What you Need to Know About Every Credit Card in your Wallet


What you Need to Know About Every Credit Card in your Wallet

Credit cards are financial products that can be complex and are able to cost you a lot of money. There are some important factors about the credit cards that are in your wallet that you need to know.


The Card Issuer and the Processing Network

There are only four processing networks for your credit card, those being Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. There are many credit cards so the credit issuers name is printed on the front of the card like Capital One.

With some credit cards though like retail cards the card issuer is not as obvious. To find out who issues your credit card look at the back of your credit card or your billing statement.

The Annual Fee and When its Charged

The annual fee is only charged once a year and they can sneak up on you. Credit cards that have the fee will usually assess it during your anniversary month. You should make a note of the fee so you know when it is coming and ensure you have enough available credit for it.

The Interest Rates on your Transactions

Credit cards will have different interest rates for purchases, cash advances and balance transfers. If you have only just got a credit card then you may enjoy promotional rates.

If you will never use balance transfers or cash advances then you do not need to keep up with these interest rates, but you should know the interest rate for purchases.

Keep an eye on your credit card statement and billing statement inserts to track the changes to your rate.

Paying Late Penalty

Pretty much every credit card will charge a fee for a payment that has been received after its due date. In order to find out what your late fee is you will need to read your credit card terms.

If you are more than 60 days late on your payment then your credit card issuer can impose a penalty rate.

The Penalty for Exceeding your Credit Limit

The credit limit is the amount that you are allowed to spend on your credit card. Any charge that exceeds the credit limit will be declined by your credit issuer unless you have opted in for over the limit charges.

If you have opted in then you need to know what the penalty is for going over the limit.

Your Balance and Available Credit

If you have a few credit cards then you will need to know the balances for all of them so you which credit card you can use and what you are able to purchase. Also this will help you to know the amount of debt that you have.

Balance Transfer and Cash Advance Fees

If you ever plan to make either of these transactions then you will need to know the fees associated. You will then need to read your credit card terms to know the fees, as these can actually be expensive.

The Rewards that you can Earn

Credit card reward programs can be complicated. If you have a credit rewards card then you will need to know what will earn you rewards and the rates. Not only do you need to know how to earn rewards you will also need to know how to redeem them. Your credit card issuer might automatically redeem your rewards once you have a certain amount or you may have to visit a certain website to redeem them.

How to Save Money with Credit Cards


When you are credit savvy you are able to use your credit card to benefit you so that you can save money even whilst you are charging on credit.

Here is how you are able to save money through credit card use.

save money

Consolidate your Credit Card Debt with Care

A common strategy that consumers use to trim what they owe on cards is to use balance transfer credit cards that have a 0% or low APR on the balance that is moved for a limited time.

You will need to perform a cost benefit analysis before you choose this plan as most cards have a balance transfer fee. You also need to make sure that you are able to pay off your consolidation debt completely before the promotional period ends.

Use Rewards Cards if you Can Pay in Full

Rewards are great, but in order to offset the rewards, the reward credit card will usually have a higher interest rate. In order to make the rewards work for you, you need to be sure that you can pay your balance off in full every month. If you cant then a lower interest card might be a better choice.

Pay More than the Minimum

Having good payment habits is vital with a credit card. By doing this you will be able to avoid high finance charges and penalties. It is always best to pay your credit card balance in full and if you are not able to that then you need to pay more than just the minimum, as this will save you money on interest.

Always Research

Before you sign up for anything you will need to compare credit card offers.

Too Many Cards

You shouldn’t collect rewards cards as having too many could prevent you from optimizing your rewards on any card. Also when you have too many cards you are more likely to spend more then you should or can afford.

Don’t Rely on Credit Cards for Emergencies

If you don’t have any savings then an unexpected expense will end up on your credit cards and having a balance means you will pay extra interest. This means that relying on your credit cards will be great expenses in the long run.

Have a Spare Card

If you are interested in taking advantage of rewards then you can own one, but only use it on items that you know you are able to pay of in full in every month. You can then apply for another card that has a low interest rate as this card you can afford to own with a balance.

Ask your Card Issuer to Lower your Rate

If you have a good history as a card member then you may have some leverage. When you have been a customer for a while, then call your card company and discuss if they are willing to give you a break on the rates.

Credit Card Benefits that might Surprise You


Credit cards don’t just make it easier to shop, but also have a number of free benefits that many consumers you  are not even aware of.

As long as you use your card responsibly and pay off your balance each month in full and on time.

credit card

You might even consider paying for more of your purchases at a credit card terminal.

When you pay with credit you are able to get help from your credit card company if you do not get what you paid for, find a lower price, change your mind or need some extra cash.

Charge Backs

If the company doesn’t come through on a product or service that you paid for and they won’t refund you, your credit card company might. This process is called a chargeback.

The credit card company will refund the money to you and then charges the cost to the business. You might have to meet some conditions in order to claim a chargeback.

Extended Return Policies

Retailers generally limit their returns to 30 days, but credit cards can extend this policy to 90 days.

Extended Warranties

Your credit card could extend your protection on a one-year warranty to two years.

Price Protection

If the retailer that you bought a product from doesn’t have a price drop policy, then you can recoup the savings that you missed out on directly from your credit card company.

Damage and Theft Protection

Your credit card could cover accidental damage or theft within a certain number of days after purchase.