Here are some tips from the “Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve” to make the most of your credit cards:
Pay on time
Paying your credit card account on time helps you avoid extra charges for late payment and avoid to be added to the account a high interest rate as a penalty, and helps you maintain a good credit record. A good credit history is a high score on your credit, which will help you qualify for lower interest rates.
Know the date your payment is due. If the payment date is not convenient for you-for example, if your payment is due on the 10th and you get paid on the 15th-call your credit card company to see if it is possible to change its payment cycle best suits their flow cashes.
Stay below your credit limit
If you exceed the credit limit on your card, the credit card company may charge an extra cost and increase the interest rate to a level much higher penalty. To avoid this, keep track of your expenses or check your balance on the internet.
Additionally, be aware that some merchants (e.g. hotels and car rental companies) charged to your card a value “reserve” based on the estimate that they made on the amount you will spend. This can reduce your available credit until the final payment is processed.
Avoid unnecessary costs
Credit card companies do not just apply charges for late payments and exceeding the credit limit, but also cash advance, balance transfer, payment and return due to lack of funds. Some companies charge extra fees when you make your payment by phone.
Pay attention to all those transactions that create those extra charges. If you need cash advance, withdraw enough funds to not have to order a second advance subsequently-and incur a second charge extra at the end of the month.
Read the credit card to learn a little more about the extra charges or fees that the credit card company charges on your card.
Pay more than the minimum charge required
If you cannot pay the full balance each month, try to pay as much as you can. Over time, you will pay less in interest charges-money to use on other things at the same time, allow you to pay your balance faster.
See Payment Calculator Credit Card on the website of the Federal Reserve, to determine several possibilities to program the punctual payment of the balance.
Watch for any changes of their own condition
The credit card companies can change the terms and conditions of your account. They will send notices in advance about changes in fees, interest rates, billing, and other aspects. As you read these messages of “change in terms” you can decide whether to change the way you use your card.
For example, if the cash advance costs increase, you may decide to use a different card for cash advances. If you have a card with a variable interest rate, or a card with an introductory rate that is ending, be cautious, because credit card companies are not required to send notices of the increase in interest rates.
Interest rates are included in your monthly statement. Carefully read your statement and note any changes in it.