Having a proper understanding of how something works is absolutely essential before you begin using it. Credit cards are no different. If you haven’t learned a thing or two about what to do, what to avoid and how your credit affects you, then you need to sit back, read the remainder of this article and get the facts.
Do not use your credit card to make purchases or everyday items like milk, eggs, gas and chewing gum. Doing this can quickly become a habit and you can end up racking your debts up quite quickly. The best thing to do is to use your debit card and save the credit card for larger purchases.
If possible, pay your credit cards in full, every month. Use them for normal expenses, such as, gasoline and groceries and then, proceed to pay off the balance at the end of the month. This will build your credit and help you to gain rewards from your card, without accruing interest or sending you into debt.
When you are using your credit card at an ATM make sure that you swipe it and return it to a safe place as quickly as possible. There are many people that will look over your shoulder to try to see the information on the card and use it for fraudulent purposes.
If you are not satisfied with the high interest rate on your credit card, but aren’t interested in transferring the balance somewhere else, try negotiating with the issuing bank. You can sometimes get a lower interest rate if you tell the issuing bank that you are considering transferring your balances to a different credit card that offers low-interest transfers. They may lower your rate in order to keep your business!
Don’t make a written record of your credit card’s PIN or password. It is critical that you can recall your password, so you remain the only person with access to it. If you write down these passwords or pins, you could potentially give someone who you do not want to have access to your accounts an open door to them.
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.
Each month when you receive your statement, take the time to look over it. Check all the information for accuracy. A merchant may have accidentally charged a different amount or may have submitted a double payment. You may also find that someone accessed your card and went on a shopping spree. Immediately report any inaccuracies to the credit card company.
Find out if the interest rate on a new card is the regular rate, or if it is offered as part of a promotion. Many people do not realize that the rate that they see at first is promotional, and that the real interest rate may be a significant amount more than that.
Department store cards are tempting, but when trying to improve your credit and keep a great score, you need to keep in mind that you don’t want a credit card for everything. Department store cards can only be used at that specific store. It is their way of getting you to spend more money at that specific location. Get a card that you can use anywhere.
If you are getting rid of an old credit card, cut up the credit card through the account number. This is especially important, if you are cutting up an expired card and your replacement card has the same account number. As an added security step, consider throwing away the pieces in different trash bags, so that thieves can’t piece the card back together as easily.
Shop around for different credit cards. Interest rates and other terms tend to vary greatly. There are also various types of cards, such as cards that are secured which require a deposit to cover charges that are made. Make sure you know what kind of card you are signing up for, and what you’re being offered.
Tuck your credit cards in a separate area of your wallet to prevent using them when you intend to use your debit card. This helps because you will know which card you are using if you are in a hurry and/or not being very attentive.
When offered a credit card with a freebie, be sure to make sure that you check all of the terms of the offer before applying. This is critical, because the free items may be covering up things such as, a yearly fee of an obscene amount. It is always important to read the fine print, and not be swayed by free items.
Sign up for alerts from your credit card company. Most companies offer them and they can be conveniently sent via email or text. These alerts let you know when you are nearing your credit card limit, when you are close to the due date for your payment or even, when suspected fraudulent activities have occurred. They can really help you to manage your credit effectively.
When applying for a credit card, be sure that you check out the schedule of fees that may apply to you. This is important because if you do find yourself in a situation where you miss a payment, you do not want to be faced with late payment fees that you cannot afford.
There are many good aspects to credit cards. Unfortunately, most people don’t use them for these reasons. Credit is far overused in today’s society and just by reading this article, you are among the few that are starting to realize just how much we need to reign in our spending and examine what we are doing to ourselves. This article has given you lots of information to think about and when necessary, to act on.