With the way the economy is these days, you really need to be smart about how you spend every penny. Credit cards are a great way to make purchases you may not otherwise be able to, but when not used properly, they can get you into financial trouble real quickly. Read on for some great tips for using your credit cards wisely.
Do not lend your credit card to anyone. Credit cards are as valuable as cash, and lending them out can get you into trouble. If you lend them out, the person might overspend, making you responsible for a large bill at the end of the month. Even if the person is worthy of your trust, it is better to keep your credit cards to yourself.
To help you get the maximum value from your credit card, choose a card which provides rewards based on the amount of money you spend. Many credit card rewards programs will give you up to two percent of your spending back as rewards which can make your purchases much more economical.
Do not sign up for a credit card because you see it as a way to fit in or as a status symbol. While it may seem like fun to be able to pull it out and pay for things when you have no money, you will regret it, when it is time to pay the credit card company back.
A great way to keep your revolving credit card payments manageable is to shop around for the most advantageous rates. By seeking low interest offers for new cards or negotiating lower rates with your existing card providers, you have the ability to realize substantial savings, each and every year.
Do not use one credit card to pay off the amount owed on another until you check and see which one has the lowest rate. While this is never considered the best thing to do financially, you can occasionally do this to make sure you are not risking getting further into debt.
Keep an eye on your credit cards even if you don’t use them very often. If your identity is stolen, and you do not regularly monitor your credit card balances, you may not be aware of this. Check your balances at least once a month. If you see any unauthorized uses, report them to your card issuer immediately.
When making purchases with your credit cards you should stick to buying items that you need instead of buying those that you want. Buying luxury items with credit cards is one of the easiest ways to get into debt. If it is something that you can live without you should avoid charging it.
Make sure you are being careful when you use a credit card online. Before you enter any of your credit card information, make sure the site you are using is secure. You can set your browser to notify the security settings for each website you visit. You must always disregard email messages seeking credit card information.
It is wise to refrain from giving a credit card to a child. It is best to let children wait to get credit cards until they reach the age of 18, or when they can get their own. Instead, consider opening them a checking account and giving them an allowance. This will help them learn to manage a small amount of money so that they will be ready to manage a credit card when the time comes.
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.
A useful tip for ensuring smart usage of credit cards is to only use them for purchases in amounts that are sure to be available in your bank account by the time the monthly statement arrives. By restricting purchases to amounts that can be easily repaid in full, you will build a solid credit record and maintain a strong relationship with your card issuer.
Look out for cash back credit cards. These types of credit cards give you cash back on every purchase that you make with the credit card. Cash back rates can range from 1% to 5%, so over the course of a year, you could actually earn a lot of cash back.
As stated previously, you really have no choice but to be a smart consumer who does his or her homework in this economy. Everything just seems so unpredictable and precarious that the slightest change could topple any person’s financial world. Hopefully, this article has you on the right path in terms of using credit cards the right way!