Credit cards have gotten a very bad rap over the last few years. This article will show you how credit cards can be used to your advantage, how to keep from making mistakes that can cost you, and most importantly, how to get yourself out of trouble if you’ve already waded in too deep.
Those of you who want a new card should keep their searches to those that have no annual fees and interest rates that are low. There are plenty of cards you can get that don’t have an annual fee associated with them, so they are pretty much a waste of your money.
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.
Do not pick a pin number or password that could easily be picked out by someone else. When you use something such as when you were born or what your middle name is then people can easily get that information.
If you do not own a locking mailbox, never order credit cards through the mail. A lot of people who have stolen credit cards in the past did so with ease, because they’ve done it on mailboxes that aren’t locked.
Many companies advertise that you can transfer balances over to them and carry a lower interest rate. This sounds appealing, but you need to carefully consider your options. Think about it. If a company consolidates a higher amount of money onto one card and then the interest rate spikes, you are going to have a hard time making that payment. Know all the terms and conditions, and be careful.
Know your credit history before applying for new cards. The new card’s credit limit and interest rate will depend on how bad or good your credit history is. Avoid any surprises by getting a report on your credit from each of the three credit agencies once a year. You can get it free once per year from AnnualCreditReport.com, a government-sponsored agency.
Never allow yourself to open too many credit card accounts. Instead, find two or three that really work for you and stick to those. Having too many credit cards can harm your credit and it makes using money that you do not have that much easier. Stick to a couple cards and you will remain safe.
It is important to always review the charges, and credits that have posted to your credit card account. Whether you choose to verify your account activity online, by reading paper statements, or making certain that all charges and payments are reflected accurately, you can avoid costly errors or unnecessary battles with the card issuer.
Find out if the interest rate on a new card is the regular rate, or if it is offered as part of a promotion. Many people do not realize that the rate that they see at first is promotional, and that the real interest rate may be a significant amount more than that.
Compare rewards programs before you choose a credit card company. If you plan to use your credit card for a large percentage of your purchases, a rewards program can save you a great deal of money. Every rewards programs is different, it would be best, to research each one before you make a decision.
Negotiate the interest rate you pay. A lot of the time these credit card companies will help you to lower your interest rate if you just request it. As long as you have kept up with your monthly payments and used your credit card responsibly, a credit card provider is very likely to decrease your credit card’s APR when you ask them.
Pick one credit card with the best rewards program, and designate it to regular use. This card can be used to pay for gas, groceries, dining out, and shopping. Be sure to pay it off each month. Designate another card for charges like, vacations for the family to be sure you do not overdo it on the other card.
Although you may be tempted to make all your purchases with your credit card, it is often better to use cash for small purchases. Lots of vendors set a minimum amount before you can use your credit card, which just pressures you to make extra purchases. Only use a card if you’re making a purchase above $10.
If you have more than one credit card, leave one at home always. Use it perhaps for online purchases made from home, but do not take it out with you. This way, if you do wind up slipping up and running up the cards in your wallet, you still have an available credit card to use for emergencies.
When it comes to credit cards, be sure that you are weary of any sort of free offers. This is important, because a lot of times, the freebies that you are offered can be thought of as traps that may lure you in and end up costing you a lot of money in the future.
If you lose your card, or it is stolen, contact the card company right away. They will immediately terminate the card so it can’t be used by someone else. Then, the company will send you a new card with a new number.
Carry only the credit cards you plan to use with you. This way you can keep track of them and will notice if they should go missing. There are a lot of people out there that steal this kind of information, so keep track of your credit cards. If you believe you have lost a card, cancel it quickly.
Some people need help getting out of a jam that they have created, and others are trying to avoid the pitfalls that they know are out there. Regardless of which camp you came from, this article has shown you the best ways to use credit cards and avoid the deep debt that comes along with them.