Even if there is no cash in your wallet, you can still spend money that you might not have even earned yet. Credit cards have added power to your wallet, but also peril. Using your cards wisely can mean the difference between pulling your hair out because of the monthly bill or flying away to exotic destinations. Read on for sound strategies that will help you to use your cards 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.
Do not hesitate to request a lower interest rate in order to lighten your debt load. If you are a long-time customer, and have a good payment history, you might succeed in negotiating a more advantageous rate. A phone call could be all you need to do to get a good rate in which you would be able to save money.
Resist the temptation to loan credit cards to people. It’s a bad idea to lend them out to anyone, even friends in need. This can lead to your friendship being ruined. Or it can result in over the limit charges should your friend charge more than you authorized.
It may seem unnecessary to many people, but be sure to save receipts for the purchases that you make on your credit card. Take the time each month to be sure that the receipts match up to your credit card statement. It will help you manage your charges, as well as, help you catch unjust charges.
Make sure that any websites that you use to make purchases with your credit card are secure. Sites that are secure will have “https” heading the URL instead of “http.” If you do not see that, then you should avoid purchasing anything from that site and try to find another place to buy from.
Do not sign up for store cards in order to save money on a purchase. Often times, the amount you will pay for annual fees, interest or other charges, will easily be more than any savings you will get at the register that day. Avoid the trap, by just saying no in the first place.
Do not use your credit cards to pay for gas, clothes or groceries. You will find that some gas stations will charge more for the gas, if you choose to pay with a credit card. It’s also not a good idea to use cards for these items because these items are things you need often. Using your cards to pay for them can get you into a bad habit.
Carefully consider all the fees associated with a particular card. The interest rate and APR are important, but be mindful of all the fees that come with a card. Some fees that you may overlook include the annual fee, excessive late charges, cash advance fees and service charges.
If you are denied a credit card, find out why. It costs nothing to check the reporting agencies, after you have been denied credit by a card issuer. Recent federal laws require that issuers supply the information that creditors used to deny an applicant. Use this information to improve your score in the future.
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.
When getting a credit card, a good rule to follow is to charge only what you know you can pay back. Yes, many companies will require you to pay only a certain minimum amount every month. However, by only paying the minimum amount, the amount you owe will keep adding up.
Check your credit card statement every month, to monitor it for possible fraud or identity theft. Many times, fraud goes unnoticed until it really starts to add up or a huge expense is listed that you are not familiar with. Regular monitoring of your paperwork will keep you ahead of the game and able to stop illicit activity early on.
Credit cards let you spend someone else’s money, on the condition that you are paying them back starting in a few weeks. The interest rates can ruin your future, or the reward points can brighten your coming months. To fall on the side of that divide that you want, apply what you have learned in this article.