Some people view credit cards suspiciously, as if these pieces of plastic can magically destroy their finances without their consent. The truth is, however, credit cards are only dangerous if you don’t know how to use them properly. Read on to learn how to protect your credit if you are using credit cards.
When it is time to make monthly payments on your credit cards, be sure that you pay more than the minimum amount that you are required to pay. If you only pay the small amount required, it will take you longer to pay your debts off and the interest will be steadily increasing.
Decide what rewards you would like to receive for using your credit card. There are many options for rewards that are offered by credit card companies to entice you to applying for their card. Some offer miles that can be used to purchase airline tickets. Others give you an annual check. Choose a card that offers a reward that is right for you.
Make friends with your credit card issuer. Most major credit card issuers have a Facebook page. They might offer perks for those that “friend” them. They also use the forum to address customer complaints, so it is to your advantage to add your credit card company to your friend list. This applies, even if you don’t like them very much!
Take advantage of the freebies offered by your credit card company. Many companies have some sort of cash back or points system that is attached to the card you own. When you use these things, you can receive cash or merchandise, just for using your card. If your card does not offer an incentive like this, call your credit card company and ask if it can be added.
When you buy with a credit card on the Internet, keep copies of your receipt. Retain the receipt until the bill arrives so you can ensure that you were charged the proper amount. If they didn’t, call the company and immediately file a dispute. This can help you to avoid getting overcharged for any purchases.
Once you do open a credit card account, aim to keep it open for as long as possible. Once you open a card, keep it open and use it regularly; don’t constantly switch credit cards. Account length is a big part of your credit score. Keeping accounts open for as long as possible will help build credit.
If you have gotten in over your head with credit, and have no idea how you will pay back your debt, don’t give up just yet. Many companies now have hardship programs which you can enter, that will lower your interest, set you up on a payment plan you can afford, and save you the damage of bankruptcy or litigation.
As you can see, credit cards don’t have any special power to harm your finances, and in fact, using them appropriately can help your credit score. After reading this article, you should have a better idea of how to use credit cards appropriately. If you need a refresher, reread this article to remind yourself of the good credit card habits that you want to develop.