Credit cards can be your best friend or your worst enemy. With just a little attention or energy, you can go out on a shopping spree that ruins you financially for months or maybe even, rack enough points for airline tickets to Europe. To make the most out of your credit cards, read on.
In order to minimize your credit card debt expenditures, review your outstanding credit card balances and establish which should be paid off first. A good way to save more money in the long run is to pay off the balances of cards with the highest interest rates. You’ll save more in the long term because you will not have to pay the higher interest for a longer period of time.
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.
A key credit card tip that everyone should use is to stay within your credit limit. Credit card companies charge outrageous fees for going over your limit, and these fees can make it much harder to pay your monthly balance. Be responsible and make sure you know how much credit you have left.
It is wise to refrain from giving a credit card to a child. It is best to let children wait to get credit cards until they reach the age of 18, or when they can get their own. Instead, consider opening them a checking account and giving them an allowance. This will help them learn to manage a small amount of money so that they will be ready to manage a credit card when the time comes.
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.
It is important to keep your credit card number safe; therefore, do not give your credit information out online or on the phone unless you completely trust the company. Be extra careful if you receive an unsolicited offer for which credit card information is requested. Many scammers all over the world would love to get your credit card information. Protect yourself by remaining diligent.
To avoid excessive fees, always read the fine print of any credit card offer you are considering. Many offers come with a low introductory APR and can be quite enticing. However, further review of the fine print may reveal that that low rate will be increased to a less than appealing rate in as little as 6 months or a year.
Do not go on a spending spree just because you have a new card with a zero balance available to you. This is not free money, it is money that you will eventually have to pay back and going overboard with your purchases will only end up hurting you in the long run.
Pay close attention to all of the interest rates on your credit cards. Many cards charge you different rates depending on the type of transaction you execute. Cash advances and balance transfers commonly command a higher rate than ordinary purchases. You must keep this in mind before you begin shifting money on and off various cards.
Read all the fine print before applying for a credit card, to avoid getting hooked into paying excessively high interest rates. Many introductory offers are just ploys to get consumers to bite and later, the company will show their true colors and start charging interest rates that you never would have signed up for, had you known about them!
In order to avoid using your credit cards accidentally, place them in a different area in your wallet or even hidden behind your debit card. By trying this tactic, if you are not watching what you are doing you are less like to charge an item instead of debiting it for immediate payment.
If you’re thinking of doing a balance transfer, read all of the fine print first. Understand what the interest rate will revert to after the initial introductory rate. Sometimes, a very low introductory rate masks a much higher rate after the initial period passes. Fully understand what the card entails when you sign up for it.
Don’t pay for small purchases with credit cards, even if it’s tempting to do so. Some vendors require a minimum purchase for credit cards and you may buy extra things to bring the charge up. Keep credit expenditures above $10.
Before you go on an international vacation, check the credit card situation in your destination country. Certain cards are more useful than others in different countries. Do not be afraid to open a new account or get a specialized traveler’s card for the duration of your trip. Using your card, without hassles overseas, is worth expending a little effort in planning, before you leave.
Never give your credit card number or information to any company that you are not familiar with. A company may appear to be legitimate, but you never know what may happen behind closed doors. If you do not feel comfortable with a certain company, only use cash when making purchases from them.
When you lose a credit card, you need to inform the credit card company as soon as you possibly can that the card is missing. If a thief uses your card prior to the theft being reported, you might end up paying for whatever they purchased. Once you have reported a card stolen, legally you cannot be liable for any further charges made on the card.
As was mentioned earlier, credit cards can accelerate your life. This can happen towards piles of debt or rewards that lead to dream vacations. To properly manage your credit cards, you must manage yourself and intentions towards them. Apply what you have read in this article to make the most of your cards.