Bank cards usually are seen as indicators of high interest rates and too much danger when using them to spend. If used properly bank cards can benefit users on many levels including rewards and perks, convenience and peace of mind. To find the benefits of charge cards, read on for great tips and advice on how they can help.
Only if you regularly shop at a certain store should you think about applying for a store credit card. The initial credit inquiry with the credit bureaus that a retail store makes to sign you up will end up on your credit report, whether or not you end up opening an account. Repeated applications for credit could negatively affect your overall credit score.
Inspect the fine print carefully. If there are offers that allow you to be pre-approved for a card or if the person is saying you can be helped to get a card, you have to know the details before signing up. It’s important to know what your interest rate is and will be in the future. Inquire about grace periods for payments and if there are any additional fees involved.
Develop a budget for your current lifestyle. Just because there are limits on your card, does not mean you can max them out. Be aware of how much you can pay monthly so that you can do that consistently and avoid those interest charges.
Make your credit card’s pin code difficult to guess correctly. Do not use anything simple like your birthday or your child’s name since this information can be accessed by anyone.
Never be scared to ask the credit card company to lower your interest rate. You might be able to get a better interest rate if you are a loyal customer who has a history of paying on time. A quick call might be all that is necessary to lower your rate and facilitate real savings.
Resist the temptation to loan credit cards to people. Though you may have a close associate who desperately needs help, it is still not advisable to lend out a card. They may make too many charges or go over whatever limit you set for them.
Avoid paying off your credit card balance immediately after you use the card. Waiting to pay the bill in full at the end of the month is a better practice. Your credit card payment history will look better and it will raise your credit score.
A smart move for all card users is to get free credit reports annually and check them for accuracy. Compare your statements to the debt in your report to see if they are the same.
Understand the laws governing credit and credit card companies. For example, card companies cannot increase rates retroactively. Another example of something that credit card companies are prohibited from doing, is double-cycle billing. Read up on credit card laws. The two major legislative changes recently are called the CARD Act and the Fair Credit Billing Act.
Verify all fees surrounding cards and don’t think of only annual percentage and interest rates. There are also charges like service charges, cash advance fees and application fees. These can make a card seem worthless if they cost too much.
When used carefully and thoughtfully, bank cards deliver unmatched benefits. From the peace of mind of having some flexibility and emergency space, to the possibility of racking up perks and rewards, the credit cards now or soon to be in your wallet can actually make your life a brighter one. Just use your credit wisely so that it benefits you, instead of increasing your financial challenges.