My Personal Finance Journey

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10 Credit Card Tips for 2005

Contributed by mm | January 8, 2005 8:26 AM PST

CardWeb is probably the best resource for consumer to track major credit card news. It publishes about 3 to 5 short stories every week at its consumer section. The first piece for 2005 includes 10 tips for wiser credit card usage, which makes it a very worthwhile reading.

Whilst some tips are for people who carry a balance, all credit card users can benefit from the following advices:

1. Check incoming account statements for any errors in holiday transactions and report them within 60 days. (MM: Use a personal finance software if possible).

6. Review your credit file maintained at the three major consumer credit reporting agencies. By the end of 2005, all Americans will be able to get free annual copies. Aggressively pursue any errors you find. (MM: Getting your free credit report is easy. Check out how I got mine from Equifax and TransUnion.)

8. Monitor your account via the Internet, if possible. This is the best way to catch errors and prevent fraudulent transactions or identity fraud. (MM: Again, personal finance software can be a big help to synchronize your transactions automatically.)

10. Compare new credit card offers. Some issuers are still making 0% interest rate balance transfer offers. This is an excellent way to make some real progress on existing card debt. However, watch out for any hidden fees or costs associated with these offers. (MM: In addition, shoot for higher rewards.)

This Post Has Received 50 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.

ASAP Credit Card Commented on September 23, 2005

Here's another great tip!

Carry at least 2 different credit cards: one for long-term charges, and one for short-term charges.

Your long-term credit card should be the card with lowest possible interest rate. And since most "standard" cards (for people with GOOD CREDIT!) don't have an annual fee-- it shouldn't have an annual fee either! Use this card for all your BIG purchases that you can't pay off quickly.

Your secondary credit card will be for short-term charges. These are charges you can pay off quickly; preferably, within 30 days (or by the end of the grace period).

With this secondary card, you can find a credit card which offers SPECIAL REWARDS you're interested in earning. There are tons of options available, such as: airline cards, cash back cards, shopping & rebate cards, gasoline cards and more!

Since this "secondary" reward card will probably have a higher interest rate, only use it for purchases you know you can pay off quickly! You won't be paying much interest if you pay it off soon... but you'll be earning lots of rewards!

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