Everyone knows just how powerful and dangerous that credit cards can be. The temptation of massive and instant gratification is always lurking in your wallet, and it only takes one afternoon of not paying attention to slide down that slope. On the other hand, sound strategies, practiced with regularity, become an effortless habit and can protect you. Read on to learn more about some of these ideas.

Never give out your credit card number to anyone, unless you are the person that has initiated the transaction. If someone calls you on the phone asking for your card number in order to pay for anything, you should ask them to give you a way to contact them, so that you can arrange the payment at a better time.

An important aspect of smart credit card usage is to pay the entire outstanding balance, each and every month, whenever possible. By keeping your usage percentage low, you will help keep your overall credit score high, as well as, keep a substantial amount of available credit open for use in case of emergencies.

Carefully consider those cards that offer you a zero percent interest rate. It may seem very alluring at first, but you may find later that you will have to pay sky high rates down the road. Learn how long that rate is going to last and what the go-to rate will be when it expires.

There are many cards that offer rewards just for getting a credit card with them. While this should not solely make your decision for you, do pay attention to these types of offers. I’m sure you would much rather have a card that gives you cash back than a card that doesn’t if all other terms are close to being the same.

Instead of just blindly applying for cards, hoping for approval, and letting credit card companies decide your terms for you, know what you are in for. One way to effectively do this is, to get a free copy of your credit report. This will help you know a ballpark idea of what cards you might be approved for, and what your terms might look like.

If you are having trouble with overspending on your credit card, there are several ways to save it only for emergencies. One of the best ways to do this is to leave the card with a trusted friend. They will only give you the card, if you can convince them you really need it.

If you are determined to stop using credit cards, cutting them up is not necessarily the best way to do it. Just because the card is gone doesn’t mean the account is no longer open. If you get desperate, you may ask for a new card to use on that account, and get trapped in the same cycle of charging you wanted to get out of in the first place!

As was mentioned earlier, many folks understand just how problematic credit cards can become with one simple lapse of attention. However, the solution to this is developing sound habits that become automatic protective behaviors. Apply what you have learned from this article, to make habits of protective behaviors that will help you.