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Tips about Credit Cards

With a credit card, you don't need to worry about carrying a lot of cash in your wallet.  They are accepted in many businesses, you can save points for rewards and you are building credit for yourself.  Yet, many people are in debt because it's so easy to pay with a credit card and not notice how much is spent until a huge bill arrives in the mail.  Follow the tips below to become a savvy credit card user.

 

  • Shop around.
    Just as you would shop at a number of stores for the best bargain, the same care should be taken when applying for a credit card.  Use the credit card checklist to compare credit card offers and check the Federal Reserve System's Survey of Credit Card Plans to find the card that best suits your needs.

  • Read the fine print.
    Read all of the terms and conditions that apply before applying for a credit card.  Many credit card companies provide great introductory offers that last only a couple of months and include a list of detailed exceptions.  Make sure you read and understand all of the terms and conditions, and learn common credit card terms 

  • Never spend what you can't afford.
    Credit card companies give you a spending limit, but that doesn't mean it's okay to spend that limit.  You should never go over the limit.  Think about your budget before you make a purchase because using credit that you can't pay back on time will hurt your credit score

  • Pay off the balance in full each month.
    It may seem easy to pay just the minimum balance each month, but interest adds up and you could easily be paying double your original balance.  If you can't pay the balance in full, try to pay more than the minimum balance so that you pay less over time. See how Danny pays off his credit card bill

  • Limit the number of credit cards in your wallet.
    Keeping track of multiple credit card bills can be quite a balancing act.  To avoid confusion and reduce the chance of identity theft, limit yourself to as few credit cards as possible.  You can stop credit card offers from coming in the mail by visiting OptOutPrescreen.com or calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (888-567-8688).