Beautiful young female shopper holding a credit card - focus on foreground. Woman showing gold colored credit card against the camera.

Credit card consumer advice is useful in this day and age. This article hopes to educate you so you avoid any problems with credit cards. Lots of people own credit cards that they do not know how to wisely use. This causes these people to get in financial trouble fast.

Only apply for store cards with merchants you shop with often. When a retail store inquires about your credit prior to opening an account, that inquiry is recorded on your report whether you go through with opening a card or not. A large number of inquiries that is present on a credit report can decrease your credit score.

Ensure you are always paying your credit card bill on time.

Neglecting your credit card’s due date can result in late charges for you. On top of that, the majority of credit card companies reward this behavior by raising interest rates, which means that anything you buy in the future will cost more money.

The moment you receive a letter or email regarding your credit card, be sure to read it right then. Credit card companies can make changes to annual fees, interest rates and membership fees by advising you in writing. Read the correspondence carefully to check for any unwanted changes. You have the right to cancel your card if you don’t like these changes!

Prior to shopping online with a credit card, it is important to know that you are buying from a reputable merchant. Call the contact numbers on the website to ensure they are working, and avoid venders that do not list a physical address.

Ask your creditor if they are willing to lower your interest rate. 

There are a few companies that will lower an interest rate if they know and trust the customer due to working with them for a long period of time. It could save you a lot of money and there is no cost to asking for it.

Never lie about your income to get a card with a higher limit. Companies that offer these cards may not verify income, which means you will get a high limit card, but you may spend more money and incur more debt.

Limit the number of credit cards you carry with you to one or two that you absolutely need. If you have more than two or three cards, consider which ones get the most usage. You should have access to a charge card you use daily and a card that is used for gas. Keep those only in your wallet or purse, and hide the rest in a secure location at your house.

If you are considering a balance transfer, or an introductory rate credit card, make sure you read the fine print. Make certain you are clear as to what will happen once the introductory term is over. Often, these great sounding offers cover up the fact that the interest rates will be quite high once this time is over. So be sure to educate yourself on the credit card terms before signing your name on the application.

Be aware of all of the guidelines about any frequent flier miles offered by your credit card company. This includes reading all of the fine print. Some rewards have fees and blackout dates that can make the rewards practically useless. Companies also want these restrictions to be tough to understand for their own reasons. The dirty little secret is that these companies don’t actually want you to use their rewards. They are just trying to get you to apply.

Conclusion

Keep a close eye on your credit report to make sure everything is in order. Taking this step also enables you to make sure that others are managing your accounts well. Check for reporting mistakes. If you find an error, contact your creditor as well as the credit bureau.

Don’t use a credit card over a debit card simply because the credit card offers rewards and airline points. By charging all of your purchase to this card because you want free air travel, you will rack up lots of points. However, those tickets may end up costing you an a ghastly amount after racking up charges and interest rates.

If you use credit cards poorly, it is easy to end up in dire straits and you should consider using credit card chest