Credit cards represent the best and worst in life. On the one hand, pulling them out of your wallet and sliding them at the store register means you get your hands on what you wanted to buy. On the other hand, you get to curse and swear at the bill that shows up in your mailbox a few weeks later. Read on the find out how to maximize the good while minimizing the bad.
Don’t fall for the introductory rates on credit cards when opening a new one. Be sure to ask the creditor what the rate will go up to after, the introductory rate expires. Sometimes, the APR can go up to 20-30% on some cards, an interest rate you definitely don’t want to be paying once your introductory rate goes away.
If you are in the market for a secured credit card, it is very important that you pay close attention to the fees that are associated with the account, as well as, whether they report to the major credit bureaus. If they do not report, then it is no use having that specific card.
Make sure your card doesn’t have any annual fees, or you will pay too much. If you are the owner of a platinum card, or a black card, the annual fees can be up to $1000. Avoid paying these fees by refraining from signing up for exclusive credit cards if you don’t really need them.
Sign credit cards as soon as you receive them. Many people don’t do that, their cards get stolen, and cashiers do not realize the theft. Many vendors now require cashiers to verify signature matches so your card can be safe.
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 do a lot of traveling, use one card for all of your travel expenses. If it is for work, this allows you to easily keep track of deductible expenses, and if it is for personal use, you can quickly add up points towards airline travel, hotel stays or even restaurant bills.
It is wise to refrain from giving a credit card to a child. It is best to let children wait to get credit cards until they reach the age of 18, or when they can get their own. Instead, consider opening them a checking account and giving them an allowance. This will help them learn to manage a small amount of money so that they will be ready to manage a credit card when the time comes.
The credit cards in your life can swing both ways. While they can mean the instant gratification of that new item you wanted at the mall, they can also mean a headache in the mail a month later. This article has provided you with ideas on how to reap your rewards without sweating the downside much. Apply what you have learned to excel at both.