If you have never owned a credit card before, you may not be aware of the advantages it contains. A credit card can be used as a alternative form of payment in many locations, even online. In addition to this, it can be used to build a person’s credit score. If these advantages appeal to you, then continue reading for more information on credit cards and how to use them.
Don’t fall for the introductory rates on credit cards when opening a new one. Be sure to ask the creditor what the rate will go up to after, the introductory rate expires. Sometimes, the APR can go up to 20-30% on some cards, an interest rate you definitely don’t want to be paying once your introductory rate goes away.
Monitor your credit card spending closely to avoid overspending. It does not take much to let your spending get out of control, so commit to recording your spending in a spreadsheet or on paper.
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 make more than your card’s minimum payment. This will help you to avoid high interest rates, and it will also help you take years off of the payment structure.
Credit cards should always be kept below a specific amount. This total depends on the amount of income your family has, but most experts agree that you should not be using more than ten percent of your cards total at any time. This helps insure you don’t get in over your head.
In order to keep a good credit rating, be sure to pay your bills on time. Avoid interest charges by picking a card that has a grace period. Then you can pay the entire balance that is due each month. If you cannot pay the full amount, pick a card that has the lowest interest rate available.
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.
Stay away from high interest credit cards. Many people see no harm in getting a credit card with a high interest rate, as they are sure that they will always pay the balance off in full each month. Unfortunately, there are bound to be some months when paying the full bill is not possible.
It is a good rule of thumb to have two major credit cards, long-standing, and with low balances reflected on your credit report. You do not want to have a wallet full of credit cards, no matter how good you may be keeping track of everything. While you may be handling yourself well, too many credit cards equals a lower credit score.
Your oldest credit card is the one that affects your credit report the most. Do not close this account unless the cost of keeping it open is too high. If you are paying an annual fee, ridiculous interest rates, or something similar, then close the account. Otherwise, keep that one open, as it can be the most beneficial to your credit score.
It is an excellent idea to open one credit card account that you do not use. Tuck this credit card away for emergency expenses. Exercise discipline in this matter. Your emergency credit card should only be used in real “last resort” situations. If you ever have to use it, pay it off as quickly as possible after the emergency has passed.
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.
Try not to use credit cards for everyday purchases such as groceries, gas, and clothing. These are things you will most likely need again, before you can pay the balance off. You will end up with a pile of credit card debt that will keep on growing. When you need these types of items, leave your credit cards at home.
When signing up for a credit card, be sure that you check out what all of the penalties are if you miss a payment. This is of great importance because some companies not only will fine you, but they may also permanently increase your APR to an extremely high percentage.
Try to avoid applying for in-store credit cards because they charge much higher fees than traditional credit cards. Most merchants accept all of the major credit cards so it would be a much better idea for you to make purchases with one of those instead of applying for a card with the merchant.
Never do a balance transfer for the wrong reasons. If you have checked out all of the details and it sounds good, you have to make sure it is still worth the hassle. How long have you been with the other company and how much money is this going to save you?
Do not close all your credit accounts, leave one open to help build positive credit. Choose to leave the account with the longest and most positive history open. Lenders will see that you have good account management skills.
Now that you are aware of how beneficial a credit card can be, it’s time to start looking at some credit cards. Take the information from this article and put it to good use, so that you can apply for a credit card and start making purchases.