Credit card usage is an almost universal fact of modern life. There can be no denying that credit cards represent a degree of convenience and flexibility that is hard to beat. However, the key to smart credit card utilization is knowledge. By reading the ideas in this piece, it is possible to acquire the breadth of understanding necessary to make wise financial decisions.
Whenever you see fraudulent charges on your statement, make a report right away. If you do this immediately, you will help your credit card company catch the person who stole your credit card. This is also the best way to make sure that you are not held responsible for these charges. You can usually report fraudulent activity through a quick telephone call to your credit company.
It is common for card issuers to offer big incentives for opening accounts. Read the fine print before signing up, however, because there are often many ways you could be disqualified from the bonus. Frequently, you are required to charge significant sums on the card in a short time to qualify for the bonus. Be sure to understand those terms so you are not disappointed.
When you are looking over all of the rate and fee information for your credit card make sure that you know which ones are permanent and which ones may be part of a promotion. You do not want to make the mistake of going for a card with very low rates and then they balloon shortly after.
When it comes to your credit card, do not use a pin or password that is simple for others to figure out. It’s a bad idea to use a common password like a middle name or phone number since people could guess these.
Avoid the temptation to lend your credit cards to anyone. Even if it is a great friend of yours, that should still be avoided. It can lead to over-limit charges if your friend should put more on the card than you had authorized them to.
An important tip for saving money on gas is to never carry a balance on a gas credit card or when charging gas on another credit card. Plan to pay it off each month, otherwise, you will not only pay today’s outrageous gas prices, but interest on the gas, as well.
Find a credit card that rewards you for your spending. Spend money on the card that you would need to spend anyway, such as gas, groceries and even, utility bills. Pay this card off each month as you would those bills, but you get to keep the rewards as a bonus.
If you do a lot of traveling, use one card for all of your travel expenses. If it is for work, this allows you to easily keep track of deductible expenses, and if it is for personal use, you can quickly add up points towards airline travel, hotel stays or even restaurant bills.
Make sure you save your statements. Before you file them away, pay close attention to what is on them as well. If you see a charge that shouldn’t be on there, dispute the charge. All credit card companies have dispute procedures in place to assist you with fraudulent charges that may occur.
Ask your credit card provider if they are willing to reduce the interest rates associated to your credit card. Many companies will lower the rate if you have a long-term relationship with a positive payment history with the company. There is no fee to ask, and if it works, you will be saving a lot of money.
Try avoiding paying for your restaurant bills on your card since it will take a while to show up and shock you a few days later. This could cause you to overspend because you are not aware of how high your balance is.
It is very important that you save your credit card receipts. You need to compare them with your monthly statement. Companies do make mistakes and sometimes, you get charged for things you did not purchase. So make sure you promptly report any discrepancies to the company that issued the card.
Use cards that offer you a low interest rate with a balance transfer cautiously. In many cases, that rate is only available for a short period of time. When that time expires, the rate might jump to three or four times that amount. Make sure that you understand the terms and make an educated choice about choosing, and using, these cards.
Few people are totally unfamiliar with credit cards, as they are a staple in almost everyone’s financial lives. The lynchpin of smart, strategic utilization of credit cards, however, is a complete understanding of the ways in which they work. Keep the concepts in this article close at hand, and you will have the tools necessary to craft a responsible, prosperous financial plan using your credit cards.