Credit cards are convenient, powerful tools to help build your credit, make big purchases, and practice financial responsibility. But credit cards can be complicated. From interest rates, to balance transfers, to late fees and due dates, keeping up with all of the info is a lot. Here’s 4 tips that every credit card user should know:
1. You don’t have to make payments on your due date
Many people fall into the trap of forgetting they have a credit card payment due and suffering the consequences, like late payment fees or dings to your credit score. But most card issuers will accept payments during that billing cycle before the due date. Making your credit card payment before the due date (when you get your paycheck, or happen to have some extra cash) is a great way to guarantee you won’t miss the payment. If you can make multiple smaller payments throughout the cycle, even better!
2. Your due date is negotiable
If our last tip isn’t for you and you like having one consistent date to pay your bills, try calling your card issuer and having your due date changed. You can adjust the date to the beginning or end of the month, or around the time you receive your paycheck. Easy!
3. Looking to up your credit score? Try and raise your limit
Your credit limit is another thing that isn’t always set in stone. Often, issuers will consider raising your limit if your income changes or another circumstance allows for it, but sometimes giving a simple call and inquiring is enough to have them raise it. However, it’s important that you don’t use all of your available credit just because your limit was raised. Having your credit limit raised is a powerful tool for boosting your credit because it decreases your credit utilization ratio, the ratio of the money you’ve borrowed to the amount you can still borrow.
4. Always keep an eye out for perks, deals, and offers
Many apply for certain credit cards to take advantage of the amazing opening offers, like 0% APR or rewards points. But the deals don’t have to stop there. Many card issuers will offer promotions throughout the year, even for long time cardholders, like more points when you spend in certain categories, or an interest rate promo for certain holidays or events. Keep an eye out for promotional emails from your credit card issuer to look out for these great offers!
Ready to fill your cart this Amazon Prime Day? Use your USC Credit Union Mastercard® to shop Prime Day Deals July 15th-16th and pay 0% APR* on your purchases for 6 months!
*APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is effective mm/dd/yyyy and is subject to change. The minimum monthly interest charge is $0.50. The 0.00% APR is for 6 months on purchases made on or after July 15, 2019 thru on or before July 22, 2019. Purchases made outside of these dates will be subject to standard interest rates. Returns, credits and adjustments, balance transfers, and cash advances (each as defined in your Credit Card Agreement), fees, interest charges, and fraudulent transactions are not considered purchases and excluded from qualifying on this promotion. All Credit Union loan programs, rates, terms and conditions are current as of July 8, 2019 and are subject to change at any time without notice. Call us at (877) 670-5860 for current rates, terms and conditions.