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Credit Card eZine - News and Articles about Credit Cards

Credit Card eZine - News and Articles about Credit Cards

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The Four Worst Credit Card Mistakes You Can Make

[November 24th, 2015]

Most of us have credit cards. The average household has about four credit cards, between all the people living under one roof. And most of us use our credit cards every day, or close to every day. So you’d think that we know how to use them and not make terrible mistakes. But in fact, many people are making mistakes with their credit cards, and they may not even know it.

Here are the four worst credit card mistakes you can make. Are you guilty of any of them?

1. Paying your bill late. This one seems pretty obvious, but still, people do it. Paying your bill late not only opens you up to being charged a late fee of around $35, it can have a detrimental effect on your credit rating. True, you have to pay pretty late to have your credit issuer report you to the credit bureau—usually at least 90 days—but it’s still a terrible habit to be in. If you have any 0% interest promotional offers, you can lose them by paying late. The best bet is to always pay your credit card bill in plenty of time and not leave it to the last minute. It’s easy to do this when you set up automatic payments. Set them up now and stop paying late.
2. Carrying a balance. This one is only a mistake if you don’t have a 0% APR promotional offer, which chances are, you don’t have at the moment. That means you’re paying interest on the balance you don’t pay off each month. There are so many zero-interest balance transfer offers available you shouldn’t have to. If you can’t pay off your entire balance, transfer it to a card with a promotional offer for up to a year. Then you can work on paying it off without paying anything extra.
3. Getting cash from an ATM. Using your credit card to get cash from an ATM is never a good idea. For one thing, you’ll pay a hefty fee just for using the ATM. For another, your interest rate will be sky high. And to top it off, interest will start being charged right away, with no grace period. If you need to get cash for an emergency purpose, pay it back right away, as soon as possible. And try keeping a prepaid card with a balance on it, so you can use that to pull cash out of an ATM in an emergency.
4. Letting rewards expire. Not all reward points or miles expire, but some do. Check and see if your do. But even if they’re good forever, if you’re not using them, they may as well expire. Credit card rewards are one of the biggest perks of having credit cards in the first place. Call customer service or log in to your account online and find out how to redeem your rewards today!

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