When it comes to having a credit card, the same advice always applies: shop around before selecting a card, pay that card on time, and use it with care. In addition to these simple rules, there are other things that you can do, as well. This article contains some simple tips that can help individuals everywhere, better manage their credit cards.
You should always try to negotiate the interest rates on your credit cards instead of agreeing to any amount that is always set. If you get a lot of offers in the mail from other companies, you can use them in your negotiations, to try to get a much better deal.
When you are looking over all of the rate and fee information for your credit card make sure that you know which ones are permanent and which ones may be part of a promotion. You do not want to make the mistake of going for a card with very low rates and then they balloon shortly after.
Make sure that you pore over your credit card statement each and every month, to make sure that every single charge on your bill has been authorized by you. Many people fail to do this and it is much harder to fight fraudulent charges after a lot of time has passed.
One important tip for all credit card users is to make a budget. Having a budget is a great way to figure out whether or not you can afford to buy something. If you can’t afford it, charging something to your credit card is just a recipe for disaster.
Make sure that you watch your statements closely. If you see charges that should not be on there, or that you feel you were charged incorrectly for, call customer service. If you cannot get anywhere with customer service, ask politely to speak to the retention team, in order for you to get the assistance you need.
Each month when you receive your statement, take the time to look over it. Check all the information for accuracy. A merchant may have accidentally charged a different amount or may have submitted a double payment. You may also find that someone accessed your card and went on a shopping spree. Immediately report any inaccuracies to the credit card company.
If you can’t get a credit card because of a spotty credit record, then take heart. There are still some options that may be quite workable for you. A secured credit card is much easier to get and may help you rebuild your credit record very effectively. With a secured card, you deposit a set amount into a savings account with a bank or lending institution – often about $500. That amount becomes your collateral for the account, which makes the bank willing to work with you. You use the card as a normal credit card, keeping expenses under that limit. As you pay your monthly bills responsibly, the bank may decide to raise your limit and eventually convert the account to a traditional credit card.
To avoid interest charges, don’t treat your credit card as you would an ATM card. Don’t get in the habit of charging every single item that you buy. Doing so, will only pile on charges to your bill, you may get an unpleasant surprise, when you receive that monthly credit card bill.
Be sure you ask a credit card company if they are willing to reduce how much interest you pay. In many cases, companies are willing to lower the interest rates of customers who they have a lengthy and positive relationship with. It doesn’t cost you a penny to ask, but it can save you a lot of money.
Avoid charging things like groceries or restaurant tabs on your credit card as these can take a while to appear on your monthly statement, which means possibly underestimation the balance you really have available to you. If you think you owe less than you really do, you can end up overspending and even going over your credit card limit.
As was stated in the beginning of this article, all credit card users should pay attention to the options when choosing a card, they should strive to pay their card in a timely manner, and they should use it with care. The importance of these tips, as well as several others, have been discussed in this article. Apply them to your own credit card habits to improve your financial situation.