Are you being proactive in your plan to get better at managing credit cards in 2015? It might take some work, but you can bet that being in control of your finances at all times will make you a more confident, responsible person. Have you had issues with debt before and you’re hoping to avoid making another big mistake? Are you new to credit cards and you want to make sure you’re staying in a good place financially? It can be very easy managing credit cards in 2015 as long as you’re well-informed!
Always Stay in Research Mode
If you want to be sure that you’re getting the best deals possible, you’ll have to always stay on top of what you owe personally and what’s out there for you as you build your creditworthiness. Managing credit cards in 2015 doesn’t have to be a chore as long as you always have an idea of what’s going on with your situation.
- Make sure you’re always adamant about the safety of your credit card and purchases. The introduction of credit cards with information chips in them are beginning to be phased in and these cards are much harder to fraud than the standard magnetic strip cards. Managing credit cards in 2015 has brought about the creation of these chips as the rules tighten up on credit card companies to better protect their customers from fraud. For now, you can make sure you’re always reviewing your statements thoroughly and getting automatic payment updates sent to your email so you can stay on top of any questionable activity.
- Keep a close eye on your credit report. If you see any suspicious entries, there’s probably a good chance that your identity has been tampered with by a thief. Managing credit cards in 2015 is about being accountable. You’re entitled to request one free credit report every year by federal law, and you can file that request with each of the major credit bureau. You can get different reports from different bureaus at separate times. It’s probably the best idea to get one every few months to stay in the know with new developments should they occur. Annual Credit Report can provide further information to get the process started and managing credit cards in 2015 should start here!
- Is it worth it for you to pay hefty annual fees? The best of the best cards out there usually come along with expensive annual fees for all of the benefits that go along with being a cardholder. Sometimes, the annual fees are worth the expense–if you can afford it of course–and other times they’re not. If you’re a frequent traveler, it’s not a bad idea to have a credit card backed by your airline of choice: then you get the benefits of things like free checked bags and upgrades that come to you free of charge. Again, it’s only pertinent to swing for the high-cost cards if you can pay for them. To find out if you’re making a good move by going with an expensive annual fee, crunch some numbers and find out! If you need to switch to a less expensive card, you should think seriously about doing so.
- Don’t be afraid to communicate with your card provider to find out if they’ll waive the fee. You might even qualify for a “fee-free” card. There’s even the chance that you can work out a more reasonable interest rate or a higher credit limit but these requests are typically awarded to the most responsible, accountable clients.
- There might be ancillary benefits out there for you to take advantage of. Extended warranties, purchase and price protections and all kinds of insurance might be offered to you for making certain purchases with your card. It’s hard to realize just how useful these services can be if you’re not aware of them. Make sure your scour the terms and conditions of your card to see anything you’ve missed. If your card doesn’t provide you any benefits and you have a pretty good credit score, it might be time to move past that company or card. Make sure you’ve fully read the credit card contract you’ve been made to sign. There’s bound to be all kinds of interesting facts there that you weren’t aware. Knowing if your company shares your data with third parties or if there’s an arbitration clause in your contract is very important
- Work on paying down your debts. If you’ve got multiple credit cards, you should always strive to pay down the one with the highest balance or interest rate first. It might also be in your best interest to look into a balance transfer credit card to move higher debts onto a card that boasts low or no interest rates for a certain period.
Do Even More
Managing credit cards in 2015 doesn’t have to be a pain! Work hard at it and you will succeed.