Six Money Saving Secrets for Credit Card Users

by : Julie Zorgo

Most adults own credit cards and use them regularly.? In? fact, credit cards are marketed on college campuses, to get eighteen-year-olds hooked on using them. Many financial advisors will tell you to get rid of your credit cards, but often people want to keep them to build their credit, or in case of an emergency. If you are one of those people who wishes to utilize a credit card on a regular basis, here are six suggestions that could save you money:

  1. Try to pay off the credit card bill each month. This is the best way to build up your credit. Do not charge more than you are able to pay when the bill comes. If you are truly unable to pay off the entire bill, at least aim to pay off more than the minimum payment. Statistics tell us that 35-40% of people only pay the minimum each month, and soon find themselves in a sinkhole of debt.
  1. Never pay your credit card bill late. One secret credit card companies know is that they can charge you whatever late fee they wish for a late payment. Often this is $30+ dollars! And, even if your payment is only an hour late, they can charge this fee. Make sure your bill is paid early each month.
  1. Read the credit card terms in detail before you sign up for a new card. Some people will eagerly transfer their balance to a card that promises 0% APR for a year. Before you get excited, read the fine details. Remember that APR means Adjustable Percentage Rate (meaning the rate can change).? See what the balance transfer fee is (often 3% of the balance).? Find out what the interest rate is after the first year is up.
  1. Check your account balances often.? Identity thieves count on consumers not looking at their credit card statement.? Many consumers have told me it was not until they took a thorough look at their monthly transactions that they realized their credit card number had been stolen and used for fraudulent charges. Be on top of your account, and do not become a victim.
  1. Pick a card with good rewards.? If you plan to use a credit card, look for one that has excellent rewards like cash back.? If you fly often, check into frequent flyer miles. A gas card can help you save money at the pump, provided you pay the balance monthly.
  1. Be aware of the consequences of going into debt. Use your credit cards responsibly. Frequent charging of items you cannot pay back leads to a cycle of more and more debt. Eventually, you could be facing a variety of unattractive options, including bankruptcy.

Credit cards are not bad in and of themselves. Users must use them responsibly, read all the details of the card agreementArticle Search, and be aware of what they can and cannot afford to charge.