There are a lot of solid reasons to apply for one or more credit cards. Some cards allow you to save up for free or discounted travel, others offer cash back when you spend and credit cards are often the cheapest way to spend money abroad because most credit card companies don’t charge any fees for currency exchange. Using a credit card responsibly can also help you to build up your credit rating. You can check out comparethemarket.com for more info on the different credit cards that are available.
So credit cards are a good way to manage your money and even earn extra cash and benefits, but it’s essential that you understand how to use them responsibly. There are a few golden rules to remember so that you get the most from a credit card and use it conscientiously.
Don’t spend money you don’t have
It’s best to think of a credit card as a way of spending your money, not a way to borrow money. It’s important that you only use the card to spend money you already have so you know you can always pay off the balance at the end of every month. Ideally you should set up a direct debit to make sure that you do. Otherwise you risk accruing interest on your purchases and damaging your credit score.
Credit cards aren’t intended as a way to buy unnecessary items and worry about the costs later – they are a payment option which, when used carefully and in an informed way, can help you to make the most of your money and earn additional benefits such as those outlined in the first paragraph above. So make sure you always save the plastic for the purchases that matter and that you can afford.
Use the card securely
It’s important to take all the precautions you can to make sure that your card is safe and secure when you use it. Don’t give away any card details to your bank over the phone unless you called them (and not the other way around), and if you are logging into an online banking facility always type the website directly into the address bar because finding the site through a search engine can put you at risk of phishing scams.
Always check your bank statements to ensure there are no fraudulent purchases. It’s also a great idea to keep the card theft/loss hotline for your bank in you mobile phone contacts so you can call them immediately if you lose the card or it is stolen.
Credit cards should be a positive asset to your finances, so keep track of how you are using yours and you should see lots of benefits.
Amy Rutter is a home and lifestyle blogger from Brighton, UK. She’s just recently managed to save enough to move from a small flat to a two-bedroom house with her partner, as well as fitting in a few travels here and there. She spent her gap year in South East Asia and her house is now filled with all the gems she found. Amy doesn’t eat meat but still cooks a mean roast dinner and likes going to gigs and to the cinema too.