A credit card is a great way to build a credit score as well as helping someone manage their money. Understanding the terms of each card is key, so that people can make good choices. Below, you will find some great information about bank cards in general, from the types of rewards you could receive to different ways to keep up with your payments.
Any fraudulent charges made using your credit should be reported immediately. This gives the credit card companies the most opportunity to catch the person responsible. This is also the best way to make sure that you are not held responsible for these charges. A quick call or simple email may be all that is required for you to report a fraudulent charge.
A retail card should only be opened if you really use that store often. When a store runs a credit check to see if you qualify for a card, it shows up on your credit report, even if you ultimately decide not to open an account. Too many retail store inquiries will cause a hit to your credit score.
Make a realistic budget to hold yourself to. Just because you have a limit on your credit card that the company has given you does not mean that you have to max it out. You can minimize the cost of using a credit card if you stick to a budget that allows you to pay your balance off in full every month.
Unless there is a lock located on your mailbox, do not have bank cards sent by mail. A lot of people who have stolen credit cards in the past did so with ease, because they’ve done it on mailboxes that aren’t locked.
Every year, ask to view your credit report and check for accuracy. Match your debts on the report to make sure that you are being charged with no mistakes.
Check with card companies about whether they’re willing to reduce their rates. Some credit card companies will reduce the interest rates for customers that have consistently maintained a positive relationship by making timely payments. It does not cost anything to ask and can save to a lot of money in the end.
Be honest on your credit card application. Some credit issuers never verify income, and this could result in you spending more than you’ll be able to pay back because they gave you a high credit limit.
Once your credit account is closed, shred your card. If you just toss it aside, it may end up being used fraudulently by someone else.
Only carry around the cards you need every day. Look over your cards and choose only those you use frequently. This may be a gas card or daily charge card. Carry them with you and leave the others at home.
If possible, avoid cards with annual fees. People with good credit scores typically are offered cards that have no annual fees. These fees are hard to deal with because they can make the perks that a card has seem worthless. Calculate it in your head. Issuers obviously will not advertise the fees; you will have to go over the fine print to find them. Put your reading glasses on. See if the fees outweigh the benefits. In many cases, the fees will not make any benefits worth your while.
Place charge cards behind debit cards in wallets in order to prevent accidental credit charges. By trying this tactic, if you are not watching what you are doing you are less like to charge an item instead of debiting it for immediate payment.
Keep a running total of your credit card expenditures and post it in a highly visible location. This will help in reminding you of what your total is and you will be aware of what you’re spending your money on. It can be very, very easy to get deeper and deeper into debt without being aware of it.
As a general rule, avoid paying for small items with your credit card. Lots of vendors require a minimum amount to use cards so you can’t always make use of your bank cards. Save your credit card for purchases of $10 or more.
Be certain to know whether the payment due date on your card is true, or merely suggested. Some companies use the suggested date as a means of getting their money up to 15 days earlier than what is actually required. It is helpful to know whether yours is a suggested or actual due date, especially if you are in a tight spot one month.
As you have seen, charge cards can be a great help in building or re-building a person’s credit, as well as a tool to help one learn to make wise choices with their money. Making sure you understand each of your cards is important, so that you make the right financial choices. Having a grasp of credit card basics can benefit consumers in that way, helping them to make smart credit decisions.