your online account to make sure they match up correctly. You do not want to be charged for something you didn’t buy. This is also a great way to check for identity theft or if your card is being used without your knowledge.
Do not sign up for store cards in order to save money on a purchase. Often times, the amount you will pay for annual fees, interest or other charges, will easily be more than any savings you will get at the register that day. Avoid the trap, by just saying no in the first place.
Check with your credit card company, to learn if you can set up, and automatic payment each month. Many companies will allow you to automatically pay the full amount, minimum payment, or set amount out of your checking account each month. This will ensure that your payment is always made on time.
Try to reduce your interest rate. Call your credit card company, and request that this be done. Before you call, be sure you know how long you have had the credit card, your overall payment record, and your credit score. If all of these show positively on you as a good customer, then use them as leverage to get that rate lowered.
If you find that you cannot pay your credit card balance in full, slow down on how often you use it. Though it’s a problem to get on the wrong track when it comes to your credit cards, the problem will only become worse if you allow it to. Try to stop using your cards for awhile, or at least slow down, so you can avoid owing thousands and falling into financial hardship.
Before applying for a credit card, make sure that you investigate all of the fees associated with owning the card and not just the APR interest. Look for fees like service charges, cash advance fees, and application fees.
When deciding which credit card is best for you, be sure to take its reward program into consideration. For example, some companies may offer travel assistance or roadside protection, which could come in handy at some point. Inquire about the details of the reward program prior to committing to a card.
Once you close a credit card account, be sure to check your credit report. Make sure that the account that you have closed is registered as a closed account. While checking for that, be sure to look for marks that state late payments. or high balances. That could help you pinpoint identity theft.
Don’t use cards that have annual fees. Usually, those with higher credit scores do not have to get cards with annual fees. Remember annual fees can take away from any rewards programs that are offered. Therefore, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before applying for a credit card with an annual fee. These fees are usually not heralded by credit card companies; they can usually be read in the small print of the terms and conditions. Get your reading glasses out! Make sure any fees do not outweigh the benefits. Your analysis should dictate your decision.
Hopefully, this article has opened your eyes as a consumer who wishes to use credit cards with wisdom. Your financial well-being is a crucial part of your happiness and your ability to plan for the future. Keep the tips that you have read here in mind for later use, so that you can stay in the green, when it comes to credit card usage!