Basic Guidelines For Credit Card Users Or Applicants Consumers today can use a lot of help when it comes to keeping their financial situation in good order, this is certainly true when it comes to managing credit cards. Credit cards are a good way to build a good credit rating, but they can potentially overburden you with high-interest debt. The best thing to do is carefully peruse all the fine print. Make sure that you are aware of all the recent credit card law changes. Retroactive rate increases are illegal, for example. They also cannot bill using a double-cycle system. Know what the laws are. Check out the CARD Act, as well as a Billing Act called Fair Credit for more information. A lot of experts agree that a credit card's maximum limit shouldn't go above 75% of the amount of money you make every month. If you have gone above that amount, then you should plan immediately on how to lower your debt. This is due to the fact that the interest you end up paying can really accumulate quickly. Check first with your own bank when you want to get a credit card. They will be very apt to approve your application and will have your information on hand already. Local credit unions are also a good place to look. Before opening a store credit card, look into your past spending and make sure that it is high enough at that store to warrant a card. Every application for a credit card is recorded on your credit file, even if you do not actually open up a store card account. Racking up a list of inquiries from several different retail stores can cause your credit score to drop. It is important to understand the rewards program terms before signing up for a credit card. This will ensure that your expectations are met and that you are not signing up for a card that does not fit your needs. Look for a date of expiration on any rewards and make sure to use them prior to that date. Whenever you are about to go traveling, especially when going overseas, carry a couple of credit cards on you. If you have cards from different banks, it gives you a safety net. That helps in times of problems with one of the cards. Your access to credit will be far more secure if you have two completely different ways to make charges. Open and read all emails or letters in the mail about your credit card, as soon as you receive them. Credit card companies can make changes to your annual membership fees and things like your interest rates but they have to send you a letter explaining what they have changed. You can cancel your account if you don't agree with this. Keep careful record of your charges to be sure that you can afford what you spend. If you don't, you may forget how much money you have already spent on your card- write it down! There is a spending limit for almost every credit card. Be certain that you never go over the stated limit, and try to use credit cards only when necessary. Pushing your credit cards to their limits will limit your financial future and may threaten your ability to pay. You also won't have the credit if you need it. Think about getting one of those credit cards that gives you rewards or cash back when you make purchases. These cards are excellent for daily spending. As an example, you may be able to receive $60, or even more, each month by using it for your monthly needs. This is also a smart way to save up for the holidays. Do not allow a balance to accrue because having to pay high interest rates would make the rewards invalid. Remember that credit cards can be revoked at any time. Good credit goes hand-in-hand with smart credit card use. Responsible use of credit cards involves paying the balance in full each month and making sure all charges are legitimate. Most credit card companies will add on a late fee if you make a payment after the due date. If you call them, sometimes they will remove this charge. If you are otherwise a good customer, and normally pay your bill on time, they are often willing to waive this fee. Never use a public computer for online purchases. Public computers at libraries, cafes and other places, may store your private information, making it easy for a technically savvy thief to gain access. Entering confidential information, like your credit card number, into these public computers is very irresponsible. Only make a purchase from your personal computer. As mentioned before, consumers often feel like they have no allies when it comes to credit card companies. This article has covered the best methods for utilizing credit cards. It would be great if you apply what you have read to your everyday life.