There are many different kinds of credit cards available to consumers. You’ve probably seen plenty of advertising for cards with a variety of perks, like airline miles or cash back. You should also know that there’s a lot of fine print to go with these perks. You’re probably not sure which credit card is right for you. This article can help take the guesswork out of picking a credit card.
Consumers should shop around for credit cards before settling on one. Many different credit cards are available, each offering a different interest rate, annual fee, and some, even offering bonus features. By shopping around, an individual can find one that best meets their needs. They can also get the best deal when it comes to using their credit card.
Do not use one credit card to pay off the amount owed on another until you check and see which one has the lowest rate. While this is never considered the best thing to do financially, you can occasionally do this to make sure you are not risking getting further into debt.
Make sure to completely understand your credit card terms before signing up with one. Doing so means you will not be surprised by high fees, or a difficult payment schedule. The only way you can fully comprehend a credit card policy, is by reading every inch of fine print.
When signing credit card receipts in stores, don’t leave blank spaces. If your receipt includes a space for indicating a tip, it’s a good idea for you to zero it out or line through it so that an unauthorized amount does not appear on your final bill. Make sure your statements match the charges you make.
Try setting up a monthly, automatic payment for your credit cards, in order to avoid late fees. The amount you need for your payment can be automatically withdrawn from your bank account and it will take the worry out of getting your monthly payment in on time. It can also save money on stamps!
The credit card that you use to make purchases is very important and you should try to use one that has a very small limit. This is good because it will limit the amount of funds that a thief will have access to.
Know your credit history before applying for new cards. The new card’s credit limit and interest rate will depend on how bad or good your credit history is. Avoid any surprises by getting a report on your credit from each of the three credit agencies once a year. You can get it free once per year from AnnualCreditReport.com, a government-sponsored agency.
If you do a lot of traveling, use one card for all of your travel expenses. If it is for work, this allows you to easily keep track of deductible expenses, and if it is for personal use, you can quickly add up points towards airline travel, hotel stays or even restaurant bills.
Keep one low-limit card in your wallet for emergency expenses only. All other cards should be kept at home, to avoid impulse buys that you can’t really afford. If you need a card for a large purchase, you will have to knowingly get it from your home and take it with you. This will give you extra time to think about what you are buying.
Every time you use a credit card, think about the extra expense that it will incur if you don’t pay it off immediately. Remember, the price of an item can quickly double if you use credit without paying for it quickly. If you keep this in mind, you are more likely to pay off your credit quickly.
If you find that you cannot pay your credit card balance in full, slow down on how often you use it. Though it’s a problem to get on the wrong track when it comes to your credit cards, the problem will only become worse if you allow it to. Try to stop using your cards for awhile, or at least slow down, so you can avoid owing thousands and falling into financial hardship.
When deciding which credit card is best for you, be sure to take its reward program into consideration. For example, some companies may offer travel assistance or roadside protection, which could come in handy at some point. Inquire about the details of the reward program prior to committing to a card.
Keep your credit card spending to a small percentage of your total credit limit. Usually 30 percent is about right. If you spend too much, it’ll be harder to pay off, and won’t look good on your credit report. In contrast, using your credit card lightly lessens your stress, and can help improve your credit score.
If you owe money to your credit card company and you cannot afford to pay it, contact your company. You may be able to set up a hardship plan until you are able to pay the money back. This way, you can avoid getting into debt and ruining your credit.
When it comes to credit cards, be sure that you are weary of any sort of free offers. This is important, because a lot of times, the freebies that you are offered can be thought of as traps that may lure you in and end up costing you a lot of money in the future.
Try not to use credit cards for everyday purchases such as groceries, gas, and clothing. These are things you will most likely need again, before you can pay the balance off. You will end up with a pile of credit card debt that will keep on growing. When you need these types of items, leave your credit cards at home.
A little research will go a long way in finding the right credit card to meet your needs. With what you’ve learned, you should no longer intimidated by that fine print or mystified by that interest rate. Now that you understand what to look for, you won’t have any regrets when you sign that application.