4 Useful Credit Card Tips You Should Follow in 2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Were your credit resolutions for 2017 realistic? Maybe not. Maybe that’s why you’ve struggled all through the last year to pay off your debt.

2018 is when you should start anew.

Keep two things in mind. First, don’t set unrealistic, hard-to-accomplish goals. Second, know beforehand if any new rule has been introduced. Credit agencies have introduced some new ones in 2017. They also toughened reporting rules. You should know all these rules before making a strategy.

These are a must for 2018.

What else? Keep reading to find out.

  1. Resist the media temptation

    That’s right. The messages delivered to us by the mainstream media are laden with outrageously high dose of consumerism. Take Valentine’s day for an example. When 14th of February arrives, couples feel pressured to go on a romantic (read showy) date, dine at a fancy restaurant and gift something to their partners.

    Online shopping portals insist them to buy for their loved ones. TV channels convince them love is the air, they should enjoy the breeze by spending over flowers, chocolate and gift cards. Heart-shaped emoticons and smileys appear everywhere on social media. Most couples max out their credit cards to spend for the special day to celebrate love.

    Don’t do this. Resists the temptation to spend extravagantly. If you can’t do this, at least keep the cost low. According to an estimate done by Zagat, a typical Valentine’s Day dinner costs somewhere between $150-$200. Plan to keep your cost below this mark. Look for cashback offers.

    Remember, just because a day is special, doesn’t mean you have to spend a crazy amount on that day. This reminder will come in handy in the future when you will marry and you and your better half both will struggle to manage your finances.

  2. Select merchants carefully

    The EMV liability shift rolled out in 2015. It was an important add-on for online data security. It’s 2018 now, yet not all US merchants have upgraded their PoS system to become chip-enabled. Find a merchant that toes in line with the shift. Swiping your credit card to their PoS terminal almost guarantees that your credit details will remain absolutely safe.

    Strawhecker, a global consulting firm reported the EMV liability shift adoption is low at this moment, but the adoption rate will grow. Those who are reluctant to sign up for this will adopt it in the future. All you need to do is find such merchants and shop from them. That’d mean you stay in the cutting edge of technology, which in this case is chip-based data protection. This could even earn your credit report some brownie points.

  3. Install app alert

    App marketing will continue to grow. Wearable apps, according to experts, will make it big this year. Use mobile and wearable technologies to keep your debt low. Here’s how you can do this.

    It’s not always possible to check credit card account every now and then. However, if you want to detect fraud, it’s more than necessary. Use apps to automate fraud detection. Card issuers have their own apps, which enable you to set up mobile alerts. Mobile alerts are very useful.

    They inform you about:

    • When you are nearing your limit.

    • Unusual activities involving your credit card. Example, spending that deviates from the way you normally spend.

    The beauty of such apps is you can not only keep a track of all your purchases, but also customize notification for all these purchases. If you set tracking enabled for large purchases, the app will notify you when you make one and record the purchase history. Similarly, if you set tracking enabled for small purchases, the app will only keep a tab of purchases below a certain amount.

    But remember, small and big are relative terms. A certain amount may look small to you but considerably large to someone else.

  4. Ask for lower rate

    Call up the organization that issued you credit card today. And request them to lower the current interest rate on your credit card. Don’t delay it?

    Why hurry?

    Because the Federal Reserve increased the interest rate in 2017. This means interest rates on credit cards are going to go up. This is an important takeaway for people whose credit is not that good and who want to make it look good in 2018.

    If you negotiate with the credit agencies and they finally lower your card interest, you’d be better off for most part of 2018 and credit score will look impressive. There’s another workaround. Get rid of the present card and get yourself a new card with low interest rate.

    Reward cards are not a bad idea. Cardholders get plenty of bonus points, which they can spend on future purchases. This way, they won’t have to use their credit card again and again and credit bureaus will be impressed by that.

Summing up

None of the tips discussed here is hard to follow. Take time and implement them. It’s guaranteed that you’ll have good credit.

Author BIO

Avery Richardson is a personal finance blogger and writer at moneymanagementiq.com, who loves to write and educate people about money management and frugality.

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