Thursday, 26 August 2010 20:06
There is so much negative press about credit cards these days; it’s hard to see the upside to having one. Credit cards are a good financial tool when used properly. Here are a few tips to help you be smart with your credit card:
1. Pay on time
This is obviously true of any loan or bill. By paying on time, you avoid late fees and maintain a good credit score. Pay attention to the payment due date. If the date does not match up with your budget, ask the credit card company to change the due date to a more convenient date like from the 15th to the 30th of the month.
2. Stay below your limit
If you go over your limit, you may be subject to fees and a higher penalty rate. Keep a record of your spending. Be aware of hold policies at hotels and rental car companies, these holds could cause you to go over your limit.
3. Avoid unnecessary fees
Be aware of all fees associated with your card including: cash advances, transferring balances, and returned payments. This way you can make sure that you take out enough money from a cash advance and avoid multiple fees.
4. Read the fine print
Credit card companies are notorious for changing terms and rates. Make sure that you read all of the materials they send to you (at least the part about the rate) as well as your statement for any changes from the previous bill.