Many of the warnings that you have heard about overspending or high interest raters were probably linked to charge cards. But, if you used properly and responsibly, a credit card can have its perks. Many enjoy the convenience of a credit line and benefit from their credit company’s reward programs. Read this article to learn of the positive side of credit cards.
Immediately report any fraudulent charges on a credit card. This will help your creditor catch the person who is using your card fraudulently. It will also serve to make sure you are not going to be held accountable for any false charges. A quick call or simple email may be all that is required for you to report a fraudulent charge.
Carefully study all of the small print. Know all of the details if you are offered a pre-approved card of if someone helps you to get a card. It is important to know the interest rate on a credit card, as well as the payment terms. You should be aware of any and all fees, and be aware of grace periods.
Check over your agreement, and make sure you understand all the terms before using your credit card. The first use of your card is perceived as an acceptance of its terms by most credit card issuers. You should literally read the fine print.
Become familiar with all of the new consumer credit laws enacted over the past few years. Credit card issuers may not assess retroactive interest rate hikes, as an example. Double-cycle billing is something that is also not allowed. Familiarize yourself with the laws. Recently, the FCBA and CARD Act were established.
If you owe more on your credit cards than you can actually pay back, you run the risk of damaging your credit rating. This can cause problems with other areas, such as renting a place to live, getting a loan for a car or even applying for a job.
If you decide to close a credit card account, properly dispose of your card. If you throw it in a drawer or let your kids play with it, it may wind up in somebody’s hands who could use it, reopen it, and charge items in your name.
When leaving the house, just bring the charge cards you frequently use. While you might have multiple charge cards, only carry the ones that are used most often. Such cards may be a general purpose card and a gasoline card. Carry them with you and leave the others at home.
Although you may be tempted to make all your purchases with your credit card, it is often better to use cash for small purchases. Many retailers require a minimum purchase amount to use your credit card. Save credit purchases for $10 or more.
It is important to understand how your frequent flier rewards work, if your credit card even offers them. Make sure you look over the fine print. Many cards have blackout dates, which makes the rewards program useless. Companies also want these restrictions to be tough to understand for their own reasons. It should be obvious, but credit card issuers really don’t want you to actually claim those shiny rewards. They use rewards as a catch to try to get you to apply for their card.
Use bank cards on a regular basis if you want to keep them. If you don’t use the card, it may be too unprofitable for the card company to maintain the account, and they may quickly shut it down. Try paying the balance off on your credit card immediately to reduce interest expenses.
Don’t be afraid to use one credit card to pay off another, if they one you are going to use has better interest rates and fees. Even if interest rates are not appreciably better, some charge cards offer rewards with a value toward vacation travel and hotels. Take the time to do the relevant calculations.
Keep in mind that credit cards are a privilege, not a right! Being responsible with your cards helps your credit score, while acting irresponsibly can lead to financial disaster. Responsible credit users track their spending each month, and make their payments in a timely manner every month.
Use only one credit card for online purchases; this way, if your information is compromised, you don’t lose all of your credit cards. If you use more than one card to buy things online, you increase your vulnerability. Having one card that you only use online will reduce your exposure.
Actual Due Date
Be certain to know if your stated due date is the real date or a recommended date. It is increasingly common for card issuers to give suggested payment dates, which may be two weeks prior to the actual due date. If you have a suggested due date, find out what your actual due date is, too. This gives you a better idea of how long you have to make your payment if you are in a pinch.
Make the payment on your bank cards in a timely manner every month. Your interest rates can start to rise as soon as you miss one payment. Missed and late payments are also reported to credit agencies and affect your credit score. Think about adding auto payments to your payment plan so that you don’t have to worry about late payments later.
As you can see from the above tips and techniques, charge cards offer a myriad of benefits. From peace of mind and emergency preparedness, to potential rewards and perks, charge cards have the potential to enhance the quality of your financial life. Apply what you have learned in this article to succeed in this area.