Credit cards are common these days but so many people are unaware of all the little tricks that there are involving them. Take a look at a few tips that you should know and even put into use immediately.
1. Report Your Card Lost
There are a lot of reasons to report a credit card lost, even when it isn’t. In addition, most credit card companies will not charge you to replace a lost card.
First, you need to know the difference between ordering a replacement card and reporting a card lost. If you report your card lost, your credit card company will send you a new card and change your number, for your protection. If you order a replacement card, they will simply send you a new card with the same old number. You need to report your card lost so that you get that new number.
Now that you know that, why would you want to do it? That is probably your next question.
There are a lot of reasons to do this. For starters, if you have had that number for some time, it has gotten around. You are trusting that the security is good at every place that you have used it. As you know, this is normally not the case. Databases get cracked all of the time and paperwork is lost or stolen. Changing your number can keep it out of the hands of scammers.
Another reason to change that number is to get out of contracts. maybe you signed up for a service with repeat monthly payments and are having a hard time getting out of the contract or the company is hard to deal with. Changing your number will put an end to automatic payments.
2. Get An Annual Fee Waived
If you have a card with an annual fee, you do not have to suck it up and pay it every year.
Instead, call your credit card company up and ask to have the fee waived. You might be surprised at just how much leeway a customer service rep has. Of course, you do need to be prepared to cancel the account to make this work.
Most of the time, when you threaten to cancel, a credit will quickly be issued to cover the cost of that annual fee. Occasionally a company will call your bluff, but most of the time it will work.
3. Protect Your Money
If you lose your wallet, you can consider the cash that was in it gone for good. Credit cards are safer.
Even if you lose a credit card and somebody charges up 10000 dollars in charges, you have zero liability. Simply report the card stolen or lost and you will not be responsible for any charges made.
Because of the safety net provided by credit cards, they can be a great tool to use to protect yourself as long as you are disciplined.
Pay off your card completely during the grace period. This is the period after you receive your statement when interest charges will not be charged. Typically this is 3 to 4 weeks after the statement date.
4. Get Rewarded For Charging
Don’t be afraid to put a major purchase on a credit card as long as you have discipline.
If you want to buy a new television or a major appliance, use that credit card. Charge that refrigerator and get 1 to 2 percent back on the purchase as a cash reward. Then simply pay off the balance of the card when you receive your statement. On a major purchase, it can be an easy $50 or more in your pocket.
Of course, to make this work you have to be disciplined. This is worth saying again because it is lack of discipline that gets you in trouble. Credit card companies offer these big rewards to get you to charge money and carry a balance. Don’t do it.
5. Ask For More Credit
From time to time, your credit card company will grant you a credit limit increase. If your account is in good standing and your credit is solid, you can often ask for an increase in this limit as well.
Even if you have no plans on using this new increased limit, it is a good idea to ask for it.
Why? Because an increased limit will do two things for you. It will increase the amount of credit available to you and it will decrease your credit utilization. Both of these things can have a positive impact on your credit score.
The higher your credit score the better and you should be concerned about your score even at times when you are not actively pursuing a loan. Your credit can affect you in a number of ways. Good credit can help you get a better job, qualify for a rental home and even save you money on car insurance.
Audit your cards from time to time and ask for those increases.
Credit cards are not something to be afraid of as long as you remain disciplined. The credit card companies will do everything in their power to get you to spend and carry a balance however. Know that and use their gimmicks to your advantage. Use credit cards as a tool to increase your portfolio and boost your credit scores. If you keep your discipline, it will remain a free tool.