Having a credit card can sometimes make you feel powerful, but you don’t want to feel your power draining from you when you get the bill! Read on to learn how to use your credit card correctly, so that you don’t end up in financial trouble after using the card.
Don’t fall for the introductory rates on credit cards when opening a new one. Be sure to ask the creditor what the rate will go up to after, the introductory rate expires. Sometimes, the APR can go up to 20-30% on some cards, an interest rate you definitely don’t want to be paying once your introductory rate goes away.
There are many cards that offer rewards just for getting a credit card with them. While this should not solely make your decision for you, do pay attention to these types of offers. I’m sure you would much rather have a card that gives you cash back than a card that doesn’t if all other terms are close to being the same.
Always know what your utilization ratio is on your credit cards. This is the amount of debt that is on the card versus your credit limit. For instance, if the limit on your card is $500 and you have a balance of $250, you are using 50% of your limit. It is recommended to keep your utilization ratio of around 30%, in order to keep your credit rating good.
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.
Be aware that there are credit card scams out there as well. Many of those predatory companies prey on people that have less than stellar credit. Some fraudulent companies for example will offer credit cards for a fee. When you send in the money, they send you applications to fill out instead of a new credit card.
Many companies advertise that you can transfer balances over to them and carry a lower interest rate. This sounds appealing, but you need to carefully consider your options. Think about it. If a company consolidates a higher amount of money onto one card and then the interest rate spikes, you are going to have a hard time making that payment. Know all the terms and conditions, and be careful.
Watch rewards programs. These programs are quite popular with credit cards. You can earn things like cash back, airline miles, or other incentives just for using your credit card. A reward is a nice addition if you’re already planning on using the card, but it may tempt you into charging more than you usually would just to get those bigger rewards.
A great way to save money on credit cards is to spend the time necessary to comparison shop for cards that offer the most advantageous terms. If you have a decent credit history, it is highly likely that you can obtain cards with no annual fee, low interest rates and perhaps, even incentives such as airline miles.
If you have bad credit, try to get a secured card. Secured credit cards require you to deposit money in advance to cover the charges you will make. Think of it as borrowing against your own savings account, and paying an interest for that right. This is not the ideal situation, but it can help some individuals to rebuild their credit score. Go with a reputable company when a secured card is applied for. They may offer you an unsecured card later, which will help your score even more.
Try to reduce your interest rate. Call your credit card company, and request that this be done. Before you call, be sure you know how long you have had the credit card, your overall payment record, and your credit score. If all of these show positively on you as a good customer, then use them as leverage to get that rate lowered.
Keep the total number of credit cards you use to an absolute minimum. Carrying balances on multiple credit cards can complicate your life needlessly. Shift your debt onto the card with the lowest interest. You will be able to keep better track of your debts and pay them off faster if you stick with a single credit card.
Once you close a credit card account, be sure to check your credit report. Make sure that the account that you have closed is registered as a closed account. While checking for that, be sure to look for marks that state late payments. or high balances. That could help you pinpoint identity theft.
Paying off your credit card in full can help you keep that power going that you got, when you handed the card over at the register. After reading this article, you should know some things to do if you want to use your credit card responsibly. Credit cards are a wonderful thing when used correctly.