Credit cards may be simple in principle, but they certainly can get complicated when it comes time to charging you, interest rates, hidden fees and so on! The following article will enlighten you to some very helpful ways that you can use your credit cards smartly and avoid the many problems that misusing them can cause.
Know what interest rate your credit card gets. It is very important to understand what the interest rate is before you get the credit card. If you aren’t aware of the rate, it could turn out to be much higher than you initially thought. This may result in your inablilty to pay off your credit cards monthly.
Take the time to play around with numbers. Before you go out and put a pair of fifty dollar shoes on your credit card, sit with a calculator and figure out the interest costs. It may make you second-think the idea of buying those shoes that you think you need.
Carefully consider those cards that offer you a zero percent interest rate. It may seem very alluring at first, but you may find later that you will have to pay sky high rates down the road. Learn how long that rate is going to last and what the go-to rate will be when it expires.
Many credit cards offer loyalty programs. If you buy on credit often, you should look for a loyalty program which will be useful to you. If used wisely, you can end up with an extra income stream.
Remember not to have credit cards sent to your mail if you don’t have locks on your mailbox. Many thieves have admitted to stealing cards from mailboxes when those boxes did not lock.
Make sure that you watch your statements closely. If you see charges that should not be on there, or that you feel you were charged incorrectly for, call customer service. If you cannot get anywhere with customer service, ask politely to speak to the retention team, in order for you to get the assistance you need.
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.
Avoid the temptation to take out loans on your credit cards. It may seem to be the only way to get something paid for, but you must look into other options. Many financial advisers will tell you this and there is a reason for it. It could cost you your credit ratings later.
Avoid closing your credit card accounts. Open accounts always help a credit score while closed accounts can end up hurting it. When you close an account, the amount of overall credit you have is lowered, and this could make your current lending ratio percentage higher.
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.
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.
After having used your secured credit card responsibly over a period of time, you may be able to switch to one that is unsecured. You will also see new offers begin to appear in the mail. At this time you can begin making more credit decisions.
Be careful when you are signing up with secured credit card companies because a lot of them charge high fees in exchange for issuing you a card. If you have to get this type of card, then you should shop around to make sure that you are paying the lowest fees.
It is an excellent idea to open one credit card account that you do not use. Tuck this credit card away for emergency expenses. Exercise discipline in this matter. Your emergency credit card should only be used in real “last resort” situations. If you ever have to use it, pay it off as quickly as possible after the emergency has passed.
Hopefully, this article has opened your eyes as a consumer who wishes to use credit cards with wisdom. Your financial well-being is a crucial part of your happiness and your ability to plan for the future. Keep the tips that you have read here in mind for later use, so that you can stay in the green, when it comes to credit card usage!