Even if there is no cash in your wallet, you can still spend money that you might not have even earned yet. Credit cards have added power to your wallet, but also peril. Using your cards wisely can mean the difference between pulling your hair out because of the monthly bill or flying away to exotic destinations. Read on for sound strategies that will help you to use your cards wisely.
If you see any suspicious charges to your credit card, call your credit card company right away. This gives the credit card companies the most opportunity to catch the person responsible. In addition, this is the best method of ensuring you aren’t responsible for the charges. Many false charges can be fixed with a simple phone call.
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.
Watch your credit balance cautiously. Also be aware of the credit limit that applies to your account. If you go over that limit, you are going to pay more fees than you realize. It will take much longer for someone to pay their balance down if they exceed their limit consistently.
When using your credit card online, you should always keep a sales receipt copy. Keep the receipt in a secure location, and when your credit card bill arrives, check that the online retailer charged you the right amount for the item that you purchased. If an error has occurred, lodge a dispute with the seller and your credit card provider immediately. This will ensure you don’t get overcharged for your purchases.
It is a bad idea to make credit card purchases using a public computer. Public computers in coffee shops and public libraries could store your information, ready for a thief to retrieve and use it. Using your cards on these types of computers is a recipe for disaster. Whenever you make a purchase, do so on your computer.
If you can’t get a credit card because of a spotty credit record, then take heart. There are still some options that may be quite workable for you. A secured credit card is much easier to get and may help you rebuild your credit record very effectively. With a secured card, you deposit a set amount into a savings account with a bank or lending institution – often about $500. That amount becomes your collateral for the account, which makes the bank willing to work with you. You use the card as a normal credit card, keeping expenses under that limit. As you pay your monthly bills responsibly, the bank may decide to raise your limit and eventually convert the account to a traditional credit card.
Credit cards let you spend someone else’s money, on the condition that you are paying them back starting in a few weeks. The interest rates can ruin your future, or the reward points can brighten your coming months. To fall on the side of that divide that you want, apply what you have learned in this article.