Today’s smart consumer knows how beneficial the use of credit cards can be, but is also aware of the pitfalls associated with excessive use. Even the most frugal of people use their credit cards sometimes, and we all have lessons to learn from them! Keep reading for valuable advice on using credit cards wisely.
When you are unable to pay off one of your credit cards, then the best policy is to contact the credit card company. Letting it just go to collections is bad for your credit score. You will find that most companies will let you pay it off in smaller amounts, as long as you don’t keep avoiding them.
Do not use your credit cards to make emergency purchases. Many people believe that this is the best use of credit cards, but the best use is actually for things that you purchase on a regular basis, like groceries. The key is, to only charge things that you will be able to pay back in a timely manner.
If you have credit cards be sure to check your monthly statements thoroughly for errors. Everyone makes errors, and this applies to credit card companies as well. To prevent from paying for something you did not purchase you should save your receipts through the month and then compare them to your statement.
When you are looking over all of the rate and fee information for your credit card make sure that you know which ones are permanent and which ones may be part of a promotion. You do not want to make the mistake of going for a card with very low rates and then they balloon shortly after.
It is good to keep in mind that credit card companies are not your friends when you look at minimum monthly payments. They set minimum payments in order to maximize the amount of interest you pay them. Every dollar over your minimum payment goes to pay off your balance, so always pay a higher amount than the credit card company asks you to pay. This helps you pay much less interest in the long run.
Be aware of your balance at all times. Know what your limit is and how much you’re spending, you don’t want any surprises. Exceeding your limit can result in significant unexpected fees. It will take much longer for someone to pay their balance down if they exceed their limit consistently.
Make sure to sign your cards as soon as your receive them. A lot of merchants require cashiers to verify the signatures to make sure they match.
If you are having trouble with overspending on your credit card, there are several ways to save it only for emergencies. One of the best ways to do this is to leave the card with a trusted friend. They will only give you the card, if you can convince them you really need it.
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.
To make sure you select an appropriate credit card based on your needs, determine what you would like to use your credit card rewards for. Many credit cards offer different rewards programs such as those that give discounts on travel, groceries, gas or electronics so pick a card that suits you best!
Sometimes, when people use their credit cards, they forget that the charges on these cards are just like taking out a loan. You will have to pay back the money that was fronted to you by the the financial institution that gave you the credit card. It is important not to run up credit card bills that are so large that it is impossible for you to pay them back.
Look into the rewards that credit card companies offer. Find one that is going to pay you for making purchases on their card. If you are trying to maximize the rewards, charge everything you can on the card, but be sure to put enough cash back to pay the card off each month, in order to avoid losing your rewards to interest fees.
To avoid excessive fees, always read the fine print of any credit card offer you are considering. Many offers come with a low introductory APR and can be quite enticing. However, further review of the fine print may reveal that that low rate will be increased to a less than appealing rate in as little as 6 months or a year.
As noted earlier, you have to think on your feet to make really good use of the services that credit cards provide, without getting into debt or hooked by high interest rates. Hopefully, this article has taught you a lot about the best ways to use your credit cards and the best ways not to!