How do you use your credit cards? Do you consider yourself to be completely responsible or completely lost when it comes to credit usage? No matter how responsible you feel, there is always a bit more that you can learn, and this article will provide you with great credit card tips!
Exercise some caution before you start the process of applying for a credit card offered by a retail store. Every application for a credit card is recorded on your credit file, even if you do not actually open up a store card account. An excessive amount of inquiries from retail stores on your credit report can actually lower your credit score.
Don’t fall for the introductory rates on credit cards when opening a new one. Be sure to ask the creditor what the rate will go up to after, the introductory rate expires. Sometimes, the APR can go up to 20-30% on some cards, an interest rate you definitely don’t want to be paying once your introductory rate goes away.
Be sure to check your credit card’s terms to see if it charges an annual fee to use the card. You want to make sure that you don’t pay a premium for the credit card. Platinum and black cars charge very high fees normally, that can range from one hundred dollars all the way up to one thousand dollars. More exclusive cards have higher fees. If you can’t benefit from a premium card, find a card with no annual fee and don’t waste your money on the premium card’s steep annual fees.
Instead of just blindly applying for cards, hoping for approval, and letting credit card companies decide your terms for you, know what you are in for. One way to effectively do this is, to get a free copy of your credit report. This will help you know a ballpark idea of what cards you might be approved for, and what your terms might look like.
Be careful when purchasing things online. Prior to entering any card information, ensure the site that you are utilizing is a secure one. Any site that is secure will protect your identity, and keep your credit card data under lock and key. In addition, do not respond to email requests for credit card data; they are not legitimate.
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.
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.
Request a free credit report annually and check it for accuracy. Be certain that your report matches up with the statements you have.
If you find that you cannot pay your credit card balance in full, slow down on how often you use it. Though it’s a problem to get on the wrong track when it comes to your credit cards, the problem will only become worse if you allow it to. Try to stop using your cards for awhile, or at least slow down, so you can avoid owing thousands and falling into financial hardship.
Do your research on the best rewards cards. Whether you are interested in cash back, gifts, or airline miles, there is a rewards card that can really benefit you. There are many out there, but there is a lot of information available online to help you find the right one. Be careful to not carry a balance on these rewards cards, as the interest you are paying can negate the positive rewards effect!
If possible, avoid cards with annual fees. Typically, cards without annual fees are available to those with solid credit histories. An annual fee can quickly cancel out any rewards a card offers. Take a few minutes to run the numbers for yourself to see if the deal makes sense for you. Issuers obviously will not advertise the fees; you will have to go over the fine print to find them. Break out those reading glasses. Assess whether the card’s fees are a more substantial factor than the its possible benefits. Most often, you will discover that they don’t.
Did these tips help you? Do you feel more prepared to use your credit cards now? Hopefully, you feel more confident and comfortable, as well as, more able to avoid the common “credit traps” that exist. This article and others like it can provide you with a wealth of useful credit card knowledge.