NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for October 2017

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It’s only October, but some of us are already freezing — credit freezing, that is.

In the wake of a data breach at Equifax, which was revealed in September and could have repercussions for millions of consumers, several of the Nerds’ credit card tips this month focus on security and protecting yourself.

Respond to Equifax breach

Unless you were in a media blackout during September, you know that a breach at Equifax exposed the personal information — including Social Security numbers — of around 143 million consumers.

If you’re looking for ways to lock down your data, security experts say your options include monitoring your credit report, setting up fraud alerts with the credit bureaus and potentially freezing your credit.

Try a digital wallet

While you’re protecting your information, consider how you safeguard your physical credit cards. Do you carry only the cards you need when you go out? Or do you like to have all of them in your wallet so you can choose which one to use for each a purchase? If so, and your wallet is stolen, you’ll have to call each issuer and replace every card.

An easier and potentially safer solution is to use a digital wallet. Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay are all available for smartphones. You don’t have to carry the physical cards when you shop, and checkout is faster than waiting for an EMV chip reader to beep at you.

You get additional security because your phone is passcode-protected — you do lock your phone with a passcode, right? — and each purchase requires a passcode or a fingerprint. Behind the scenes,…

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