Dealing responsibly with credit cards is one of the challenges of modern life. Some people get in over their heads, while others avoid credit cards entirely. Learning to use credit wisely can improve your quality of life, but you should avoid the common pitfalls. Read on to learn ways to make credit cards work for you.
When making purchases with your credit cards you should stick to buying items that you need instead of buying those that you want. Buying luxury items with credit cards is one of the easiest ways to get into debt. If it is something that you can live without you should avoid charging it.
In order to keep your spending under control, make a record of the purchases that you make with your credit card. It can be easy to run up a huge debt without realizing it, unless you keep tabs on how much you’re spending.
Do not accept the first credit card offer that you receive, regardless of how good it sounds. While you may be tempted to jump on an offer, you do not want to take any chances that you will end up signing up for a card and then, seeing a better deal shortly after from another company.
Never apply for more credit cards than you actually need. It’s true that you need a few credit cards to help build your credit, but there is a point at which the amount of credit cards you have is actually detrimental to your credit score. Be mindful to find that happy medium.
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.
It is wise to refrain from giving a credit card to a child. It is best to let children wait to get credit cards until they reach the age of 18, or when they can get their own. Instead, consider opening them a checking account and giving them an allowance. This will help them learn to manage a small amount of money so that they will be ready to manage a credit card when the time comes.
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.
Never allow yourself to open too many credit card accounts. Instead, find two or three that really work for you and stick to those. Having too many credit cards can harm your credit and it makes using money that you do not have that much easier. Stick to a couple cards and you will remain safe.
When you receive a replacement credit card in the mail, cut up your old one, and throw it away immediately. This can prevent your old card from becoming lost, or stolen, allowing someone else to get hold of your credit card number, and use it in a fraudulent way.
Never give anyone credit card numbers on the Internet or on the phone unless you know and trust the company. If you receive an offer that is unsolicited and asks for the card number, be even more cautious. Many unscrupulous scammers make attempts to get your credit card information. Be very careful, and protect yourself.
If your credit score is not low, try to find a credit card that does not charge many origination fees, especially a costly annual fee. There are plenty of credit cards out there that do not charge an annual fee. Find one that you can get started with, in a credit relationship that you feel comfortable with the fee.
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.
A useful tip for ensuring smart usage of credit cards is to only use them for purchases in amounts that are sure to be available in your bank account by the time the monthly statement arrives. By restricting purchases to amounts that can be easily repaid in full, you will build a solid credit record and maintain a strong relationship with your card issuer.
By using the tips found here, you’ll likely avoid getting swamped with credit card debt. Having good credit is important, especially when it is time to make the big purchases in life. A key to maintaining good credit, is using using your credit cards responsibly. Keep your head and follow the tips you’ve learned here.