When it comes to picking out a credit card, time can be one of your best allies. Choosing a card hastily may not be the wisest decision, especially if you haven't read all the fine print in the contract. Before you sign on the dotted line on your credit card contract, look at the rules and watch out for a few of these costly mistakes:
Credit card rewards
Receiving rewards can be a great incentive for signing up for a card. Some rewards – like cash back bonuses or airline miles – can be extremely helpful. But these credit cards come with rules about how you can use these benefits.
Take a look at your contract and see if there are any restrictions to these rewards. In some cases, a bank or credit card issuer can void these rewards if you have committed any delinquencies on your card. These can constitute as missing a credit card payment or going over the card's balance. Some of these rules are put in place to make sure you are an upstanding card user and they can help you improve your credit score. Before you get all excited about getting prizes from your card, be sure to check out the rules involved.
Making credit card payments on time is important because it will not only reduce your card's balance, but also improves your credit score. Maintaining a good payment record will show lenders and other credit issuers that you are a reliable borrower. On the off chance you missed a payment, you want to alert your credit provider right away. If you have maintained a good payment schedule, look at your contract's language and see if you can get the late charge waived. Credit issuers will not offer this luxury to everyone, but if you are an upstanding customer, they may cut you some slack.
Some credit cards come with extra charges such as a fee for a balance transfer or a late payment. Although some charges are commonplace, you don't want to get caught off guard by surprise fees. If you see any odd charges on your credit card statement, contact your issuer and ask them what you can do to waive them. Once again, if you are a good credit card user, you may be able to negotiate with your lender to get these charges taken off.