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Advice That Every Consumer Should Learn About Credit Cards

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Q1 2008 Credit Card Offers
credit cards
Image by jcarter
We get a lot of junk mail and the majority of it is credit card offers. This shows all of the offers we received from January 1 to March 31 2008. We’ll try to reduce the number of offers we receive by opting-out. More details available at www.jasoncarter.com/2008/04/08/a-quarter-of-credit/.

Credit cards can give you a lot of points for things like vacations, leaving your wallet happy. Many people pick the wrong credit card offers and end up with big bills to pay, a decreased credit score or just higher than necessary interest rates. If you want to manage a credit card well, read here for great ideas on ways to manage it wisely.

Many people have credit cards, however very few use them correctly. Debt is unavoidable at times, but credit card debt can quickly bury people who do not keep keep a close eye on them. Being confronted with bills you cannot afford is a bad plan. The best strategy is to pay off your entire balance each month. This will allow you to use your credit cards while maintaining a low balance and raising your credit score.

If you lose your card, report the loss immediately. If you have a card stolen, you may be accountable for any charges made before you report the theft. Once you report your card missing or stolen, the credit card issuer can’t make you responsible for unauthorized charges.

Watch your credit balance cautiously. You should also be sure to know that you are aware of the limit that your creditor has given you. If you do happen to go over your credit limit, the creditor will impose fees. Exceeding your credit card limit can impede your ability to pay off your balance quickly.

Make on-time payments to your credit card provider each month. Late payments, even if done on occasion, could make you experience high interest rates and they could damage your credit rating. Paying online will ensure that your payment is not lost in the mail.

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Always have two credit cards on hand if you travel, especially if you are heading overseas. Having cards from two different banks will give you more options. If one card gives you problems, another card from a separate bank is more likely to work than a second card from the bank that issued the first card. By having cards from different banks, you are more likely to have access to credit.

Keep one credit card open. It is vital to leave the account open with the best record of payment and the longest history. This gives the impression that you have done a great job managing your credit, and that you have used that credit over a longer period of time.

Stay aware of your credit score. Most companies consider a credit, or FICO, score of 700 to be the cutoff for good credit. Use your credit wisely to maintain that level, or if you are not there, to reach that level. Keeping your score at 700 or better gives you the chance to take advantage of offers for the lowest interest rates.

Be extremely cautious of credit cards that advertise zero percent interest rates. It can be tempting to pay no interest, but usually it is for a limited grace period. When that introductory period is over, the interest and the balance will go way up. Know the balance of any card you decide to use.

If your primary motivation for acquiring a new credit card is its rewards or cash back program, you need to make an effort to learn all of the rules and regulations that govern the the card’s programs before you sign up. Thoroughly look over it to see if an expiration date is on this reward, and determine if you want to use these rewards before they expire.

Even if your credit card does not give you tons of perks and bonuses, you can still benefit from using it well. Those who do not mindfully use their cards wisely with some of the sound strategies presented here might have momentary gratification, but also long term stress from bills. Apply what you have learned from this article to fall into the group you would rather be a member of.