It can be dangerous to use bank cards; you may have heard warnings about overspending, paying high interest or borrowing too much. But, when used the right way, charge cards can provide a person with convenience, a restful mind, and sometimes, rewards. If you want to know a little bit more about how to go about having a credit card in the right way, keep on reading!
Only apply for store cards with merchants you shop with often. Every time you apply for a retail credit card, an inquiry is noted on your credit report. If you’re declined by a few retail chains, for example, you can actually hurt your credit rating in the long term.
Always have a budget for your credit card spending. Your income is already budgeted, so make sure you make an allowance for credit card payments within this. It is unwise to consider credit as being some additional, unrelated source of funds. Set a limit for yourself on how much you are able to spend for your credit card every month. Stick with it and each month, pay it off.
Keep a close eye on your balance. Be aware of what your limit is so that you never exceed it. If you inadvertently go over your credit limit, you will either be heavily penalized or your credit card will be blocked. Exceeding your credit card limit can impede your ability to pay off your balance quickly.
Sign each credit card as soon as you receive it, as most people don’t do this, which makes stolen cards very easy to use. At some stores, cashiers will verify your signature on the card against the signature you sign to the receipt as an added security measure.
When you receive any credit card correspondence, whether in the form of a letter or email, take the time to read it. Credit card companies can make changes to your annual membership fees and things like your interest rates but they have to send you a letter explaining what they have changed. If you object to said changes, you are always able to cancel your card.
Avoid using public computers for any credit card purchases. Sometimes, your information gets stored on a public computer like the ones you find in libraries. Inputting your credit card information on these computers is asking for trouble. Use only your own computer at home for any and all purchases.
Don’t make a written record of your credit card’s PIN or password. Memorize your password, and never share it with anyone else. Anyone will be able to access your account if they get hold of your written pin number, especially if it is stored with your card.
Don’t believe your card interest rate is non-negotiable. The credit industry is very competitive, and you can find many different interest rates. If you are not happy with your interest rate, call your bank and ask them to change it.
A useful tip for all consumers is to hold off making a payment to your card immediately after charging your purchase. All you have to do is wait for a statement to come, and pay that balance. Doing this will improve both your credit score and payment history.
Avoid using your credit card to pay for meals at restaurants, as the charges sometimes take a while to appear on your credit card statement, so you could underestimate your available credit. If you think you owe less than you really do, you can end up overspending and even going over your credit card limit.
Avoid the low interest rate or annual percentage rate hype, and focus on the charges or fees that you will face when using the credit card. Some companies may charge application fees, cash advance fees or service charges, which may make you think twice about having the card.
Keep a note posted in a visible spot in your house, indicating your credit card purchases. By having it in a visible area, you will always know how much you are charging to the card. Too often, we let credit card spending get out of control by not self-monitoring and before long, we find ourselves in hot financial water!
If you submitted your credit card payment late, or if you missed your payment, you should consider asking your credit card company for lower interest rates or fees. If you have been late with a payment, a credit company is likely to add extra fees and raise interest rates. You can usually get these extra charges reduced if you call up the credit card company.
Do not always favor your credit card rather than your debit card just because it provides the opportunity to earn rewards or miles. Charging everything to your card will eventually net you the rewards you are looking for. However, you may get interest and fees equal to several flights.
Make timely payments on a monthly basis. Credit card providers can charge large fees for late payments and can increase the interest rate on your credit card. In addition, your credit report will show the late payment and your credit score will be lowered. Thing about agreeing to automated payments so that you will never be late.
When used mindfully and strategically, credit cards can offer serious benefits. Many people appreciate the flexibility and rewards that come with charge cards. Apply what you have learned in this article to succeed in this area.