The credit cards in your wallet, touch a multitude of various points within your life. From paying for gas at the pump, to showing up in your mailbox as a monthly bill, to impacting your credit scores and history, your credit cards have tremendous influence over your lifestyle. This only magnifies the importance of managing them well. Read on for some sound ideas on how to take control over your life through good credit card use.
Be sure that you only use your credit card on a secure server, when making purchases online to keep your credit safe. When you input your credit card information on servers that are not secure, you are allowing any hacker to access your information. To be safe, be sure that the website starts with the “https” in its url.
To help you get the maximum value from your credit card, choose a card which provides rewards based on the amount of money you spend. Many credit card rewards programs will give you up to two percent of your spending back as rewards which can make your purchases much more economical.
Do not use one credit card to pay off the amount owed on another until you check and see which one has the lowest rate. While this is never considered the best thing to do financially, you can occasionally do this to make sure you are not risking getting further into debt.
Make sure that you understand all the regulations regarding a potential card before you sign up for it. Doing so means you will not be surprised by high fees, or a difficult payment schedule. It is best to read and understand all the fine print before accepting and using a credit card.
To make sure you select an appropriate credit card based on your needs, determine what you would like to use your credit card rewards for. Many credit cards offer different rewards programs such as those that give discounts on travel, groceries, gas or electronics so pick a card that suits you best!
If you are determined to stop using credit cards, cutting them up is not necessarily the best way to do it. Just because the card is gone doesn’t mean the account is no longer open. If you get desperate, you may ask for a new card to use on that account, and get trapped in the same cycle of charging you wanted to get out of in the first place!
You have to verify the legitimacy of the seller before you make a credit card purchase on the Internet. You should call any numbers that are listed on the site to make sure that they are working, and you should avoid using merchants that have no physical address listed on the site.
It is good practice to check your credit card transactions with your online account to make sure they match up correctly. You do not want to be charged for something you didn’t buy. This is also a great way to check for identity theft or if your card is being used without your knowledge.
Make a spending plan. When carrying a credit card on you and shopping without a plan, you have a higher chance of impulse buying or overspending. To avoid this, try planning out your shopping trips. Make lists of what you plan to buy, then decide on a charging limit. This plan will keep on track and help you resist splurging.
If your credit score is not low, try to find a credit card that does not charge many origination fees, especially a costly annual fee. There are plenty of credit cards out there that do not charge an annual fee. Find one that you can get started with, in a credit relationship that you feel comfortable with the fee.
If you can’t pay your credit card balance in full each month, be sure to make at least double the minimum payment until it is paid off. Paying only the minimum will keep you trapped in escalating interest payments for years. Doubling down on the minimum will help to ensure you get out from the debt as soon as possible. Most importantly, stop using your credit cards for anything but emergencies until the existing debt is paid off.
As was mentioned earlier in the article, your credit cards touch on a number of different points in your life. Even though the physical cards sit in your wallet, their presence is felt on your credit report and in your mailbox. Apply what you have learned from this article to take charge over this dominant thread through your lifestyle.