5 Tips For Best Utilizing Your Credit Card
Are you on the lookout for your first credit card? Or have you had bad credit card experiences and want to improve your credit score? This article might not dive deep into credit score improvements, but it will provide a careful understanding on how to best utilize your credit card for a better credit score and better life.
1 | Get the right card for you
There are so many different types of credit cards available to you, with a big base involving reward programs. Do you like to travel? Credit cards with airline miles or hotel rewards might be a good choice for you. Prefer to get extra cash? Cash-back credit card rewards could interest you then. With a little bit of research, you could easily discover credit card that offers the best rewards program for you. If you prefer to keep it simple, utilize a default credit card program to maintain a positive credit score.
2 | Read the fine print
Most people compare credit cards based on the main reward programs. It’s also very important to compare additional credit card benefits, including lost card liability, credit shield, extended warranties, interest rates, and purchase protection (Lifehack.org). This is also an important tactic to help protect you from traps by aggressive credit card companies.
3 | Keep major spending to one car
Have you chosen the best card for you? Or are you choosing to open a few? Try to keep your spending to one card to maximize the rewards program value. This doesn’t mean spend money you don’t have just to get the rewards—that’ll backfire against you in the long run. Things like personal expenses or gas for your vehicle/s are great uses for spending on your main credit card. (CreditCards.com)
4 | Pay off your credit card in full
You normally have multiple options when paying your credit card bill every month: a minimum payment, the current balance, or a custom amount. If you choose the minimum due amount option and roll over the balance outstanding, then you will be charged considerable interest on your card and you’ll end up paying more long term (Lifehack.org). To get the most out of your card, pay off the entire outstanding amount at the end of your billing cycle. Doing this makes you debt free and an improved credit score. If you don’t have enough money to pay off your credit card in full, then reevaluate your credit spending to only include important expenses.
5 | Pay off your card on time
Credit card companies are real sticklers when it comes to paying off your card on time. If you miss the allotted payment window, then the credit card will smack an outrageous late payment fee on you (Lifehack.org). This fee could likely lower your credit score and complicate your credit debt. Many credit companies offer an automatic payment option for customers, to avoid missing a monthly payment. Even if you choose this option, make sure to keep a reminder on your calendar, in case the automatic payment doesn’t work. Some credit card companies also offer flexibility on payment due dates; it doesn’t hurt contact your creditor if you’d like to change the date to one that works best for you (DailyWorth.com).