There are lots of horror stories associated with the debt that can accompany credit cards. However, if you use these cards properly there are benefits. These can include rewards and conveniences. To find the advantages associated to credit cards, read this guide for more information.
Keep track of how much money you are spending when using a credit card. Small, incidental purchases can add up quickly, and it is important to know how much you have spend on them, so you can understand how much you owe. You can keep track with a check register, spreadsheet program, or even with an online option offered by many credit card companies.
To make sure you aren’t paying too much for a premium card, ensure the credit card does not require you to pay an annual fee. Platinum and black cars charge very high fees normally, that can range from one hundred dollars all the way up to one thousand dollars. More exclusive cards have higher fees. If you do not need a premium card, don’t get one.
When you are looking over all of the rate and fee information for your credit card make sure that you know which ones are permanent and which ones may be part of a promotion. You do not want to make the mistake of going for a card with very low rates and then they balloon shortly after.
It is good to keep in mind that credit card companies are not your friends when you look at minimum monthly payments. They set minimum payments in order to maximize the amount of interest you pay them. Always pay as much as possible in excess of the minimum payment. Paying off your balance faster helps you avoid expensive finance charges over the life of your debt.
Make friends with your credit card issuer. Most major credit card issuers have a Facebook page. They might offer perks for those that “friend” them. They also use the forum to address customer complaints, so it is to your advantage to add your credit card company to your friend list. This applies, even if you don’t like them very much!
When you are applying for a credit card, only consider those with a low interest rate and no annual fee. Given the sheer number of cards on the market that do not have annual fees, acquiring cards that do require such fees is unnecessary.
It is best to stay away from charging holiday gifts and other holiday-related expenditures. If you can’t afford it, either save to buy what you want or just buy less-expensive gifts. Your best friends and relatives will understand that you are on a budget. You can always ask ahead of time for a limit on gift amounts or draw names. The bonus is that you won’t be spending the next year paying for this year’s Christmas!
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.
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.
Transferring a credit card balance from a high interest credit card to a card where the rate is less, can save you money every month. Credit card companies offer special introductory rates to attract new business to their credit cards. If you take advantage of one of these offers, make sure that you understand the amount of time that the introductory rate offer lasts.
If you have more than one credit card, leave one at home always. Use it perhaps for online purchases made from home, but do not take it out with you. This way, if you do wind up slipping up and running up the cards in your wallet, you still have an available credit card to use for emergencies.
It is inadvisable to pay a credit card’s balance with a different credit card. Many people in financial trouble see this as a way to “buy time” to pay off the debt. This kind of thing will actually just set you up for a bigger problem in the following months.
Ask for reduced interest rates and fees if you miss a payment or make it late. Any time you are overdue with a payment, the issuing company is very likely to enact a rate increase on you, and charge additional fees. If you make a call to the credit company, you can normally have these charges reduced.
When you’re traveling, try to have two credit cards on you. To have more financial options, having two cards, with two independent banks, will help. If you are experiencing trouble in using one card, having one from a similar bank will not help you. If you have two different companies for each card, you will be able to solve more problems.
Avoid the temptation to consolidate multiple credit card accounts onto one card. If your credit balance rises beyond half of your available allowance, your credit score will suffer. These kinds of consolidations should be carefully considered to prevent doing damage to your credit rating. It may save you money monthly, but it could cost you your credit score.
Credit cards can be helpful and beneficial when used the right way. Credit cards can help in an emergency or offer rewards. Use the knowledge you gained to manage your credit card, and build good credit.