Credit cards represent the best and worst in life. On the one hand, pulling them out of your wallet and sliding them at the store register means you get your hands on what you wanted to buy. On the other hand, you get to curse and swear at the bill that shows up in your mailbox a few weeks later. Read on the find out how to maximize the good while minimizing the bad.
If you see any suspicious charges, report them quickly. By doing so you give the credit card company the best chance of catching the thief. In addition, this is the best method of ensuring you aren’t responsible for the charges. Any charges that you did not make need to be reported to your credit company with a phone call or a high priority email.
Shop around for a card. Interest rates and terms can vary widely. There are also various types of cards. There are secured cards, cards that double as telephone calling cards, cards that let you either charge and pay later or they take out that charge from your account, and cards used only for charging catalog merchandise. Carefully look at the offers and know what you need.
If you have multiple cards that have a balance on them, you should avoid getting new cards. Even if you are paying everything back on time, there is no reason for you to take the chance of getting another card and making your financial situation any more strained than it already is.
Be sure to always pay for your credit cards on time. You always have to pay off your credit card balance by a certain date. If you fail to make a payment by this date, you will be charged large fees by your credit card company. You may also have to pay more interest on future purchases if you engage in this behavior.
There are many cards that offer rewards just for getting a credit card with them. While this should not solely make your decision for you, do pay attention to these types of offers. I’m sure you would much rather have a card that gives you cash back than a card that doesn’t if all other terms are close to being the same.
As a general rule, you should avoid applying for any credit cards that come with any type of free offer. More often than not, anything that you get free with credit card applications will always come with some sort of catch or hidden costs that you are sure to regret later on down the road.
Keep track of what you are purchasing with your card, much like you would keep a checkbook register of the checks that you write. It is far too easy to spend spend spend, and not realize just how much you have racked up over a short period of time.
Never apply for more credit cards than you actually need. It’s true that you need a few credit cards to help build your credit, but there is a point at which the amount of credit cards you have is actually detrimental to your credit score. Be mindful to find that happy medium.
Call your lender if you are unhappy with the interest rate on your credit cards. Request that they reduce it. If they don’t want to work with you, look around for a more ideal interest rate. If you locate one, go with this company, as they can better help your needs.
If you have poor credit, you might want to look into secured credit cards. A balance is required as collateral with these kinds of credit cards. This means that you are borrowing from yourself and then paying interest to do so. This is not a great situation to be in, but it can be a way to dig yourself out of a credit hole. Stick with companies that have a good reputation when you are getting a secured card. Later, you will be able to get an unsecured card.
Check with your credit card company, to learn if you can set up, and automatic payment each month. Many companies will allow you to automatically pay the full amount, minimum payment, or set amount out of your checking account each month. This will ensure that your payment is always made on time.
Stay away from high interest credit cards. Many people see no harm in getting a credit card with a high interest rate, as they are sure that they will always pay the balance off in full each month. Unfortunately, there are bound to be some months when paying the full bill is not possible.
The credit cards in your life can swing both ways. While they can mean the instant gratification of that new item you wanted at the mall, they can also mean a headache in the mail a month later. This article has provided you with ideas on how to reap your rewards without sweating the downside much. Apply what you have learned to excel at both.