Wisely using a credit card can help you get free rewards, like a paid-for vacation, for example. People who are not wise will charge the vacation to their credit card and then stress out later about how they are going to pay for that. Here are some great ways to use your card wisely to get the most benefit from it.
Avoid purchasing items out of your budget with a credit card. While credit can help you afford things you can pay off over a few months, avoid charging expensive items that you cannot pay off quickly.
When looking over your statement, report any fraudulent charges as soon as possible. This way, they will be more likely to discover the culprit. By doing this you also are less likely to be held responsible for any transactions made from the thief. Fraudulent charges can usually be reported by making a phone call or sending an email to the credit card company.
In order to maintain a high credit card, ensure you are paying off your card payment on the day that it’s due. Your score is damaged by late payments, and that also usually includes fees that are costly. Set up a payment schedule that is automatic so that you can save some time as well as put some money back into your pockets.
Paying annual fees on a credit card can be a mistake; make sure to understand if your card requires these. If you are the owner of a platinum card, or a black card, the annual fees can be up to $1000. Unless you have some specific need for exclusive credit cards, remember this tip and save yourself some money.
Fees from going over the limit want to be avoided, just as late fees should be avoided. Both are expensive fees and exceeding your limit can also hurt your credit score. Watch carefully and don’t go more than your credit limit.
Retain copies of all receipts for credit card purchase made on the web. Keep it until you receive your statement so you can be sure the amounts match. File a dispute if you were overcharged as soon as you discover it. That way, you can prevent overcharging from happening to you.
If you are purchasing something at a retail location with a credit card, make sure that you never leave any spaces on the receipt blank. If the receipt includes a tip line and you aren’t leaving a tip, draw a line in the tip space. If you do not you take the chance of an employee writing in an amount themselves. You should also always check your statement against your receipts every month to ensure they match up.
Be sure to avoid using a public computer to make online purchases. This computers will store your information. This makes it easier to steal your account. You don’t want your personal and credit card information in these computers as it can cause you trouble. Don’t make purchases from another person’s computer.
Save money by asking credit card companies to offer you a lower interest rate on your charges. If you have a history with the credit card company and have been making payments on a timely basis, you might be able to ask for a better rate. All you need is one phone call to help you get a better rate.
Do not assume that your interest rate is concrete and unchangeable. Credit card companies are competitive and can change their interest rates if they wish. Call your bank if you don’t like your current interest rate. Ask the bank to change your rate.
Try to keep your credit card accounts open for a long period of time. It is unwise to move to different issuers unless you have to. How long you have had different accounts open plays a factor in how good your credit score is. Keeping a strong credit history will benefit your score.
Make sure that you are aware of all the recent credit card law changes. Credit card issuers may not assess retroactive interest rate hikes, as an example. It is also against the law to double-cycle your bill. If you understand the laws, you can understand your rights as a consumer. You should pay especially close attention to both Fair Credit Billing and the CARD Acts.
Unless you want to lose your card and have your account closed, be sure to use your card every once in a while. Many companies close accounts that are inactive for too long. If you don’t want your credit card account to be closed then you need to use the cards you want to keep active often. Even if they are just small charges, do not forget that you have to pay them off so you will remain debt free.
If you are being tempted over to a new card which is offering a low interest rate to begin with, ensure you read the finer details carefully. Make sure you understand what will happen after the initial low interest period. Many times these are cards that carry a high interest rate after the initial introductory period. Therefore, it is vital that you are aware of what you are going to be charged in the future before you sign any sort of credit agreement.
Do not use a credit card to pay the bill on that same card. Some card holders get cash advances, thinking they will be able to pay emergency bills with it. However, fees and interest rates involved with this “trick” create an even larger financial disaster the next time a bill is due.
Credit cards can be used responsibly to enrich your financial life regardless of any perks, rewards or points they may offer. People who don’t use their cards in the responsible way laid out in this article will have instant gratification, but they will also have chronic stress from neverending bills. Use this given advice to put yourself in the right category of users.