Knowing how to use credit cards wisely is a crucial financial skill. While cards can help you build your credit and improve your financial life, they can also get you into a world of trouble.
There are a lot of tips on how to best handle credit card liability, and most of the information is good enough, but there are three common tips that you might not want to follow in all: the situations.
Here is what they are.
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1. Never wear a scale
A rule of thumb we hear all the time is that you should never carry a credit card balance. And while that might sound like good advice, the problem is, “never” is too strong a word. There are, in fact, times when it might be a good idea to keep a balance on your card.
A good example is if you have to make a large purchase that you plan to pay off over time and are able to qualify for a credit card with a 0% introductory rate on purchases. As long as you can pay off your balance before the 0% rate expires, charging for the item might be your best and only option for you to purchase it interest-free.
A better rule of thumb might be to avoid paying credit card interest at the standard interest rate, as this is when the balance becomes costly and interferes with your other financial goals.
2. Avoid annual fees
You may also hear that it makes sense to avoid the annual fee, especially since there are many cards that don’t charge you an annual fee. However, this advice isn’t necessarily sound, as sometimes annual fee cards come with rewards and perks that more than justify what you would pay for them.
For example, let’s say you get a travel rewards credit card with an annual fee of $ 99. It allows you to bring free baggage on flights and saves you $ 150 per year in checked baggage fees by using it. In that case, you’d be better off getting this card rather than a no-cost card that doesn’t offer this benefit.
When deciding whether a card with an annual fee is worth it, take a look at what the card offers and add up the value of the benefits you will enjoy. If the rewards and perks more than cover the cost of the card, this is probably a good request.
3. Choose the card with the lowest interest rate
Finally, you might hear that you should make sure you get the lowest possible interest rate on your credit card because the interest on the card can be very high. However, the interest rate won’t matter if you plan to never carry a balance.
As long as you are sure that you always pay off your card in full before payment is due and interest begins, you should look for a card that offers the best rewards and benefits tailored to your spending habits. In this case, the APR of the card should not even be taken into account.
By avoiding this bad credit card advice, we hope you can find the perfect card to meet your individual needs.