Don’t let the fear of credit cards stop you from improving your score, buying the things you need or want. There are proper ways to use credit cards, and when done correctly, they can make your life better instead of worse. This article is going to show you just how to do it.

Be sure that you only use your credit card on a secure server, when making purchases online to keep your credit safe. When you input your credit card information on servers that are not secure, you are allowing any hacker to access your information. To be safe, be sure that the website starts with the “https” in its url.

Take the time to play around with numbers. Before you go out and put a pair of fifty dollar shoes on your credit card, sit with a calculator and figure out the interest costs. It may make you second-think the idea of buying those shoes that you think you need.

Whenever you are considering a new credit card, you should always avoid applying for credit cards that have high interest rates. While interest rates compounded annually may not seem all that much, it is important to note that this interest can add up, and add up fast. Make sure you get a card with reasonable interest rates.

Every time you decide to apply for a new credit card, your credit report is checked and an “inquiry” is made. This stays on your credit report for up to two years and too many inquiries, brings your credit score down. Therefore, before you start wildly applying for different cards, research the market first and choose a few select options.

If you are determined to stop using credit cards, cutting them up is not necessarily the best way to do it. Just because the card is gone doesn’t mean the account is no longer open. If you get desperate, you may ask for a new card to use on that account, and get trapped in the same cycle of charging you wanted to get out of in the first place!

Sometimes, when people use their credit cards, they forget that the charges on these cards are just like taking out a loan. You will have to pay back the money that was fronted to you by the the financial institution that gave you the credit card. It is important not to run up credit card bills that are so large that it is impossible for you to pay them back.

Although it can be tempting to make payments right after purchasing something, avoid this. Waiting to pay the bill in full at the end of the month is a better practice. This will help boost your credit score and help you obtain a stronger payment history.

Understand the current laws that apply to credit cards that have changed in the past few years. Credit card issuers may not assess retroactive interest rate hikes, as an example. They are also never allowed to double-cycle their billing practices. Research the relevant laws. The two major legislative changes recently are called the CARD Act and the Fair Credit Billing Act.

If you are carrying a high balance on your credit card, do all you can to lower it. Having high balances on various cards can make it difficult to get credit for other purposes. Poor credit will interfere with your ability to do things such as buy a new car or rent an apartment. You may even be barred from some jobs if you have poor credit.

Don’t place your credit card number on anything that is visible to the public. This includes on the backs of postcards, on the outside of envelopes, and on publicly visible (and unsecure) areas of social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Sharing your information on mail or on social media can lead to serious credit theft.

Read all the fine print before applying for a credit card, to avoid getting hooked into paying excessively high interest rates. Many introductory offers are just ploys to get consumers to bite and later, the company will show their true colors and start charging interest rates that you never would have signed up for, had you known about them!

If you are going to be using your credit card to purchase something that is really out of the norm, it’s a smart idea to contact the issuer first. For example, if you’ll be using your card abroad or making an extremely large purchase, it’s smart to let them know about it in advance. Doing this will keep your card from being frozen for suspected identity theft.

Don’t hesitate paying off one credit card with a different card if interest rates are more favorable. If the rates and fees are essentially the same, pay off the one with the most perks first. Just be certain you do the proper calculation first.

Keep a list of all your credit card information in a safe place. List all of your credit cards along with the credit card number, expiration date and phone number, for each of your cards. By doing this you will always have all of your credit card information in one place should you need it.

Owning credit cards is a privilege, not a right. Good credit goes hand-in-hand with smart credit card use. People who are responsible know that it is important to make all monthly payments promptly and to keep track of their spending.

It is usually best to stick with major credit card issuers. Most of the time they have more benefits and they are more reputable. When looking for a credit card, you’ll want to choose a major company. When all is said and done, your financial future is on the line.

You have read a lot here today about how to avoid common mistakes with credit cards, and also the best ways to use them wisely. Although there is a lot of information to learn and remember, this is a good starting point for making the best financial decisions that you can.