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Top Tips for Credit Cards

Nowadays, consumers use credit cards to help them buy most purchases on "loan", spread payments for purchases across a couple of months or receive special deals. Credit cards have now become so widely used that they're often a form of identification for most of us.

However, owning too many credit card products with luxurious spending limits can be risky. And with the ability to identify yourself using only your credit card you need to take extra measures to keep your card details safe, whether it be checking your balance every month to find any odd purchases or only applying for cards with fraud protections.

 

Using your card wisely.

One of the best tips we can give for anyone using credit cards is to use it wisely. Although it's probably easier said than done, you should try to at least:

  1. Pay you bills on time - the single, most important aspect of own a credit card. This will protect your credit rating and avoid huge charges that could leave you spiraling into debt.
  2. Pay off your balance in full each month, or if you can't at least pay off the largest feasible amount you can to reduce interest.
  3. If you couldn't pay off the full balance last month, slow down your credit card usage the next month to avoid overstretching yourself.
  4. Check your statement carefully each month and ensure all charges have been applied correctly and your card has not been used by anyone else.
  5. Negotiate a lower rate with your credit card company wherever possible if you have a good credit history.

 

Protecting against fraud.

Identity theft can easily happen with credit cards, so try to:

  1. Sign your new cards immediately when you receive them and destroy any old replacement cards effectively.
  2. Never fax your credit card number, or e-mail it through unsecured channels.
  3. Only give your card number to businesses over the phone or internet you know are genuine.
  4. Take advantage of any extra security benefits your card offers.
  5. Call your credit card company immediately if you suspect anything suspicious on your account.

 

Getting the right credit card.

Another important tip for credit cards is applying for the right one for you. Do you need something with a high spending limit, but don't need any extra features? Or are you only looking for something to increase your credit rating?

  1. Be aware of companies offering excellent introductory rates and offers. Check the actual APR before you apply for credit cards with new customer offers, as the price may change considerably after the period is up.
  2. Use comparison websites to look for the lowest APR. Lower is always better for credit cards; each percentage point dropped off the APR for exploring your options will save you a lot of money.
  3. Opt for cards that don't charge an annual fee. You don't have to pay for the privilege of using credit cards.

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