Anyone who has ever had a credit card, knows that they can be a mix of good and bad elements. Though they provide financial flexibility when needed, they can also create difficult financial burdens, if used improperly. Consider the advice in this article before you make another single charge and you will gain a whole new perspective on the potential that these tools offer.
Read the fine print. Always get the full details before signing up for a pre-approved card. Be aware of what the interest rate on your card is and how long it will last. Remember to check out any grace periods and finance charges involved, too.
Make sure your card doesn’t have any annual fees, or you will pay too much. The fees for premium credit cards can range from a small amount to a very large amount depending on how many cards the company issues. If you can’t benefit from a premium card, find a card with no annual fee and don’t waste your money on the premium card’s steep annual fees.
It is not wise to obtain a credit card the minute you are old enough to do so. Most people do this, but your should take a few months first to understand the credit industry before you apply for credit. Seek advice from someone you trust prior to getting a credit card.
When signing a credit receipt at a store or restaurant, don’t leave anything blank. Draw a pen line through the “tip” area, so that an employee cannot write something in the space and give themselves a tip. Additionally, it’s a good idea to verify the information from all receipts with your monthly statement.
Consider unsolicited credit card offers very carefully before you accept them. If an offer that comes to you looks good, read all the fine print to make sure you understand the time limit for any introductory offers on interest rates. Also, be aware of fees that are required for transferring a balance to the account.
As a general rule, you should avoid applying for any credit cards that come with any type of free offer. More often than not, anything that you get free with credit card applications will always come with some sort of catch or hidden costs that you are sure to regret later on down the road.
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!
Credit cards have the ability to provide great convenience, but also bring with them, a significant degree of risk for undisciplined users. The critical part of wise credit card use is a thorough understanding of how providers of these financial tools, operate. Review the ideas in this piece carefully, and you will be equipped to take the world of personal finance by storm.