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Friday, February 27, 2009

Manage Your Credit Card

By Amanda Somrekli

You only have access to the cash that has been deposited with the banking company after you have canceled your card. Naturally, the sum will be reduced to pay back all outstanding balances.

You should also note whether "disputes on the account are subject to binding arbitration," which would mean that you have no legal recourse against the card issuer, who selects and pays the arbitrator.

Other onerous clauses include lumping balance transfer fees in with purchases, and charging interest on them as if they were purchases, and splitting APR between purchases and cash advances, and applying your payments only to the transactions with lower interest rates, thus charging you more over time.

Let's say you have two cards or more from the same credit card company. You do not want to close these accounts.

Credit cards also offer different incentives for signing up. You may find the same credit card is offering you 2 very similar offers within months of each other. Before you rush in and sign up for the first one that came along, make sure you read it carefully.

The best way to look at what each offer is giving you is to read the back of the offer and not just the front page that summarizes their incentives. The back summary will tell you the APR (Annual Percentage Rate), any annual fees required, fees for balance transfers, what kind of minimum monthly payment they require, and what their rewards or benefits are.

Remember, signing up for the credit cards are the easy part. There are so many companies out there just waiting to get more customers. The key is to find the one that fits your financial needs and you understand the terms of the agreement you are signing on to.

Having a gas card allows you to keep track of your spending at the pumps. If you use the card for personal use, at tax time, you will have the details of how much you spent and how much was for traveling to work or for work.

If you are a business, you can keep track of all expenses. There many benefits for using the gas credit cards, but the most important is that you can pay one monthly payment and not have to carry money around for gas.

Try a prepaid credit card - Did you know that there are prepaid credit cards out there that will help build your credit history? The nice thing about these are that everyone is approved for them and they help control your spending. It's a win-win situation for everyone.

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