With the way the economy is these days, you really need to be smart about how you spend every penny. Charge cards are a great way to make purchases you may not otherwise be able to, but when not used properly, they can get you into financial trouble real quickly. Read on for some great tips for using your credit cards wisely.
Make sure you know what your interest rate will be with a given credit card. Before you decide whether or not a credit card is right for you, you have to understand the interest rates that will be involved. If you are unaware, you may end up paying far more than the initial price. You might not be able to pay off your debt if you have to pay more and more interest.
In order to minimize your credit card debt expenditures, review your outstanding credit card balances and establish which should be paid off first. A good way to save more money in the long run is to pay off the balances of cards with the highest interest rates. You’ll save more in the long term because you will not have to pay the higher interest for a longer period of time.
Fill in all spaces when using your credit card at a retail establishment. Draw a pen line through the “tip” area, so that an employee cannot write something in the space and give themselves a tip. Carefully check your statements to assure your purchases match the amount on your 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.
Remember that you must pay back what you have charged on your credit cards. This is only a loan, and in many cases, it is a high interest loan. Carefully consider your purchases prior to charging them, to be sure that you will have the money to pay them off.
It is good practice to check your credit card transactions with your online account to make sure they match up correctly. You do not want to be charged for something you didn’t buy. This is also a great way to check for identity theft or if your card is being used without your knowledge.
It is wise to refrain from giving a credit card to a child. It is best to let children wait to get bank cards until they reach the age of 18, or when they can get their own. Instead, consider opening them a checking account and giving them an allowance. This will help them learn to manage a small amount of money so that they will be ready to manage a credit card when the time comes.
As stated previously, you really have no choice but to be a smart consumer who does his or her homework in this economy. Everything just seems so unpredictable and precarious that the slightest change could topple any person’s financial world. Hopefully, this article has you on the right path in terms of using bank cards the right way!
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