Credit cards can be a wonderful financial tool that enables us to make online purchases or buy things that we wouldn’t otherwise have the cash on hand for. Smart consumers know how to best use credit cards without getting in too deep, but everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and that’s really easy to do with credit cards. Keep reading for some solid advice on how to best use your credit cards.
When it is time to make monthly payments on your credit cards, be sure that you pay more than the minimum amount that you are required to pay. If you only pay the small amount required, it will take you longer to pay your debts off and the interest will be steadily increasing.
Do not consider using a credit card from a retail store unless you shop there regularly. When retail stores put in an inquiry on your credit to qualify you for a card, it gets recorded on your credit report whether you open the card or not. Racking up a list of inquiries from several different retail stores can cause your credit score to drop.
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.
Emergency, business or travel purposes, is all that a credit card should really be used for. You want to keep credit open for the times when you need it most, not when purchasing luxury items. You never know when an emergency will crop up, so it is best that you are prepared.
Pay close attention to your credit balance. Be sure you know your card’s limit before making purchases. Going over this limit will result in greater fees incurred. Furthermore, it will take you much longer to clear your credit card balance if you continually exceed the credit limit.
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.
In order to minimize your credit card debt expenditures, review your outstanding credit card balances and establish which should be paid off first. A good way to save more money in the long run is to pay off the balances of cards with the highest interest rates. You’ll save more in the long term because you will not have to pay the higher interest for a longer period of time.
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!
Only spend what you could afford to pay for in cash. The benefit of using a card rather than cash, or a debit card, is that it establishes credit, which you will need to get a loan in the future. By only spending what you can afford to pay for in cash, you will never get into debt that you can’t get out of.
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.
A lot of experts think that you shouldn’t have a maximum limit on a credit card that’s more than 75% of what you make a month. If your balance is more than you earn in a month, try to pay it off as quickly as you can. This is due to the fact that the interest paid will soon snowball to a point that it’s out of your control.
Keep credit card accounts open for as long as possible when you open one. Unless necessary, you don’t want to switch accounts around. Your credit score benefits from a lengthy, positive account history. One component of building your credit is maintaining several open accounts if you can.
Every time you use a credit card, think about the extra expense that it will incur if you don’t pay it off immediately. Remember, the price of an item can quickly double if you use credit without paying for it quickly. If you keep this in mind, you are more likely to pay off your credit quickly.
When looking for a new card, it is very important to comparison shop and try to find a card that is offering great deals to new customers. Using a card that offers points or airline miles is great because you will be able to get a bit of an incentive, every time you use your card.
Verify all fees and charges associated with a potential credit card, rather than just the APR and interest rates. There are oftentimes charges for service, applications, cash advances and many other unexpected fees.
Be careful when you are signing up with secured credit card companies because a lot of them charge high fees in exchange for issuing you a card. If you have to get this type of card, then you should shop around to make sure that you are paying the lowest fees.
As stated previously, credit cards can be quite useful, but they can also hurt us when we don’t use them right. Hopefully, this article has given you some sensible advice and useful tips on the best way to use your credit cards and manage your financial future, with as few mistakes as possible!