When you use it well, a credit card can help you reduce stress and rack up perks. If you use your cards unwisely, you will come home from your vacation to find an enormous bill waiting for you. If you prefer the perks involved with wise credit card use, keep reading for some great tips on getting the most out of your credit cards.
Keep track of how much money you are spending when using a credit card. Small, incidental purchases can add up quickly, and it is important to know how much you have spend on them, so you can understand how much you owe. You can keep track with a check register, spreadsheet program, or even with an online option offered by many credit card companies.
Learn how closing the account associated with your credit card will affect you before you shut it down. There are things that can happen that negatively affect your credit score when you close a credit card account. Choose to keep the accounts that you have had open the longest that make up your credit history.
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.
Check your credit report regularly. By Practical Tips To Manage Your Credit Cards Wisely , you are allowed to check your credit score once a year from the three major credit agencies. This may be often enough, if you use credit sparingly and always pay on time. You may want to spend the extra money, and check more often if you carry a lot of credit card debt.
If you have poor credit and want to repair it, consider a pre-paid credit card. This type of credit card can usually be found at your local bank. You can only use the money that you have loaded onto the card, but it is used as a real credit card, with payments and statements. By making regular payments, you will be repairing your credit and raising your credit score.
Don't use your credit cards to purchase items that you can't afford. If you want a big ticket item you should not necessarily put that purchase on your credit card. The interest charges will be exorbitant, and you may not be able to make necessary payments. Just leave this store, think about it for a couple of days, and then make a decision. If you still wish to make the purchase, check to see if in-house financing through the store offers a better interest rate than charging it to your card.
Remember that you must pay back what you have charged on your credit cards. This is only a loan, and in many cases, it is a high interest loan. Carefully consider your purchases prior to charging them, to be sure that you will have the money to pay them off.
You may want to consider using layaway, instead of credit cards during the holiday season. Credit cards traditionally, will cause you to incur a higher expense than layaway fees. This way, you will only spend what you can actually afford during the holidays. Making interest payments over a year on your holiday shopping will end up costing you far more than you may realize.
Make your credit card payments on time and in full, each and every month. Most credit card companies will charge an expensive late fee if you are even a day late. If you pay your bill 30 days late or more, creditors report this late payment to the credit bureaus.
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.
Even a straightforward credit card with no reward system attached can be beneficial to you, provided it is used right. Using these strategies can help you enjoy your credit cards, without the stresses sometimes associated with their usage. Use what you've learned in this article to use your credit wisely.