Many people have owned credit cards and found themselves in trouble with high interest rates and increasing amounts of debt. This is because they either didn’t research their cards before applying for them, or because of bad spending decisions. You can avoid making these mistakes with the tips and advice from this article.
When you are unable to pay off one of your credit cards, then the best policy is to contact the credit card company. Letting it just go to collections is bad for your credit score. You will find that most companies will let you pay it off in smaller amounts, as long as you don’t keep avoiding them.
Be sure that you only use your credit card on a secure server, when making purchases online to keep your credit safe. When you input your credit card information on servers that are not secure, you are allowing any hacker to access your information. To be safe, be sure that the website starts with the “https” in its url.
Make sure your card doesn’t have any annual fees, or you will pay too much. The fees for premium credit cards can range from a small amount to a very large amount depending on how many cards the company issues. If you will not use the benefits of an “exclusive” card, the fee is not worth it.
When you are looking over all of the rate and fee information for your credit card make sure that you know which ones are permanent and which ones may be part of a promotion. You do not want to make the mistake of going for a card with very low rates and then they balloon shortly after.
Emergency, business or travel purposes, is all that a credit card should really be used for. You want to keep credit open for the times when you need it most, not when purchasing luxury items. You never know when an emergency will crop up, so it is best that you are prepared.
There is no end to the types of reward programs you can find for credit cards. If you use credit cards often, try to find a card with a great loyalty program. This can provide you with additional money, if you use the card wisely.
Take advantage of the freebies offered by your credit card company. Many companies have some sort of cash back or points system that is attached to the card you own. When you use these things, you can receive cash or merchandise, just for using your card. If your card does not offer an incentive like this, call your credit card company and ask if it can be added.
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.
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.
If you can, do not use your credit card at the grocery store or a restaurant. They take longer to appear on a statement, and you may not know your real available balance. If you think you owe less than you really do, you can end up overspending and even going over your credit card limit.
Do your research prior to applying for a credit card. Certain companies charge a higher annual fee than others. Compare the rates of many different companies to make sure you get the one with the lowest fee. Also, do not forget to find out if the APR rate is fixed or variable.
It is a good rule of thumb to have two major credit cards, long-standing, and with low balances reflected on your credit report. You do not want to have a wallet full of credit cards, no matter how good you may be keeping track of everything. While you may be handling yourself well, too many credit cards equals a lower credit score.
Make sure a note that indicates your purchases is kept in an area in your home where it can be seen. This way, you’ll be reminded of how much you owe and what you are spending your money on. 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!
When you apply the right information and approach to using credit cards, you can avoid some of the common pitfalls and make smart purchasing decisions. Utilizing the information here can save you from high interest charges and huge debts associated with credit cards.