Why should you use credit? How can credit impact your life? What kinds of interest rates and hidden fees should you expect? These are all great questions involving credit and many people have these same questions. If you are curious to learn more about how consumer credit works, then read no further.
To help you get the maximum value from your credit card, choose a card which provides rewards based on the amount of money you spend. Many credit card rewards programs will give you up to two percent of your spending back as rewards which can make your purchases much more economical.
Ensure you pay your payment by the due date to boost your credit score. Late payments involve fees and damage your credit. Setting up an automatic payment schedule with your credit card company or bank can save you time and money.
Know what interest rate your card has. This is especially true before signing up for a new card, so read the fine print or ask the right questions to determine the interest rate you would be paying with the card. Choosing a card with a high interest rate will cost you dearly if you carry a balance. It’s always a good idea to pay off your credit card in full every month, but this may be impossible if you are paying more than you expected.
Never give out your credit card number to anyone, unless you are the person that has initiated the transaction. If someone calls you on the phone asking for your card number in order to pay for anything, you should ask them to give you a way to contact them, so that you can arrange the payment at a better time.
Be smart with how you use your credit. Many people are in debt, due to taking on more credit than they can manage or else, they haven’t used their credit responsibly. Do not apply for any more cards unless you need to and do not charge any more than you can afford.
Only take cash advances from your credit card when you absolutely have to. The finance charges for cash advances are very high, and very difficult to pay off. Only use them for situations in which you have no other option. But you must truly feel that you will be able to make considerable payments on your credit card, soon after.
If you have any credit cards that you have not used in the past six months, then it would probably be a good idea to close out those accounts. If a thief gets his hands on them, you may not notice for a while, because you are not likely to go looking at the balance to those credit cards.
You can save yourself money by asking for a lower interest rate. If you have a history with the credit card company and have been making payments on a timely basis, you might be able to ask for a better rate. A phone call could be all you need to do to get a good rate in which you would be able to save money.
Make sure that any websites that you use to make purchases with your credit card are secure. Sites that are secure will have “https” heading the URL instead of “http.” If you do not see that, then you should avoid purchasing anything from that site and try to find another place to buy from.
If you do a lot of traveling, use one card for all of your travel expenses. If it is for work, this allows you to easily keep track of deductible expenses, and if it is for personal use, you can quickly add up points towards airline travel, hotel stays or even restaurant bills.
Before you pick a credit card be sure that it accepted at most businesses in your area. There are only a few credit card companies that are accepted nationwide, so be sure you know which ones these are if you plan to purchase things around the country. Also, if you plan to travel abroad, be sure you have a card that is accepted where you might travel as well.
If you are getting rid of an old credit card, cut up the credit card through the account number. This is especially important, if you are cutting up an expired card and your replacement card has the same account number. As an added security step, consider throwing away the pieces in different trash bags, so that thieves can’t piece the card back together as easily.
By reading this article you are a few steps ahead of the masses. Many people never take the time to inform themselves about intelligent credit, yet information is the key to using credit properly. Continue educating yourself and improving your own, personal credit situation so that you can rest easy at night.