The Top Eight Credit Card Tips of 2017
If you have a credit card, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. For many people, this means being smart with how they use their cards. You should also be smart about the card you choose. You wouldn’t want a travel rewards card if you don’t go anywhere, it just doesn’t make sense. This article will go over the top eight credit card tips. We will also talk about common sense credit card tips for everyday use.
1. Avoid Paying Credit Card Fees as Much as Possible
Credit card companies make a lot of money in fees. These fees are generally late fees and annual fees. If you pay your card balance late each month, you’ll get hit with a fee on top of what you owe. Pay your bill on time and avoid this fee as much as possible. As for annual fees, look for a card with no annual fee like the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. It doesn’t hurt to call your lender and ask for a lower or even a waived fee either.
2. Don’t Try to Get a Reward if it Costs You More Than the Reward is Worth
Many people have rewards credit cards. These cards will offer you something, like a $100 rewards credit for spending $10,000. So many people will rack up a $10,000 balance and carry this balance over months to pay it off. You will get the $100 reward, but you’ll be spending much more in just interest charges. Always make sure the reward is worth the cost to get it, otherwise ignore it.
3. Be Careful When You Fuel Up
Chip readers are becoming very popular, and they make it harder for people to steal your information. However, gas pumps don’t have this technology yet, and this makes you vulnerable to credit card skimming. People put these devices on top of the gas pump’s card reader, and it records your information. The person who placed this device can now take your card information and make a whole new card. To protect credit card data, use gas pumps that are closer to the store. They’re less likely to be rigged with this skimming device. If you have the option, pay inside rather than at the pump and use a credit card over a debit card. Your credit card company will reimburse you if you are a victim of identity fraud. A debit card linked to your bank account can lead the thief right to all of your money.
4. Only Charge an Amount You Can Afford
The fourth item on the credit card tips list is an easy one to forget. If you begin charging more than you know you can afford, you’re setting yourself up to fail. You want to live below your means, not above them. Credit cards make it so easy to charge more than you can afford to pay back. However, once you start down this path, it is tough to get back out. Your credit card charges interest on top of your balance. This interest means you’ll be paying back more than you owe. If you’re only paying the minimum payment, you could easily be doubling the amount you’re in debt.
5. Set up Mobile Credit Alerts
If you’re someone who tends to forget things, set up credit card alerts for anything important related to your credit card. This could be an alert to send your payment, or an alert to check your credit statement. You can also set security alerts. These alerts will send you a text message when there is unusual activity on your account. They can alert you when you’re about to reach your credit limit as well. The more alerts you set up, the better off you’ll be in the long run. You’ll be better protected from fraud and identity theft, as well as keeping your payments on time.
6. Do a Six Month or Yearly Rewards Card Audit
This is one of the most valuable credit card tips you can follow. Your rewards card benefits change over the years. If you don’t research the new benefits, you can be missing out on extra money each year. Your rewards card is always coming out with new benefits and redemption rates. It pays to take advantage of these and to stay on top of the new rewards.
7. Pay Off Your Credit Card Bill in Full and on Time Each Month
If you take one tip away from all of the credit card tips in this article, make it this one. You want to pay your credit card bill in full each month. If you carry a balance, you’re adding interest charges onto your original balance. This will put you further into debt. If you don’t pay on time, you’ll get a late fee added on as well. Each of these things can start small and snowball into a large issue. You want to get out of debt as soon as you can, not add more to it. If you pay off your bill in full and on time every month, you can surpass this goal. Try a balance transfer to help pay down any credit card debt you may have faster.
8. Ask Your Lender for a Lower Interest Rate
A few credit card lenders will lower their interest rates for you, and all you have to do is ask. The CreditCards website ran a survey and asked people to ask their lenders for lower interest rates. They reported back that 69 percent of the people that asked for a lower interest rate got one. This simple thing can lead to thousands of dollars in interest saved over the years. It is rare for people to ask for this, and this is why lenders can negotiate a lower rate for you.
Follow These 8 Credit card Tips – Make Best Use of Your Cards With these Credit Tips
This article has covered the top eight credit card tips that anyone can utilize and avoid bad credit habits. If you’re smart with your credit card, you will have financial success when you use it. You should never be afraid to ask for things like a lower interest rate. Finally, it never hurts to ask, and they payoff is worth the risk. These credit card tips can act as a general guide to help you have a healthier financial outlook.
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