Many people think all credit cards are the same, but this is not true. Credit cards can have different limits, rewards, and even interest rates. Selecting the right credit card takes a lot of thought. Here are some tips that will help you select the right credit card.
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.
If you lose your job, let the card company know. If you're likely to miss a payment, you want them to know so they can work with you, which they usually do. This might prevent them reporting late payments to reporting agencies.
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.
Credit cards can be tied to various types of loyalty accounts. Choose a credit card whose loyalty program offers you something valuable. This can provide you with additional money, if you use the card wisely.
Do not make purchases with your credit card for things that you can not afford. Credit cards are for things that you purchase regularly or that fit into your budget. Making grandiose purchases with your credit card will make that item cost you a great deal more over time and will put you at risk for default.
If your mailbox does not contain a lock, do not order cards through the mail. Credit card theft often takes place by simply removing a new credit card from an unlocked mailbox.
Live by a zero balance goal, or if you can't reach zero balance monthly, then maintain the lowest balances you can. Credit card debt can quickly spiral out of control, so go into your credit relationship with the goal to always pay off your bill every month. This is especially important if your cards have high interest rates that can really rack up over time.
Keep track of what you are purchasing with your card, much like you would keep a checkbook register of the checks that you write. It is far too easy to spend spend spend, and not realize just how much you have racked up over a short period of time.
Make sure that any websites that you use to make purchases with your credit card are secure. Sites that are secure will have "https" heading the URL instead of "http." If you do not see that, then you should avoid purchasing anything from that site and try to find another place to buy from.
Keep the total number of credit cards you use to an absolute minimum. Carrying balances on multiple credit cards can complicate your life needlessly. Shift your debt onto the card with the lowest interest. You will be able to keep better track of your debts and pay them off faster if you stick with a single credit card.
If you are getting rid of an old credit card, cut up the credit card through the account number. This is especially important, if you are cutting up an expired card and your replacement card has the same account number. As an added security step, consider throwing away the pieces in different trash bags, so that thieves can't piece the card back together as easily.
By spending some time with a secured card, the company may offer you an unsecured credit card. You will also start to receive offers in the mail. You will need to decide which cards are best suited for your use and circumstances after a thorough evaluation of the situation.
Read all the fine print before applying for a credit card, to avoid getting hooked into paying excessively high interest rates. Many introductory offers are just ploys to get consumers to bite and later, the company will show their true colors and start charging interest rates that you never would have signed up for, had you known about them!
Sometimes, people get excited about certain rewards programs, and they make a hasty decision to go with that particular company. First of all, check the fine print. Second of all, make sure you know what else is out there, before you jump into a relationship with a credit card company.
If your credit card company offers to raise your spending allowance, think carefully before you accept. A higher spending allowance on your cards raises your possible debt to income ratio, and that can harm your credit score. If you do not need the higher spending allowance, ask your creditor to keep your balance where it is, instead.
If you feel that the interest rate that you are paying on your card is too high, you can call your credit card company and ask them to lower it. Many people do not know this and the credit card companies are not going to openly tell people that they may receive lower rates by request.
Now that you realize that all credit cards aren't created equal, you can give some proper thought to the type of credit card you might want. Since cards differ in interest rates, rewards, and limits, it can be tough to choose one. Luckily, the tips you've received can help you make that choice.