Credit card purchases can yield perks such as frequent flyer miles or other discounts, if used properly. There is nothing worse than returning from a well deserved vacation to a large credit card bill awaiting payment. You can avoid being one of those people and actually use your card the right way by reading this article.
Inspect the fine print carefully. If you receive an offer touting a pre-approved card, or a salesperson offers you help in getting the card, make sure you know all the details involved. It’s important to know what your interest rate is and will be in the future. You should be aware of any and all fees, and be aware of grace periods.
A lot of companies offer large bonuses for new customers. Read the terms carefully, however; you may have to meet extremely specific criteria in order to get the signing bonus. A common requirement is to spend enough on the card within a short period of time. Only apply for the card if you expect to meet the level of spending needed to get the bonus.
Never use a password or pin code for your credit card that is really easy for people to figure out. When you use something such as when you were born or what your middle name is then people can easily get that information.
A secured credit card may be an option you want to look into if your credit score is in trouble. Secured cards require you to pay a certain amount in advance to get the card. In other words, you will be borrowing money that is yours while paying interest for this privilege. Not a very good idea, unless you are trying to fix your credit score. When getting a secured card, make sure you stay with a reputable company. You may be able to obtain unsecured cards in the future, thereby improving your credit history that much more.
Do not make a payment on your card the moment after you use it. Instead, wait until the card statement comes; then pay off the whole balance. Your payment history will look better, and your credit score will improve.
Avoid closing your credit card accounts. Although you may think this will improve your credit, it could actually hurt your credit score. The fewer accounts you have open, the less total credit you have available, which means you will owe more as a proportion of your credit limit.
A smart move for all card users is to get free credit reports annually and check them for accuracy. Compare the information on the report with your credit card statements and be certain they match.
You can ruin your credit score if you have any credit card debt than you cannot afford to pay back. When this occurs, it can be difficult to get car loans, apartment leases, or maybe even employment.
Under no circumstances should you fax anyone your card number. A fax may sit in an office for a long time, allowing it to be seen by a number of unauthorized people. If any of those people is a thief, you are in trouble. Once they have your information, they could steal your identity, make fraudulent charges, and ruin your credit.
Don’t lie about your income to get a higher limit credit card. The limit given to you by your credit card company may be too high if they don’t verify your income – this can lead to overspending.
Do not carry any cards with you that you do not use daily. You might have five cards or more, but consider which of those cards you use most frequently. As a general rule, these will be the charge and gas cards you use every day. By keeping only these regular use cards with you, you are protecting the rest of the cards from unforeseen circumstances.
Look through your list of credit accounts. You may want to close accounts that you don’t use anymore. Closing accounts that are old prevents them from getting used in a fraudulent manner. You may also close accounts you just don’t want anymore, even if they have a balance. You simply pay the balance off after you close the account.
If you want to hang onto a credit card, make sure that you use it. Many companies automatically close inactive credit card accounts. Using your card every once in a while and paying it on time will ensure that the account remains open. Remember to pay them off in full each month to avoid accumulating debt.
It is not always the best practice to use your credit card because of the airline points or perks that it offers. Building a heavy debt on one card to earn points or rewards may get you free flights. However, you may get interest and fees equal to several flights.
Always bring along two different charge cards when you travel, especially if you are going overseas. You can provide yourself with better financial options by carrying cards provided by two different banks or companies. You may have trouble using a card, and in that situation, a card from the same exact bank probably would not help. With a card from a different institution, your credit will be more accessible.
Pay your cards each month on time. By missing a payment even once, you could see an increase in your interest rate. A payment that is missed or made late also shows up in your credit report and lowers your credit score. Think about doing automatic payments online to completely avoid a chance of a late payment.
Even cards without incentives can be used to benefit your life. People who don’t use their credit cards in a healthy manner will end up suffering high amounts of stress in the future. Use the information you have learned here to be in the group you want to be in.