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.
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.
Check your credit report regularly. By law, 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.
Know what interest rate your credit card gets. It is very important to understand what the interest rate is before you get the credit card. If you are unsure, over time you might pay much more than what items actually cost. It’s always a good idea to pay off your credit card in full every month, but this may be impossible if you are paying more than you expected.
Keep an eye on mailings from your credit card company. While some might be junk mail offering to sell you additional services, or products, some mail is important. Credit card companies must send a mailing, if they are changing the terms on your credit card. Sometimes a change in terms can cost you money. Make sure to read mailings carefully, so you always understand the terms that are governing your credit card use.
If you have several credit cards with balances on each, consider transferring all of your balances to one, lower-interest credit card. Almost everyone gets mail from various banks offering low or even zero balance credit cards if you transfer your current balances. These lower interest rates usually last for 6 months or a year. You can save a lot of interest and have one lower payment each month!
When you are using your credit card at an ATM make sure that you swipe it and return it to a safe place as quickly as possible. There are many people that will look over your shoulder to try to see the information on the card and use it for fraudulent purposes.
It is important for people not to purchase items that they cannot afford with credit cards. Just because an item is within your credit card limit, does not mean you can afford it. Make sure anything you buy with your card can be paid off by the end of the month.
A key credit card tip that everyone should use is to stay within your credit limit. Credit card companies charge outrageous fees for going over your limit, and these fees can make it much harder to pay your monthly balance. Be responsible and make sure you know how much credit you have left.
Always know what your utilization ratio is on your credit cards. This is the amount of debt that is on the card versus your credit limit. For instance, if the limit on your card is $500 and you have a balance of $250, you are using 50% of your limit. It is recommended to keep your utilization ratio of around 30%, in order to keep your credit rating good.
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.