Credit cards can help you to manage your finances, as long as you use them appropriately. However, it can be devastating to your financial management if you misuse them. For this reason, you may have shied away from getting a credit card in the first place. However, you don’t need to do this, you just need to learn how to use credit cards properly. Read on for some tips to help you with your credit card use.
Do not lend your credit card to anyone. Credit cards are as valuable as cash, and lending them out can get you into trouble. If you lend them out, the person might overspend, making you responsible for a large bill at the end of the month. Even if the person is worthy of your trust, it is better to keep your credit cards to yourself. 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. When you are getting your first credit card, or any card for that matter, make sure you pay close attention to the payment schedule, interest rate, and all terms and conditions. Many people neglect to read this information, but it is definitely to your benefit if you take the time to read through it. Make sure that you pore over your credit card statement each and every month, to make sure that every single charge on your bill has been authorized by you. Many people fail to do this and it is much harder to fight fraudulent charges after a lot of time has passed. Learn how to manage your credit card online. Most credit card companies now have online resources where you can oversee your daily credit actions. These resources give you more power than you have ever had before over your credit, including, knowing very quickly, whether your identity has been compromised. Consider unsolicited credit card offers very carefully before you accept them. If an offer that comes to you looks good, read all the fine print to make sure you understand the time limit for any introductory offers on interest rates. Also, be aware of fees that are required for transferring a balance to the account. Never give out a credit card number over the phone if someone else initiates the request. The odds are excellent that an unsolicited request like this is a scam. Give out your number only if you are the one who made the call. Do not give them to people who call you. Regardless of who they claim they are, you have no way of verifying it if you did not call them. Many people, especially when they are younger, feel like credit cards are a type of free money. The fact is, they are exactly the opposite, paid money. Remember, every time you use your credit card, you are basically taking out a micro-loan with incredibly high interest. Never forget that you must repay this loan.
Check with your credit card company, to learn if you can set up, and automatic payment each month. Many companies will allow you to automatically pay the full amount, minimum payment, or set amount out of your checking account each month. This will ensure that your payment is always made on time. Keep a running track of how much you are spending each month on your credit card.
Remember that last-minute or impulse buying can lead to surprisingly high balances. If you don’t keep yourself in check as far spending with credit cards, by month’s end you may not be able to handle the bill. Find out if the interest rate on a new card is the regular rate, or if it is offered as part of a promotion. Many people do not realize that the rate that they see at first is promotional, and that the real interest rate may be a significant amount more than that. Use a credit card that offers rewards. Not every credit card company offers rewards, so you need to choose wisely. Reward points can be earned on every purchase, or for making purchases in certain categories. There are many different rewards including air miles, cash back or merchandise. Be wary though because some of these cards charge a fee. To avoid excessive fees, always read the fine print of any credit card offer you are considering. Many offers come with a low introductory APR and can be quite enticing. However, further review of the fine print may reveal that that low rate will be increased to a less than appealing rate in as little as 6 months or a year. When deciding which credit card is best for you, be sure to take its reward program into consideration. For example, some companies may offer travel assistance or roadside protection, which could come in handy at some point. Inquire about the details of the reward program prior to committing to a card. As you may have gathered from reading this article, you really don’t have anything to fear with credit cards. With the kind of advice provided here, you can use your credit cards in a responsible fashion – there is no need to worry about hurting your credit score. Keep the information you learned here in mind so you can utilize them to better your situation.