Credit cards represent the best and worst in life. On the one hand, pulling them out of your wallet and sliding them at the store register means you get your hands on what you wanted to buy. On the other hand, you get to curse and swear at the bill that shows up in your mailbox a few weeks later. Read on the find out how to maximize the good while minimizing the bad.
When it comes to credit cards, always try to spend no more than you can pay off at the end of each billing cycle. By doing this, you can help to avoid high interest rates, late fees and other such financial pitfalls. This is also a great way to keep your credit score high.
Don’t fall for the introductory rates on credit cards when opening a new one. Be sure to ask the creditor what the rate will go up to after, the introductory rate expires. Sometimes, the APR can go up to 20-30% on some cards, an interest rate you definitely don’t want to be paying once your introductory rate goes away.
Keep careful record of your charges to be sure that you can afford what you spend. It can be easy to spend more on your credit card than you intended, so make the decision to keep a total on a spreadsheet or in a written record.
To make the best decision regarding the best credit card for you, compare what the interest rate is amongst several credit card options. If a card has a high interest rate, it means that you will pay a higher interest expense on your card’s unpaid balance, which can be a real burden on your wallet.
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.
If you need to use credit cards, it is best to use one credit card with a larger balance, than 2, or 3 with lower balances. The more credit cards you own, the lower your credit score will be. Use one card, and pay the payments on time to keep your credit score healthy!
Keep an eye on mailings from your credit card company. While some might be junk mail offering to sell you additional services, or products, some mail is important. Credit card companies must send a mailing, if they are changing the terms on your credit card. Sometimes a change in terms can cost you money. Make sure to read mailings carefully, so you always understand the terms that are governing your credit card use.
One important tip for all credit card users is to make a budget. Having a budget is a great way to figure out whether or not you can afford to buy something. If you can’t afford it, charging something to your credit card is just a recipe for disaster.
If you are purchasing something at a retail location with a credit card, make sure that you never leave any spaces on the receipt blank. If you are not giving a tip, put a mark through that space to avoid someone adding an amount there. You must also review statements regularly to verify the accuracy of charges to your account.
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.
Try setting up a monthly, automatic payment for your credit cards, in order to avoid late fees. The amount you need for your payment can be automatically withdrawn from your bank account and it will take the worry out of getting your monthly payment in on time. It can also save money on stamps!
The credit cards in your life can swing both ways. While they can mean the instant gratification of that new item you wanted at the mall, they can also mean a headache in the mail a month later. This article has provided you with ideas on how to reap your rewards without sweating the downside much. Apply what you have learned to excel at both.