Don’t be fooled by those who tell you that it is okay to buy something, if you just put it on a credit card. Credit cards have lead us to have monumental amounts of personal debt, the likes of which have rarely been seen before. Get yourself out of this way of thinking by reading this article and seeing how credit cards affect you.
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.
If you have a credit card account and do not want it to be shut down, make sure to use it. Credit card companies are closing credit card accounts for non-usage at an increasing rate. This is because they view those accounts to be lacking in profit, and therefore, not worth retaining. If you don’t want your account to be closed, use it for small purchases, at least once every three months.
If you are in the market for a bank issued credit card, look for one that offers a low interest rate. Also avoid paying annual fees. Given the sheer number of cards on the market that do not have annual fees, acquiring cards that do require such fees is unnecessary.
If you have any credit cards that you have not used in the past six months, then it would probably be a good idea to close out those accounts. If a thief gets his hands on them, you may not notice for a while, because you are not likely to go looking at the balance to those credit cards.
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.
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.
You may want to consider using layaway, instead of credit cards during the holiday season. Credit cards traditionally, will cause you to incur a higher expense than layaway fees. This way, you will only spend what you can actually afford during the holidays. Making interest payments over a year on your holiday shopping will end up costing you far more than you may realize.
Do not assume the interest rate that you currently receive is the best interest rate available. Remember, the credit industry is competitive between companies, and each company has different rates available to them. If you think your rate is too high, you can often call the issuing bank and request that they change it.
If you go to make a purchase with your credit card and you are told that there will a surcharge for using that payment method, you can refuse to pay it and demand they accept your purchase. Many credit card companies do not allow merchants to impose fees, so you should check out the policies of your card company.
Research banking and credit laws to ensure you stay up to date with the latest changes. Creditors are not allowed to raise rates retroactively. They are also banned from engaging in double-cycle billing. Research the relevant laws. Two legislative changes have occurred that need to be noted, including the CARD Act.
Before you pick a credit card be sure that it accepted at most businesses in your area. There are only a few credit card companies that are accepted nationwide, so be sure you know which ones these are if you plan to purchase things around the country. Also, if you plan to travel abroad, be sure you have a card that is accepted where you might travel as well.
Be sure that you know of all the fees and charges that come with your credit cards before signing up for them. There is more than just interest rates and annual percentages rates to be concerned about. There are also charges like service charges, cash advance fees and application fees. These can make a card seem worthless if they cost too much.
Knowing the impact that credit cards really have on your life, is a good first step towards using them more wisely in the future. Often times, they are a necessary building block for good credit. However, they are overused and often, misunderstood. This article has attempted to clear up some of those confusing ideas and set the record straight.