Credit cards represent the best and worst in life. On the one hand, pulling them out of your wallet and sliding them at the store register means you get your hands on what you wanted to buy. On the other hand, you get to curse and swear at the bill that shows up in your mailbox a few weeks later. Read on the find out how to maximize the good while minimizing the bad.
Never use your credit card to buy something that is not in your budget. Big-ticket merchandise that you may have difficulties paying for should not be charged. Only charge things that you know you have the ability to pay for in the near future.
Keep track of how much money you are spending when using a credit card. Small, incidental purchases can add up quickly, and it is important to know how much you have spend on them, so you can understand how much you owe. You can keep track with a check register, spreadsheet program, or even with an online option offered by many credit card companies.
Make sure that you pore over your credit card statement each and every month, to make sure that every single charge on your bill has been authorized by you. Many people fail to do this and it is much harder to fight fraudulent charges after a lot of time has passed.
Pay each month’s credit card bill on time. Your credit card payments have a date that they are due by and ignoring them will cost you additional fees. You will also be taking the chance that your creditors will raise your rate of interest, which will cost more later.
Do not leave any blank spaces when you are signing a receipt in a retail store. If you do not want to leave a tip make sure to write a zero or draw a line to indicate no tip is included and nobody can add an amount in. Additionally, check your credit statements to ensure that the recorded purchases match your expectations and your receipts.
Online purchases should only be with trusted vendors whom you have checked out before divulging information. Call vendor numbers to verify the company’s validity. If there is no physical address on the site, avoid transacting with them.
The credit cards in your life can swing both ways. While they can mean the instant gratification of that new item you wanted at the mall, they can also mean a headache in the mail a month later. This article has provided you with ideas on how to reap your rewards without sweating the downside much. Apply what you have learned to excel at both.