Master Your Credit Cards: The User’s Guide

Credit cards play a crucial role in our lives, and if used right, can be an important financial tool. Here’s how you can master your credit cards and make the best use of them.

Know your fees

There are some fees, like an annual fee, which are automatically charged on your credit card. Other fees, like a balance transfer fee, are charged based on the type of transaction. Knowing the fees attached to your card can help you reduce the cost of having credit. If you use your card wisely, you may even be able to use it without having to pay any fees.

Pay your balance in full

The best way to avoid interest is to pay your credit card balance in full every month. This also helps you avoid going into debt. To be able to clear your balance every month, you need to keep a check on your credit card spending.

Don’t miss your due dates

Keeping up with your due dates and not missing your credit card payments every month helps you skip paying late fees. Additionally, it also helps you maintain a healthy credit score. Your credit card due date does not change, so you don’t have to worry about having to remember different dates. Most credit card issuers let you change your due date to one which is convenient for you. To avoid missing due dates, set reminders on your phone, or use a checklist.

Choose the right credit card

As there are several credit cards to choose from, be sure of what you want from your card. Do you prefer travel rewards, a 0% balance transfer rate, or a low-interest rate? Based on this, apply to those cards that fit the criteria.

Check your balance and available credit before spending

Before purchasing anything using your credit card, ensure you check your balance and available credit. This becomes more important if you plan to make a big purchase or shop a lot.

Minimize the number of credit cards you have

Having too many credit cards makes it difficult to master them. Moreover, it means you have more due dates to keep a track of, and more payments to make. If your cards are becoming hard to manage, it’s a sign that you need to reduce the number of cards you own.