When you open your wallet to pay for gas, your choices are usually cash, debit, or credit. Cash means running inside the store, and waiting in line. Debit can mean triggering ridiculous banks fees. Using your credit card can mean an interest free loan until the bill arrives, making it a common choice. Read on, to learn some ideas you can use to make sure that your credit cards stay a friendly part of your life.
Consumers should shop around for credit cards before settling on one. Many different credit cards are available, each offering a different interest rate, annual fee, and some, even offering bonus features. By shopping around, an individual can find one that best meets their needs. They can also get the best deal when it comes to using their credit card.
Take note of all your credit card expenditures, so that you are sure that you are spending within your means. If you do not consistently write down every single credit card purchase, you can easily lose track of how much you have spent and the new balance on your statement will come as quite a shock.
If at all possible, pay off your credit card in full each month. Try to use your credit as a convenience instead of a way to make ends meet. By using credit and paying it off in full, you will improve your credit score and save money.
Credit cards should always be kept below a specific amount. This total depends on the amount of income your family has, but most experts agree that you should not be using more than ten percent of your cards total at any time. This helps insure you don’t get in over your head.
An important aspect of smart credit card usage is to pay the entire outstanding balance, each and every month, whenever possible. By keeping your usage percentage low, you will help keep your overall credit score high, as well as, keep a substantial amount of available credit open for use in case of emergencies.
It should be obvious, but many people fail to follow the simple tip of paying your credit card bill on time each month. Late payments can reflect poorly on your credit report, you may also be charged hefty penalty fees, if you don’t pay your bill on time.
Watch rewards programs. These programs are quite popular with credit cards. You can earn things like cash back, airline miles, or other incentives just for using your credit card. A reward is a nice addition if you’re already planning on using the card, but it may tempt you into charging more than you usually would just to get those bigger rewards.
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 go to make a purchase with your credit card and you are told that there will a surcharge for using that payment method, you can refuse to pay it and demand they accept your purchase. Many credit card companies do not allow merchants to impose fees, so you should check out the policies of your card company.
Avoid prepaid cards if you are looking to get a secured credit card. In reality, they are debit cards and don’t send reports to credit bureaus that might help improve your record. These cards often have hidden fees, and act more like a checking account than a credit card. Instead, put a deposit down on a secured credit card. These cards report your on-time payments to credit bureaus, which can help you improve your credit.
To avoid interest charges, don’t treat your credit card as you would an ATM card. Don’t get in the habit of charging every single item that you buy. Doing so, will only pile on charges to your bill, you may get an unpleasant surprise, when you receive that monthly credit card bill.
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.
Always try to find a credit card that does not charge an annual fee. Some credit cards that charge annual fees try to entice users with bonus offers or cash back incentives. While these types of rewards might be tempting, really think about whether or not they are worth the annual fee you will be forced to pay. In many cases, they are not.
A lot of banks no longer issue secured credit cards, but it is common to find them being offered through credit unions. If you would like to sign up for a secured credit card, you can open an account with a credit union and take advantage of whatever cards they offer.
Do not cut up all your cards thinking that will end your debt woes. It is true that stopping the bleeding is the first step, you still have to pay down the bills. It is better to get in the habit of just paying off your full balance every month. Having active revolving debt will boost your credit score, and give you lower interest rates, which really helps paying down your debt.
As was mentioned earlier in the article, the credit cards in your wallet are probably a common choice for you to use for payments, for products, and services. Apply what you have learned from this article, to make sure that your credit cards stay a convenience, and not a stressful hassle in your life.