Have you thought that you needed a credit card for emergencies, but have not been sure which card to get? If so, you’re in the right place. This article will answer all your questions about credit cards, how to use them, and what to look for in a credit card offer. Read on for some great tips.
Be wary of late payment charges. Many of the credit companies out there now charge high fees for making late payments. Most of them will also increase your interest rate to the highest legal interest rate. Before you choose a credit card company, be sure that you are fully aware of their policy regarding late payments.
Be safe when giving out your credit card information. If you like to order things online with it, then you have to be sure the website is secure. If you notice charges that you didn’t make, call the customer service number for the credit card company. They can help deactivate your card and make it unusable, until they mail you a new one with a new account number.
Before opening a store credit card, look into your past spending and make sure that it is high enough at that store to warrant a card. When a retail store inquires about your credit prior to opening an account, that inquiry is recorded on your report whether you go through with opening a card or not. If you’re declined by a few retail chains, for example, you can actually hurt your credit rating in the long term.
Check your credit report regularly. By law, you are allowed to check your credit score once a year from the three major credit agencies. This may be often enough, if you use credit sparingly and always pay on time. You may want to spend the extra money, and check more often if you carry a lot of credit card debt.
Don’t pay any fees upfront when you are getting a credit card. The legitimate card issuers will not ask for any money up front, unless you’re getting a secured credit card. When you are applying for a secured card, be sure to find out how the deposit is going to be used.
Read the credit card agreement thoroughly before you sign your agreement with the company. Most credit card companies consider the first use of your credit card to represent acceptance of the terms of the agreement. The agreement might be rendered in fine print, but you still need to understand it completely.
When you are making a purchase with your credit card you, make sure that you check the receipt amount. Refuse to sign it if it is incorrect. Many people sign things too quickly, and then they realize that the charges are incorrect. It causes a lot of hassle.
If you are determined to stop using credit cards, cutting them up is not necessarily the best way to do it. Just because the card is gone doesn’t mean the account is no longer open. If you get desperate, you may ask for a new card to use on that account, and get trapped in the same cycle of charging you wanted to get out of in the first place!
Never give in to the temptation to allow anyone to borrow your credit card. A close friend may need something, but it isn’t a smart idea to lend them yours. They may make too many charges or go over whatever limit you set for them.
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.
Keep a record of your credit card numbers and the emergency contact information of your various lenders. Put the list somewhere safe, in a place that is separate from where you keep your credit cards. The list will prove invaluable if you lose your cards or if they are stolen.
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.
It is a good rule of thumb to have two major credit cards, long-standing, and with low balances reflected on your credit report. You do not want to have a wallet full of credit cards, no matter how good you may be keeping track of everything. While you may be handling yourself well, too many credit cards equals a lower credit score.
When deciding which credit card is best for you, be sure to take its reward program into consideration. For example, some companies may offer travel assistance or roadside protection, which could come in handy at some point. Inquire about the details of the reward program prior to committing to a card.
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.
Pay your entire balance every month. If you leave a balance on your card, you’ll have to pay finance charges, and interest that you wouldn’t pay if you pay everything in full each month. In addition, you won’t feel pressured to try to wipe out a big credit card bill, if you charge only a small amount each month.
After reading this article, you should be far less confused about credit cards. You now know how to evaluate credit card offers and how to find the right credit card for you. If this article hasn’t answered absolutely everything you’ve wondered about credit cards, there’s more info out there, so don’t stop learning.