Credit cards get many people into a financial mess. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry. Just by reading this article and its tips, you can change your habits and use your credit card wisely.
Decide what rewards you would like to receive for using your credit card. There are many options for rewards that are offered by credit card companies to entice you to applying for their card. Some offer miles that can be used to purchase airline tickets. Others give you an annual check. Choose a card that offers a reward that is right for you.
Set a budget and stick to it with regards to your credit spending. Most people use a budget for their income, so budgetting your credit card is a great idea too. Do not consider your available credit as extra income. Set aside a certain amount that you’re willing to put on your credit card every month. Stay within your budget and pay any balance off each month.
Whenever you are considering a new credit card, you should always avoid applying for credit cards that have high interest rates. While interest rates compounded annually may not seem all that much, it is important to note that this interest can add up, and add up fast. Make sure you get a card with reasonable interest rates.
Pay off as much of your balance as you can each month. The more you owe the credit card company each month, the more you will pay in interest. If you pay even a small amount in addition to the minimum payment each month, you can save yourself a great deal of interest each year.
Always know what your utilization ratio is on your credit cards. This is the amount of debt that is on the card versus your credit limit. For instance, if the limit on your card is $500 and you have a balance of $250, you are using 50% of your limit. It is recommended to keep your utilization ratio of around 30%, in order to keep your credit rating good.
Online purchases should only be with trusted vendors whom you have checked out before divulging information. You should call any numbers that are listed on the site to make sure that they are working, and you should avoid using merchants that have no physical address listed on the site.
If you cannot afford to pay cash for something, think twice about charging it on your credit card. While it is okay to use your card for something that you know you will be able to afford to pay in the near future, you should avoid impulse and high-ticket purchases until you can save enough money to truly afford them.
You should try to have at least two open cards or possibly three open credit accounts. If you can pay your bill in full each month, this number of cards will help you to improve your credit score. That said, if you go all out and open four or more cards, it may look bad to lenders when they evaluate your credit reports.
Make sure to sign your cards as soon as your receive them. The signature on the back offers protection against fraudulent purchases because the cashier verifies that the customer’s signature matches the signature on the card.
As a general rule, you should avoid applying for any credit cards that come with any type of free offer. More often than not, anything that you get free with credit card applications will always come with some sort of catch or hidden costs that you are sure to regret later on down the road.
A great way to save money on credit cards is to spend the time necessary to comparison shop for cards that offer the most advantageous terms. If you have a decent credit history, it is highly likely that you can obtain cards with no annual fee, low interest rates and perhaps, even incentives such as airline miles.
Pay close attention to all of the interest rates on your credit cards. Many cards charge you different rates depending on the type of transaction you execute. Cash advances and balance transfers commonly command a higher rate than ordinary purchases. You must keep this in mind before you begin shifting money on and off various cards.
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.
After reading this article, you should know what to do and what to avoid doing with your credit card. It can be tempting to use credit for everything, but you now know better and will avoid this behavior. If it seems difficult to follow these tips, remember all the reasons you want to improve your credit card use and keep trying to change your habits.