The credit cards in your wallet, touch a multitude of various points within your life. From paying for gas at the pump, to showing up in your mailbox as a monthly bill, to impacting your credit scores and history, your credit cards have tremendous influence over your lifestyle. This only magnifies the importance of managing them well. Read on for some sound ideas on how to take control over your life through good credit card use.
Before you choose a credit card company, be sure that you compare interest rates. There is no standard when it comes to interest rates, even when it is based on your credit. Every company uses a different formula to figure what interest rate to charge. Be sure that you compare rates, to ensure that you get the best deal possible.
Many people wonder if it is better to have one credit card or many. For most people, it is best to have two or three credit cards open. That will assist you in building up your credit score; this is especially true if you can pay the cards off each month. However, if you do open more than 3 accounts, it will not be a positive for prospective lenders.
Do not use your credit cards to make emergency purchases. Many people believe that this is the best use of credit cards, but the best use is actually for things that you purchase on a regular basis, like groceries. The key is, to only charge things that you will be able to pay back in a timely manner.
Be safe when giving out your credit card information. If you like to order things online with it, then you have to be sure the website is secure. If you notice charges that you didn’t make, call the customer service number for the credit card company. They can help deactivate your card and make it unusable, until they mail you a new one with a new account number.
Practice sound financial management by only charging purchases that you know you will be able to pay off. Credit cards can be a quick and dangerous way to rack up large amounts of debt that you may not be able to pay off. Don’t use them to live off of, if you are unable to come up with the funds to do so.
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.
An important aspect of smart credit card usage is to pay the entire outstanding balance, each and every month, whenever possible. By keeping your usage percentage low, you will help keep your overall credit score high, as well as, keep a substantial amount of available credit open for use in case of emergencies.
A great tip for saving on today’s high gas prices is to get a reward card from the grocery store where you do business. These days, many stores have gas stations, as well and offer discounted gas prices, if you sign up to use their customer reward cards. Sometimes, you can save up to twenty cents per gallon.
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.
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.
Transferring a credit card balance from a high interest credit card to a card where the rate is less, can save you money every month. Credit card companies offer special introductory rates to attract new business to their credit cards. If you take advantage of one of these offers, make sure that you understand the amount of time that the introductory rate offer lasts.
As was mentioned earlier in the article, your credit cards touch on a number of different points in your life. Even though the physical cards sit in your wallet, their presence is felt on your credit report and in your mailbox. Apply what you have learned from this article to take charge over this dominant thread through your lifestyle.