A list of the top ten credit card best practices has been published offering advice which can help everyone from college students just starting out with their first credit card, to more mature consumers who have already made some mistakes in their financial management and are looking to set things straight.
Experts say that even if you started out wrongly with your credit card, you can still benefit from the tips and start out fresh with a new attitude towards credit card borrowing.
1. Don’t borrow what you cannot afford to pay back right away. If you are unable to pay off what you have spent with your next pay check, then it is best to say no to impulse buying.
2. Pay off your balance on time, every time. Allowing your credit card balance to become overdue is the first step to it spiraling out of control with fees and charges.
3. Pay off your credit card balance in full as often as possible. If you get into the habit of paying off your credit card every month you are much less likely to have credit card debt issues in future.
4. Avoid sharing your credit card with others and do not make credit card purchase by phone in a public place. Do not read your credit card statement in public places either as these steps can prevent identity fraud.
5. Check your statement every single month and look for any suspicious charges so that you have time to stop and reverse unauthorized charges.
6. Exercise extreme caution when paying for subscription services in case the company retains the card details and continues to charge you after the subscription has expired.
7. When purchasing online, ensure that the https: or lock icon is present. Shop only on secure sites to protect your credit card details.
8. Seek out credit cards which offer rewards programs. If you are going to make purchases you may as well be earning cash back or free hotel stays while you do so. Rewards mount up quickly if you use a credit card regularly often to the value of $300 a year or more.
9. Educate yourself on the credit card details and fine print. This will allow you to stay within your credit limit and other limitations placed on the card without incurring fees which you were not aware of.
10. If in doubt, give the credit card company a call. All major credit card issuers have trained customer services representatives who can assist you with any queries you may have.