Credit Card Do’s and Don’ts [Complete Guide]

By: Yara Pollard

While credit cards are safe, a lot of people still fall victim to credit card fraud. According to Shift Processing, $24.26 billion was lost due to fraud card payment worldwide just in 2018. In 2018, credit card fraud increased by 18.4% and this number continues to grow.

Even with advancements in technology for better card security, the United States is still the country most prone to credit card fraud. Among all credit card fraud reports, 38.6% is from America.

This just shows how prevalent the use of credit cards has become. According to the Federal Reserve, 83% of Americans have at least one credit card. Plus, the U.S. has reached an all-time high exceeding over $1 trillion in total national credit debt.

With credit cards being used more and more and the rate of credit card fraud continuing to grow, you need to equip yourself with the knowledge to avoid experiencing this type of misfortune.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, these are the common causes for hijacked details:

  1. Hacked bricks-and-mortar merchant
  2. Processor breach
  3. Hacked point-of-sale service company/vendor
  4. Hacked e-commerce merchant
  5. ATM or other skimmer
  6. Crook employee
  7. Lost or stolen card
  8. Record theft

As you can see, there’s a handful of ways on how your credit card details can be stolen. Moreover, besides security troubles, credit cards have caused more harm than help to others because of how tempting they are to use. 

According to the Federal Reserve, 15% of households in America are spending more than they are receiving in income. The Forbes has also mentioned that 50% of Americans have maxed-out credit cards.

Avoid yourself from becoming a victim of credit card fraud and a slave to your credit cards by knowing these credit cards do’s and don’ts

Credit Card Do’s

  • Check your credit history on a regular basis.

Checking your credit history on a regular basis will allow you to see if there are transactions that shouldn’t be in your credit history. If there are and if you’ve detected it early, this can allow you to stop the criminal from making further payments using your credit details.

It will be a tragic scenario knowing you were a credit card fraud victim when it’s too late. Checking your credit card history on a regular basis let’s you be more prepared and aware if there are anomalies in your transaction history.

Moreover, you can also get to see how much credit you have. This is important when budgeting to ensure you can pay off everything in time. 

  • Research about the type of credit cards available.

There are a lot of different types of credit cards available in the market. Each of which offering various rewards, benefits and even cashbacks. But you can’t just choose random credit cards. 

Each type of credit card is meant for different types of needs. It can be for shopping, travel, rewards, cashbacks, etc. The purpose of each type is to suit what the consumers are looking to have in their credit card experience.

However, some credit cards have partnerships with other companies. This lets you use one single card for different establishments. For example, the Old Navy credit card allows you to use the card not just for Old Navy stores but also for its sister companies. 

There are also other retail credit cards that are partnered with Visa or Mastercard. These types of cards function the same way as Visa or Mastercards with added benefits offered by the stores that issue them.

  • Know your credit card due dates.

The most important thing about credit card transactions is paying dues on time. This helps maintain a good standing for your credit score. Knowing your due dates can also help you avoid incurring interests.

According to Money Expert, an ideal due date is a few days after your payday. A good thing about payment due dates is that you can always call the customer service of your credit card provider to change the due dates.

This can help you lighten the burden of paying off your debts at different dates. That way, you won’t be paying for  different credit card bills in the same day or week.

Credit Card Don’ts

  • Pay the minimum amount every month.

According to Janet Alvarez, an expert on personal finance and credit cards from Wise Bread, paying the minimum amount of your credit card dues will just increase your outstanding debt. Not being able to pay all the credit borrowed will just rack up interest.

Make multiple payments per month rather than just one. Here’s what Janet had to say:

“One useful trick for repaying cards is to make two payments per month, instead of just one. For example, if you normally make one monthly payment of $100, try making two payments of $50 each. Since interest is calculated over the entire month, this will reduce your interest owed. Plus, depending on what time of the month your card reports to the credit bureaus, it may also show a lower debt level and boost your score.” 

  • Miss payment due dates.

According to Money Nav, 35% of your credit score calculation is dependent on your history of payments. Missing a payment for a certain month or paying it late can lower your credit score. You can set reminders so you don’t miss payment due dates.

If you miss a payment, you can always ask for redress from your creditors. Some of these credit card companies waive late payment fees for people who missed their payments for the first time.

With whatever you do, don’t be careless with using your credit cards and sharing your credit card details. Know that some people try to take out important card details from you via phone, text messages and email pretending to be card issuers or that they are giving you some form of prize.

Be aware of these scams and just trust legitimate financial authorities. We hope our list of credit cards do’s and don’ts can help you out with your use of credit cards. 

Credit cards are powerful financial tools that can help you get ahead in life but they can also do the opposite. Use your credit cards for you, not against you.

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