When credit cards are good they are very good, but when they are bad they are evil. Credit cards can be hard to manage and use if your understanding of how they work is not good. Keep reading to learn more about managing your charge cards well.
Bank cards often lure in new users with bonuses and gifts for signing up. Read the terms carefully, however; you may have to meet extremely specific criteria in order to get the signing bonus. Frequently, you are required to charge significant sums on the card in a short time to qualify for the bonus. Be sure to understand those terms so you are not disappointed.
Be sure you go over the terms that come with your credit card as carefully as possible prior to using it. When you make your first purchase on a new credit card, the credit card company will usually consider your purchase as your acceptance to their terms. The print on the agreement may be small, but it is important to read it carefully.
Be sure to always pay for your credit cards on time. Credit card balances all have a due date and if you ignore it, you run the risk of being charged some hefty fees. Additionally, many credit companies will increase your card’s interest rate, meaning you will have to pay off higher balances in the future.
Always sign the back of any new credit card as soon as you receive them. A lot of people forget to sign the back of their bank cards and this can have bad consequences if a credit card is stolen. Many retailers will always verify a customer’s signature matches the one on the back of their credit card in order to reduce the number of fraudulent transactions.
If you want a good credit card, be mindful of your credit score. Credit card companies generally use your credit score when issuing benefits with their charge cards. Cards with more perks and lower interest rates are offered to people with higher credit scores.
Read emails and letters from your credit card company upon receipt. Credit companies can make all kinds of changes to interest rates and fees; they just have to provide you with written notification of those changes. If you do not agree with the changes, it is your right to cancel the credit card.
When signing a credit receipt at a store or restaurant, don’t leave anything blank. If you do not want to leave a tip make sure to write a zero or draw a line to indicate no tip is included and nobody can add an amount in. You should also always check your statement against your receipts every month to ensure they match up.
One way to cut down on monthly payments is to ask for a lower interest rate from the companies that have extended credit to you. You should be able to negotiate a more beneficial interest rate if you have a reasonably long history of timely payments to your credit card company. It doesn’t hurt to give your company a call and ask; the worst they can do is say no.
Keep an eye on your credit rating. A score of 700 is what credit companies feel the limit should be when they consider it a good credit score. Use your credit properly to maintain this level, or if you’re not there, use this method to reach this level. Once you have a credit score of around 700 or more, you’ll be offered excellent credit offers with very low rates.
Many experts suggest that your credit limit on a given card should never exceed three-quarters of your monthly income. Also, you should never allow yourself to have a limit that exceeds your monthly salary. If you do, pay that card off and ask for a limit reduction. If you do not or cannot, the amount of interest you pay quickly skyrockets to excessively high amounts.
Examine your credit card statement monthly with a fine tooth comb. In addition to unexpected account changes or charges you don’t remember making, check to make sure that all of the charges listed are for the correct amounts. Immediately report any inaccurate charges to the credit card company. This will help you to avoid paying more than you should, and this may help with your credit score as well.
Don’t ever offer anyone the number associated with your credit card, be it via telephone or the web unless you know and trust the company or individual you are speaking with. Be extra cautious if the offer requiring your information was unsolicited. There are many dishonest people in the world who want your information. Tell them you will call them back to be sure they are legit. Find their number yourself.
Close card accounts that you don’t use. If you keep them open, it is all to easy to fall victim to identity theft. You might also be forced to pay annual fees on something that you do not use.
You can avoid the negative financial consequences of using a credit card by spending wisely, paying on time and learning about all the costs associated with making purchases. However, with the right tips and advice, dealing with them could be easier than what you’ve expected. Take heed of the advice featured above and managing your charge cards will become simple.