Credit card use can be a tricky thing, given high interest rates, hidden charges and changes in laws. As a consumer, you need to be educated and aware of the best practices when it comes to using your credit cards. Read on for some valuable tips on how to use your cards wisely.
Make sure that you pore over your credit card statement each and every month, to make sure that every single charge on your bill has been authorized by you. Many people fail to do this and it is much harder to fight fraudulent charges after a lot of time has passed.
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.
Pay off as much of your balance as you can each month. The more you owe the credit card company each month, the more you will pay in interest. If you pay even a small amount in addition to the minimum payment each month, you can save yourself a great deal of interest each year.
Keep your receipts from all online purchases. Keep this receipt so that when your monthly bill arrives, you can see that you were charged exactly the same amount as on the receipt. If an error has occurred, lodge a dispute with the seller and your credit card provider immediately. This helps ensure that you never get overcharged for your purchases.
It should be obvious, but many people fail to follow the simple tip of paying your credit card bill on time each month. Late payments can reflect poorly on your credit report, you may also be charged hefty penalty fees, if you don’t pay your bill on time.
If you are going to make purchases over the Internet you need to make all of them with the same credit card. You do not want to use all of your cards to make online purchases because that will increase the chances of you becoming a victim of credit card fraud.
Avoid the temptation to take out loans on your credit cards. It may seem to be the only way to get something paid for, but you must look into other options. Many financial advisers will tell you this and there is a reason for it. It could cost you your credit ratings later.
If you have made the poor decision of taking out a cash loan on your credit card, be sure to pay it off as soon as possible. Making a minimum payment on this kind of loan is a big mistake. Pay the minimum on other cards, if it means you can pay this debt off faster.
To avoid interest charges, don’t treat your credit card as you would an ATM card. Don’t get in the habit of charging every single item that you buy. Doing so, will only pile on charges to your bill, you may get an unpleasant surprise, when you receive that monthly credit card bill.
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.
Don’t carry more credit cards than you need. You might have five cards or more, but consider which of those cards you use most frequently. These can include a gas card and daily charge cards. Carry those two cards on a daily basis, and keep the rest in a safe place at home.
When it is possible, you should trying paying a credit card bill all in one payment. Each month that you don’t pay off your card, you will end up with a finance charge. By paying only the minimum payment, you are increasing the amount of time it will take to pay off your bill considerably.
Be wary of signing up for credit cards for all the wrong reasons. Yes, enough miles for an incredible vacation sounds terrific, but do you really need that additional card? You may find the interest you pay on that card, especially when it is maxed out, will pay for that trip multiple times over.
If you do not want to lose your credit cards, remember to make use of them regularly. If you don’t use your account, that makes the company no profit, so they may just shut down the account and barely warn you about it. Try using credit cards for things that you have money for, then pay them off right away.
Choose one card to use just for online shopping so that you will prepared if a security breach occurs. If you use more than one card, you increase your chances of exposing your information. Just use that one credit card for online purchases.
Want a credit card that gives you frequent flyer miles or cash back? Many people are a sucker for the frequent flyer miles, and that is a good program. Some companies offer both. If you have to make a decision, go with the cash back option. It is a much more lucrative deal, and it will benefit you much more as a whole.
If you have history with your bank, you should inquire about any credit cards they offer. They have all your info and it is more likely that they will approve your application. If your bank is not an option, local credit unions are another good starting point.
Hopefully, this article has provided you with some helpful guidance in the use of your credit cards. Getting into trouble with them is much easier than getting out of trouble, and the damage to your good credit standing can be devastating. Keep the wise advice of this article in mind, the next time you are asked if you are paying in cash or credit.