6 Tips for First-Time Credit Cardholders
By Shelly Evans
Following are excellent credit card tips, pointers, and suggestions that will help you succeed in managing your very first credit card account in the most responsible way.
Credit Card Tips – 1: Always settle your credit card charges in full. Did you know that submitting just the minimum amount due to your card issuer can actually cause your interest charges to balloon out? That’s why we constantly remind first-time cardholders, like you, to pay their balance in full, each month. That way, you cannot only avoid making extra payments on interest. More importantly, you can also build and eventually maintain a solid personal credit profile.We also encourage you to consider this question, before charging a bill or a purchase on your credit card: “Can I afford to pay this expense in full?” If your answer is YES then, you may proceed with your transaction. Otherwise, it might be best to pay for it in cash.
Credit Card Tips – 2: Spend within your credit limit. Credit cards, in general, come with spending caps or limits. In fact, it is your responsibility to know what your limit is so that you can avoid going overboard with your credit card charges. This is very important for you to avoid incurring overdraft charges as well as declined transaction fees. Furthermore, it will also help you maintain a low debt-to-limit ratio, which is a factor that influences the computation of your personal credit rating.
Credit Card Tips – 3: Be familiar with the provisions of the CARD Law. Card issuers cannot immediately raise interest rates without providing notices to their clients. This is one of the most important provisions of the CARD Law, which aims to offer cardholders protection against the abusive activities of credit card firms. So, as early as now, you should be familiar with your rights and limitations as prescribed by the federal laws.
Credit Card Tips – 4: Read the fine print of your credit card program, from time to time. After all, this will help remind you of the important terms and conditions that apply to your personal credit card. Always remember that by being familiar with such provisions, you can resolve to comply with them, all the time. And in time such habits can help you avoid incurring pesky fines and penalties that are usually charged to cardholders who committed serious violations against their credit agreements.
Credit Card Tips – 5: Don’t let your earned points and rewards go to waste. If your card program comes with exciting perks and incentives then, you should see to it that you won’t let them slip through your fingers. As much as possible, you should come up with a definite schedule for determining your accumulated points and their corresponding rewards. And see to it that you will redeem your perks and incentives before they expire.
Credit Card Tips – 6: Make it a habit to check your monthly billing statement. Checking your monthly statements will not just help you monitor your spending habits. It can also help you detect if an unauthorized party has gained illegal access to your credit card account. Always remember that you can only qualify for limited liability privileges if you can report cases of credit fraud and identity theft to your card issuer, within two to three working days. You should always keep a close eye on the transactions and charges listed in your billing statements.
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