Tips for managing credit cards

Tips for managing credit cards

Credit cards are useful in todays fast developing world and financial landscape.Credit cards however become even more of a joy to have if used in the right way.Below are some essential tips for managing credit cards.

Be proactive about card security – You can play a part in cutting down on card fraud by monitoring financial statements regularly and setting up alerts to readily spot suspicious charges.You also can change any behaviours like throwing paper statements in the trash,leaving smartphones unlocked and responding to unsolicited requests for bank information,that make you more susceptible to fraud.

Pull your credit report – Mysterious line items are a good indication that identity theft is occurring.Federal law entitles everyone to one free credit report from each credit bureau every year.You can obtain multiple reports at once or spread out the requests across the year to keep an eye on your affairs.

Assess whether that annual fee card is worth it – Some annual fee credit cards are worth it,others are not.Often the value of these products hinges on your lifestyle and your spending habits.For instance,if you travel often,you are more apt to appreciate a credit card co-branded by your favourite airline that offers free checked bags,lounge access and complimentary upgrades.

Don’t be afraid to ask – If you do decide an annual fee card isn’t worth it, don’t be afraid to call your issuer to see if they will waive the fee.They alternately may be able to move you to a fee free version of the card that will preclude you from closing the account, which will preclude the closure from affecting your credit score.You could also ask to have your interest rate lowered or your credit limit raised.

Learn what ancillary benefits your card may offer – In addition to rewards, many credit cards offer ancillary benefits,including extended warranties,price protection,purchase protection,trip cancellation insurance and even car rental insurance.These perks can come in handy when you are shopping or planning a vacation.Figure out what perks your credit card entitles you to by reading through its terms and conditions.

Read your credit card contract cover to cover – Now may be the perfect time to read through all the fine print of your current credit card contract. Its great to know about the perks,but you also should know about lesser known fees attached to the product.You will want to know whether your issuer has included in the terms and conditions an arbitration clause, which requires customers to settle disputes with the bank through an arbitrator rather than the courts.

Categories: Credit cards