Best Credit Card Tips
Best Credit Card Tips
At the end of each year, people get serious about their finances. They want the best Annual Percentage Rate (APR) rates, the best terms, and the best benefits. Here are tips you can use to make the most out of using your credit card.
Consider Why You Want the Credit Card
Are you looking for a card to build credit? Maybe you’re looking for a card to transfer existing credit card debt that has a more desirable APR. If you travel extensively for work or play, you’ll likely want a card that gives you points for flights, car rental discounts, or free hotel stays.
As you can see, there are a lot of options out there. While you consider which card will best fit your needs, make sure to also look into mobile apps like CardValet that work with your card to help control fraud. Often times, these apps come with the ability to also control spending and give you on/off controls.
Understand How Your Rewards Work
If you choose a card that gives you points, make sure that you understand how your rewards work. Specifically, you should find out how you accrue points, how many you need to redeem, whether you can use or donate your points on behalf of another person, and if there are any blackout dates.
Before deciding whether the program is right for you, you’d want to read the fine print about how many points you need to do what you’d like to do.
Know the Fees Associated with Your Card
One of the best card tips we can give you is to know the fees associated with your card. And we don’t mean the cost of using an ATM for a cash advance. Is there an annual fee? If so, is the annual fee waived for your first year? Is the fee billed to your credit line or are you required to pay it as part of your monthly statement on your anniversary month?
Let’s Talk about Balance Transfers
Right around the holidays and the first of the year, people consider transferring over their credit card debt to get a better rate. In addition to looking directly at the interest rate, there are few other things you should consider:
- How long will the new interest rate last? This is important because for you to make the most of this card tip, you must be able to pay off the debt before the new interest rate expires.
- Realistically, what is your timeframe to pay off the debt? After all, that is your goal. Consider whether you’re going to be able to make your goal and whether you’ll be looking to transfer again in a year or two.
Sometimes, there’s a fee associated with a balance transfer. Make sure that you know whether you’re going to incur the fee and if that fee makes sense since you’re trying to pay down debt. The fee plus the lower interest rate should still save you money when compared to what you’re currently paying in interest in order to make this worth it for you.
The Best Card Tip Depends on the Card You Choose
Ultimately, the best card tip that can be offered, outside of the basics of ensuring that you understand how your card works and that you can afford your minimum payment each month (at the very least), depend on the card that you choose and why you need the card.
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