- Make your payments on time – Very important! Late fees can be very expensive on credit cards and can negatively affect your credit score. If you have problems with the due date you may be able to change your credit card due date.
- Try to pay off the full balance every month – Pay off the full balance to avoid any interest charges.
- Avoid cash advances – Cash advances on your credit card have different rates than normal credit. Yeah, it’s gonna be more expensive than if you just charged it.
- Shop around – Compare rates and services from different credit card companies to get the best credit card offers. Find one that fits your spending habits. Make sure to read the fine print as well.
- Use savings to pay off the cards – It’s great that ING Direct exists offering high interest rates on savings but that high rate doesn’t compare with the interest on your credit card (unless you have a low introductory rate).
- If you’d like a better rate, just ask – If you have been a good customer you can call the credit card company and ask for a better rate. Try telling them that you received an offer from another company with a better credit card rate; odds are they can lower it for you. Make sure you understand what the new rate is though. It may only apply to new purchases not your outstanding balance (see what happened to me).
- Don’t be left holding all the cards – If you have a lot of cards it means you can do a lot of spending damage. This is bad for both you wallet and your credit score. Get rid of credit cards you hardly use or ask that the credits limits be lowered (a high credit limit can hurt you for some credit card companies).
Of course you should also watch your spending as well. Don’t abuse your card and know what you can really afford.