Rewards: Make them useful
– It is possible to get a credit card that rewards users for not using the card at all actually. One actually offers enough gas rewards for a free oil change every so often.
– Get the best rewards for your lifestyle. If you are not a traveler, do not get rewards that are focused on hotel rates or airline fares. Find something like gas rewards or saving for college.
Be smart when it comes to balances and rates
– Try to haggle with the credit card company once you have built up a good customer history with them. You can call them up to try and to negotiate a lower interest rate, which has the possibility of saving you hundreds over the course of time.
– Pay off the card that has the highest interest, even if it is the one with the highest balance. Sometimes it may be more appealing to pay off the smaller ones first but you want to save on interest too.
– Be careful when signing up for “poor people” credit cards that are geared towards people with little to no credit. Often these cards have sky high interest rates or the amount of fees associated with opening these accounts is so high that the entire credit limit is used up by these fees.
– Do not carry a balance. Credit cards are meant to be used mainly for small purchases. If you want to finance, something like a car try and to get a loan that has a much lower interest rate instead.
Extra tips and tricks with the cards
– Invest in price protection. Many cards will give you the option to get a refund on a big purchase such as a computer if you can find it cheaper within 30/60/90 days.
– Cash back is usually a percentage of what you spend. Take advantage of the cash back and use that cash for whatever purchases you may want instead of the card.
– Get purchase protection for the items you buy but do not get the extended warranty because usually buried in with that protection is a warranty anyways.
– Invest in the program that will cover your payments if you become unemployed or something happens. This will not only save you money in terms of fees and over limits but it will keep your credit report clean and report you as up to date with your payments.
– Don’t always close old cards. This will lower your debt to credit ratio and could potentially hurt your credit score. If you’re dead set on doing it go ahead but don’t do it for the purpose of increasing your score because the opposite will be done.
Keep it simple
Don’t get in over your head with the credit cards that you have. Definitely don’t get more than 1 or 2 cards because then they may overwhelm you. Use them for their intended purpose and you won’t find yourself in deep water.