Credit card usage is an almost universal fact of modern life. There can be no denying that credit cards represent a degree of convenience and flexibility that is hard to beat. However, the key to smart credit card utilization is knowledge. By reading the ideas in this piece, it is possible to acquire the breadth of understanding necessary to make wise financial decisions.
If you have two to three credit cards, it’s a great practice to maintain them well. If you can pay your bill in full each month, this number of cards will help you to improve your credit score. Having tons and tons of credit cards, however, will not look very good to lenders.
When looking over your statement, report any fraudulent charges as soon as possible. This allows the credit card issuer the best opportunity to find the offender. It also ensures you are not responsible for any charges made on the lost or stolen card. Any charges that you did not make need to be reported to your credit company with a phone call or a high priority email.
Do not lend your credit card to anyone. Credit cards are as valuable as cash, and lending them out can get you into trouble. If you lend them out, the person might overspend, making you responsible for a large bill at the end of the month. Even if the person is worthy of your trust, it is better to keep your credit cards to yourself.
You should always try to negotiate the interest rates on your credit cards instead of agreeing to any amount that is always set. If you get a lot of offers in the mail from other companies, you can use them in your negotiations, to try to get a much better deal.
Make friends with your credit card issuer. Most major credit card issuers have a Facebook page. They might offer perks for those that “friend” them. They also use the forum to address customer complaints, so it is to your advantage to add your credit card company to your friend list. This applies, even if you don’t like them very much!
Pay your minimum payment on time each month, to avoid more fees. If you can afford to, pay more than the minimum payment so that you can reduce the interest fees. Just be sure to pay the minimum amount before the due date.
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.
In order to keep a good credit rating, be sure to pay your bills on time. Avoid interest charges by picking a card that has a grace period. Then you can pay the entire balance that is due each month. If you cannot pay the full amount, pick a card that has the lowest interest rate available.
Consider unsolicited credit card offers very carefully before you accept them. If an offer that comes to you looks good, read all the fine print to make sure you understand the time limit for any introductory offers on interest rates. Also, be aware of fees that are required for transferring a balance to the account.
Be aware that there are credit card scams out there as well. Many of those predatory companies prey on people that have less than stellar credit. Some fraudulent companies for example will offer credit cards for a fee. When you send in the money, they send you applications to fill out instead of a new credit card.
It is good credit card practice to pay your full balance at the end of each month. This will force you to charge only what you can afford, and reduces the amount of interest you carry from month to month which can add up to some major savings down the line.
Use a credit card to pay for a recurring monthly expense that you already have budgeted for. Then, pay that credit card off each and every month, as you pay the bill. Doing this will establish credit with the account, but you don’t have to pay any interest, if you pay the card off in full each month.
Few people are totally unfamiliar with credit cards, as they are a staple in almost everyone’s financial lives. The lynchpin of smart, strategic utilization of credit cards, however, is a complete understanding of the ways in which they work. Keep the concepts in this article close at hand, and you will have the tools necessary to craft a responsible, prosperous financial plan using your credit cards.