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 premium credit cards, find out if an annual fee is involved to make sure that you do not pay too much for the card. Premium credit cards can have annual fees anywhere from the $100’s to the $1000’s. If you do not need a card that is exclusive, don’t get one. This way you will avoid the fees.
You surely wish to steer clear of late charges as well as over limit fees. They are both quite high and can have bad effects on your report. Be vigilant and pay attention so you don’t go over the credit limit.
In order to minimize your credit card debt expenditures, review your outstanding credit card balances and establish which should be paid off first. A good way to save more money in the long run is to pay off the balances of cards with the highest interest rates. You’ll save more in the long term because you will not have to pay the higher interest for a longer period of time.
Make your credit card payments in a timely manner. Your credit card payments have a date that they are due by and ignoring them will cost you additional fees. Additionally, most companies will increase the interest rate on your credit card, which means an increase in the cost of every purchase you put on that card thereafter.
Be sure to get assistance, if you’re in over your head with your credit cards. Try contacting Consumer Credit Counseling Service. This nonprofit organization offers many low, or no cost services, to those who need a repayment plan in place to take care of their debt, and improve their overall credit.
When signing a credit cards receipt, make sure you do not leave a blank space on the receipt. If you are not giving a tip, put a mark through that space to avoid someone adding an amount there. Carefully check your statements to assure your purchases match the amount on your statement.
Be aware that there are credit card scams out there as well. Many of those predatory companies prey on people that have less than stellar credit. Some fraudulent companies for example will offer credit cards for a fee. When you send in the money, they send you applications to fill out instead of a new credit card.
Each month when you receive your statement, take the time to look over it. Check all the information for accuracy. A merchant may have accidentally charged a different amount or may have submitted a double payment. You may also find that someone accessed your card and went on a shopping spree. Immediately report any inaccuracies to the credit card company.
The key to using a credit card correctly lies in proper repayment. Every time that you don’t repay the balance on a credit card account, your bill increases. This means that a $10 purchase can quickly turn into a $20 purchase all due to interest! Learn how to pay it off every month.
It is good practice to check your credit card transactions with your online account to make sure they match up correctly. You do not want to be charged for something you didn’t buy. This is also a great way to check for identity theft or if your card is being used without your knowledge.
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.
If you get to a point where you are having a difficult time making the monthly payment on a credit card, then you should destroy the card so that you will not be tempted to use it again. You can still pay it off without having the card in your possession.
Stay away from pre-approved offers from credit card companies. Remember, it is not the credit card companies responsibility to find the best card for you, it is their job to sign up as many people as possible. Using whatever marketing techniques they can. The pre-approved offers sound tempting, but they tend to include extremely high interest rates.
When you bring the balance on one of your credit cards down to zero, do not hesitate to close the account. Some people worry that closing a credit card account will hurt their credit score. This is not true. Positive records in your credit history do not expire, so you have no reason to maintain an account you are not using any more.
Compare the features of each credit card before you choose one. Some credit cards offer cash back on purchases and others, have great rewards programs. For example, if you travel a great deal, you may want a credit card that gives you points for each purchase towards airline miles or hotel discounts.
Consider working with a big company which is regulated by the right organization. To be safe, go with a company that is listed or one that a listing company owns. If you aren’t going with a big company, you run the risk of them doing shady things with your account, such as charging you outrageous fees and raising the interest rates really high.
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.