No one knows more about your own patterns and spending habits than you do. How credit cards affect you is a very personal thing. This article will try to shine a light on credit cards and how you can make the best decisions for yourself, when it comes to using them.
Do not lend your credit card to anyone. Credit cards are as valuable as cash, and lending them out can get you into trouble. If you lend them out, the person might overspend, making you responsible for a large bill at the end of the month. Even if the person is worthy of your trust, it is better to keep your credit cards to yourself.
Double check for annual fees when signing up for premium credit cards. If you are the owner of a platinum card, or a black card, the annual fees can be up to $1000. The best bet is that if you do not need a premium credit card, avoid them and do not pay the fees.
If you need to use credit cards, it is best to use one credit card with a larger balance, than 2, or 3 with lower balances. The more credit cards you own, the lower your credit score will be. Use one card, and pay the payments on time to keep your credit score healthy!
Make sure that you sign your card as soon as it arrives in the mail. It is easy to forget to do, but if your card is stolen, there is no signature for cashiers to compare. Many cashiers will check to make sure there are matching signatures before finalizing the sale.
There is no end to the types of reward programs you can find for credit cards. If you use a card all the time, you need to find one with a useful loyalty program. The extra cash back or free flights and hotel rooms can be great bonuses and money-savers.
As a general rule, you should avoid applying for any credit cards that come with any type of free offer. More often than not, anything that you get free with credit card applications will always come with some sort of catch or hidden costs that you are sure to regret later on down the road.
If you are going to make purchases over the Internet you need to make all of them with the same credit card. You do not want to use all of your cards to make online purchases because that will increase the chances of you becoming a victim of credit card fraud.
Monitor your credit score. Most companies consider a credit, or FICO, score of 700 to be the cutoff for good credit. Establish your credit so that you can obtain and keep that level. With a score of over 700, you can receive the very best offers with the absolute lowest rates.
If you use credit cards, stay on top of your credit standing by obtaining your credit report once a year so that you are reassured of the accuracy. Check to see if your statements match your credit reports.
It is important to always review the charges, and credits that have posted to your credit card account. Whether you choose to verify your account activity online, by reading paper statements, or making certain that all charges and payments are reflected accurately, you can avoid costly errors or unnecessary battles with the card issuer.
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.
Prior to applying for a credit card, try to build your credit up at least six months in advance. Then, be sure to take a look at your credit report. By doing this, you are more likely to get approved for the credit card and get a higher credit limit, as well.
Use cards that offer you a low interest rate with a balance transfer cautiously. In many cases, that rate is only available for a short period of time. When that time expires, the rate might jump to three or four times that amount. Make sure that you understand the terms and make an educated choice about choosing, and using, these cards.
If you are new to the world of personal finance, or you’ve been in it a while, but haven’t managed to get it right yet, this article has given you some great advice. If you apply the information you read here, you should be well on your way to making smarter decisions in the future.