Credit card is the future of currency. As we are headed to the future of cashless society, credit cards have been an essential staple. But many are still keen on thinking that credit cards are free money. They forget the part when they have to pay for their debt. Before succumbing into your plastic card addiction, below are some tips that you have to remember when using your precious card.
Balance alerts can help you keep your spending in check
Keeping a watch on how much you’re spending with your credit card is easier than ever before. Most issuers allow you to set up balance alerts so that you’ll receive a text and/or an email whenever your total spending hits a certain threshold that you’ve set. Sign up for this service so that you’ll get a notice when your credit utilization ratio is approaching the 30% mark – this way, you’ll know to make a payment before you jeopardize your credit score for payday loans.
Know your statement closing date
If your pay your balance in full every month, you are getting a free loan from your bank from the time of purchase to the due date for that payment cycle. Federal Law now requires that banks offer a 21 day grace period between the date your statement closes and the date your bill is due.
As a result, if you make a purchase a day before your cycle closing date, you will have 21 days to pay for it before incurring interest. Complete a transaction the day after the cycle closes, and you will have an additional month until the next cycle closes, plus another 21 days to pay off your balance.
Shopping through rewards malls will earn you stellar rewards
If you’re a big online shopper, you should definitely use your credit card’s rewards mall every time you place an order. This is an easy and convenient way to earn tons of extra rewards on every dollar you spend. And don’t assume that your particular issuer doesn’t offer this benefit. Even if it’s not widely advertised, look around a little the next time you visit your credit card’s website. You’ll probably find some type of rewards mall or portal that you never noticed before.
Be cautious at the gas pump
Fraud should decline as a result of the switch to EMV cards, but that’s not the case at gas stations, which largely haven’t converted to chip-enabled terminals. Gas stations were supposed to make the switch in 2017, but the major card processors pushed the deadline to 2020, citing the cost and complexity of the switch-over for fuel merchants.
That means swiping at the pump will remain risky for some time. Gas stations across the country have been victimized by crooks who place hard-to-detect skimmers on top of existing credit card readers to capture customers’ card information.
Moving your due date could help you avoid missing a payment
Missing a credit card payment is bad news for your FICO credit score, since 35% of it is determined by your history with making on-time bill payments. If your credit card billing due date comes at an inconvenient time during the month, consider switching it. You can usually do this online or by placing a call to your issuer. This one simple move could go far toward preserving your good credit.
Check your credit card statements and credit report
Even if you avoid risks like swiping a debit card at the gas pump you should remain vigilant against fraud. That means checking your monthly credit card statements and looking at your credit reports on a regular basis.