Credit cards help individuals manage their money and build a good credit history. Being aware of how bank cards work is important and helps people to learn to make good financial choices. Below, you will find some great tips on using bank cards and using them wisely.
If you notice a fraudulent charge on your credit card, report it immediately. This gives the credit card companies the most opportunity to catch the person responsible. This will also prevent you from becoming responsible for too many unauthorized charges. It usually just takes a brief email or phone call to report fraudulent charges.
The best charge cards come along with having great credit. The credit card issuing agents use your credit score to determine the interest rates and incentives they will offer you in a card. Only those with terrific credit records are eligible for credit cards with the most advantageous interest rates and the most favorable rewards programs.
Open and go over everything that is sent to your mail or email about your card whenever you get it. Charge cards companies can change their policies, fees and interest rates so long as you receive a written notice that they are doing so. Remember, if you don’t like any of the changes, you can legally demand that your credit card account is closed.
It is always worth your time to ask for a lower interest rate. If you have a strong credit rating and have always made payments on time, an improved interest rate might be yours for the asking. All you need is one phone call to help you get a better rate.
Do not write your password or your pin number down. Memorize your password, and never share it with anyone else. Writing down your password or pin number, and keeping it with your credit card, will allow anyone to access your account if they choose to.
If anyone ever asks for credit card numbers by phone, do not give out this information. This is a common ploy for scammers. Give out your number only if you are the one who made the call. Never give any personal information to anyone who calls you. No matter who they claim to be, you do not know who they are.
Remember, interest rates can change quickly and are not negotiable. Credit card companies compete with each other for your business, and they all use a range of different rates to attract cusotmers. If you dislike your interest rate, get in touch with your bank and request a change.
Those with imperfect credit may want to think about getting a secured card. Secured bank cards require you to deposit money in advance to cover the charges you will make. Functioning in many ways like a debit, your money stands as insurance that you won’t go crazy and max your cards out. It is probably not the most appealing option in the world but sometimes you have to do this to repair a poor credit score. Only apply for a secured credit card from a well-known, reputable company. They will be in a position to offer you a regular, unsecured credit card in the future, and you can further improve your credit by using it responsibly.
Know what recent credit card laws have been created recently. For example, companies cannot give retroactive rate hikes. They are also banned from engaging in double-cycle billing. Read, and keep yourself up-to-date on all of the laws that apply to credit card companies. Two legislative changes have occurred that need to be noted, including the CARD Act.
Keep a running track of how much you are spending each month on your credit card. Even inexpensive impulse purchases often add up very quickly. If you aren’t tracking your credit card balance, you may be surprised when you get your statement at the months end.
It is important that you are honest on how much money you make when you apply for credit. Sometimes, a credit card company won’t verify your income, and give you a limit that is more than you can afford. This is a very quick way to get into a large amount of debt.
If you decide to close a credit card account, properly dispose of your card. If you put your old card in a drawer or let you child play with it, someone else could get it and make charges in your name.
Don’t pay for small purchases with credit cards, even if it’s tempting to do so. Many vendors have a minimum charge for credit card users, which means you’ll be stuck looking for extra things to buy at the last minute. Only use a card if you’re making a purchase above $10.
Read all fine print before applying for any secured card. Most often, you will be required to put up a small deposit, but that may be quickly used up by unforeseen fees, which will in turn reduce the line of credit available to you.
Review your card’s frequent flyer reward program thoroughly if it’s offered. Really get into the finer details. You may be subject to blackout restrictions, rendering the rewards virtually unusable. Companies will make the restrictions difficult to decipher for a very good reason. After all, credit card providers do not want their customers to actually claim any rewards. They are just a hook for getting you to apply.
In conclusion, those who are building their credit and want to control their finances greatly benefit from having a credit card. Making sure you understand each of your cards is important, so that you make the right financial choices. Knowing what to expect from having a credit card will help you make better choices.