Credit card use can be a tricky thing, given high interest rates, hidden charges and changes in laws. As a consumer, you need to be educated and aware of the best practices when it comes to using your credit cards. Read on for some valuable tips on how to use your cards wisely.
Do not apply for a new credit card before understanding all the fees and costs associated with its use, regardless of the bonuses it may provide. Make sure that you go over the fine print because a lot of these credit cards will have terms that are very specific on qualifying for bonuses. A common term is the requirement that you make a particular amount of expenditures in a given time frame in order to qualify, so you should be confident that you can meet the conditions before you jump at such an offer.
An important aspect of smart credit card usage is to pay the entire outstanding balance, each and every month, whenever possible. By keeping your usage percentage low, you will help keep your overall credit score high, as well as, keep a substantial amount of available credit open for use in case of emergencies.
Use wisdom with credit card usage. Make sure that you limit spending on credit cards and when you make purchases have a goal for paying them off. This will ensure that you can pay the charges off when your statement arrives. When you maintain an ongoing balance, it becomes way too easy to incur greater and greater amount of debt that can be impossible to pay off.
Only take cash advances from your credit card when you absolutely have to. The finance charges for cash advances are very high, and very difficult to pay off. Only use them for situations in which you have no other option. But you must truly feel that you will be able to make considerable payments on your credit card, soon after.
Learn how to manage your credit card online. Most credit card companies now have online resources where you can oversee your daily credit actions. These resources give you more power than you have ever had before over your credit, including, knowing very quickly, whether your identity has been compromised.
It should be obvious, but many people fail to follow the simple tip of paying your credit card bill on time each month. Late payments can reflect poorly on your credit report, you may also be charged hefty penalty fees, if you don’t pay your bill on time.
An important tip when it comes to smart credit card usage is, resisting the urge to use cards for cash advances. By refusing to access credit card funds at ATMs, you will be able to avoid the frequently exorbitant interest rates, and fees credit card companies often charge for such services.
Watch rewards programs. These programs are quite popular with credit cards. You can earn things like cash back, airline miles, or other incentives just for using your credit card. A reward is a nice addition if you’re already planning on using the card, but it may tempt you into charging more than you usually would just to get those bigger rewards.
Hopefully, this article has provided you with some helpful guidance in the use of your credit cards. Getting into trouble with them is much easier than getting out of trouble, and the damage to your good credit standing can be devastating. Keep the wise advice of this article in mind, the next time you are asked if you are paying in cash or credit.