Dealing responsibly with credit cards is one of the challenges of modern life. Some people get in over their heads, while others avoid credit cards entirely. Learning to use credit wisely can improve your quality of life, but you should avoid the common pitfalls. Read on to learn ways to make credit cards work for you.

Be sure to limit the number of credit cards you hold. Having too many credit cards with balances can do a lot of harm to your credit. Many people think they would only be given the amount of credit that is based on their earnings, but this is not true.

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.

Never give out your credit card number to anyone, unless you are the person that has initiated the transaction. If someone calls you on the phone asking for your card number in order to pay for anything, you should ask them to give you a way to contact them, so that you can arrange the payment at a better time.

Be smart with how you use your credit. Many people are in debt, due to taking on more credit than they can manage or else, they haven’t used their credit responsibly. Do not apply for any more cards unless you need to and do not charge any more than you can afford.

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.

When you are making a purchase with your credit card you, make sure that you check the receipt amount. Refuse to sign it if it is incorrect. Many people sign things too quickly, and then they realize that the charges are incorrect. It causes a lot of hassle.

Make sure your balance is manageable. If you charge more without paying off your balance, you risk getting into major debt. Interest makes your balance grow, which can make it difficult to get it caught up. Just paying your minimum due means you will be paying off the cards for many months or years, depending on your balance.

Check with card companies about whether they’re willing to reduce their rates. If you have a positive credit history with the company, they may be willing to reduce the interest they are charging you. It may save you a lot of money later and it doesn’t cost anything to ask them.

When you have a credit card account, the best practice is to keep it open for the longest possible amount of time. Once you open a card, keep it open and use it regularly; don’t constantly switch credit cards. The amount of time you have accounts open impacts your credit rating. A key trick to establishing solid credit is to keep accounts open for long periods of time.

Make a spending plan. When carrying a credit card on you and shopping without a plan, you have a higher chance of impulse buying or overspending. To avoid this, try planning out your shopping trips. Make lists of what you plan to buy, then decide on a charging limit. This plan will keep on track and help you resist splurging.

Do your research on the best rewards cards. Whether you are interested in cash back, gifts, or airline miles, there is a rewards card that can really benefit you. There are many out there, but there is a lot of information available online to help you find the right one. Be careful to not carry a balance on these rewards cards, as the interest you are paying can negate the positive rewards effect!

Prior to applying for a credit card, try to build your credit up at least six months in advance. Then, be sure to take a look at your credit report. By doing this, you are more likely to get approved for the credit card and get a higher credit limit, as well.

To protect your credit, never use a fax to send your credit card information. A fax may be left there for a long time and your information could be stolen by anyone. Any one of those people could unknowingly be a thief. This leaves you wide open to fraudulent charges.

Keep multiple credit card accounts open. Having multiple credit cards will keep your credit score healthy, as long as you pay on them consistently. The key to keeping a healthy credit score with multiple credit cards is to use them responsibly. If you do not, you could end up hurting your credit score.

Always try to use your debit card before your credit card. A great way to help you remember to do this is to put your debit card in a very noticeable space in your wallet, while hiding your credit card further back. By doing this, you will be more likely to choose your debit card over your credit card, even if you are in a rush.

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.

By using the tips found here, you’ll likely avoid getting swamped with credit card debt. Having good credit is important, especially when it is time to make the big purchases in life. A key to maintaining good credit, is using using your credit cards responsibly. Keep your head and follow the tips you’ve learned here.