Owning a credit card has many advantages. For example, you can use a credit card to buy goods online. Unfortunately, when you apply for a new credit card, there are a few thing that you should always keep in mind. Here are some tips that will make obtaining and using a credit card, easy.

Obtain a copy of your credit score, before you begin applying for a credit card. Credit card companies will determine your interest rate and conditions of credit by using your credit history, among other factors. Checking your credit score before you apply, will allow you to make sure you are getting the best rate possible.

To make the best decision regarding the best credit card for you, compare what the interest rate is amongst several credit card options. If a card has a high interest rate, it means that you will pay a higher interest expense on your card’s unpaid balance, which can be a real burden on your wallet.

If you have multiple cards that have a balance on them, you should avoid getting new cards. Even if you are paying everything back on time, there is no reason for you to take the chance of getting another card and making your financial situation any more strained than it already is.

Get into the habit of paying your credit cards billing on a timely basis. Your credit card payments have a date that they are due by and ignoring them will cost you additional fees. 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.

The signature strips on the back of your new credit cards should be signed as soon as you receive them. Too many consumers forget this important step, and their credit cards are that much more at risk of theft. At some stores, cashiers will verify your signature on the card against the signature you sign to the receipt as an added security measure.

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.

If you are having trouble with overspending on your credit card, there are several ways to save it only for emergencies. One of the best ways to do this is to leave the card with a trusted friend. They will only give you the card, if you can convince them you really need it.

It is important for people not to purchase items that they cannot afford with credit cards. Just because an item is within your credit card limit, does not mean you can afford it. Make sure anything you buy with your card can be paid off by the end of the month.

If you are thinking of ordering a credit card via the mail, ensure you properly protect your personal information by having a mailbox with a lock. Many credit cards get stolen from mailboxes that do not have a locked door on them.

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.

See if your credit card issuer is willing to lower your interest rate. If you have a positive credit history with the company, they may be willing to reduce the interest they are charging you. This can save you hundreds of dollars a year and all it takes is a phone call.

When getting a credit card, have the account active for as long as possible. You should avoid switching to different accounts, if possible. Length of account history directly affects your credit score. You must keep an account open to build credit.

When you receive a replacement credit card in the mail, cut up your old one, and throw it away immediately. This can prevent your old card from becoming lost, or stolen, allowing someone else to get hold of your credit card number, and use it in a fraudulent way.

If have a missing or stolen credit card, report it as soon as possible to the card issuers. Several companies have a 24-hour service and toll free number on their statement for this reason. To protect yourself, after calling, write a letter to every issuer. The letter should provide your card’s number, the date it went missing, and the date it was reported.

When considering whether or not you want to apply for a credit card, be sure that this is one that you both need and have a good chance of being accepted for. It is important to consider this, because with each credit application that you make, you are receiving a hard inquiry on your credit record. This can lead to lower scores with each credit check.

If you are to lose your job, or fall behind on payments, you are going to want to know ahead of time what your options are. Credit card companies do like to give you this information up front, but it is up to you to take it into consideration. Therefore, think ahead, and pay attention to these details as well.

As previously stated, owning a credit card or two has many advantages. By applying some of the advice contained in the tips featured above, you can be sure that using a credit card doesn’t end up costing you a lot of money. Furthermore, some of the tips could help you to, actually, make some extra money when you use a credit card.