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Things you Need to Know About Credit Cards

Thursday, 04 Nov 2010 12:50 PM

Now that you have a credit card in your wallet, you should bear in mind a few things in order to derive maximum benefit from the card and ensure good credit history.

First, understand that your credit card’s interest rates can change dramatically. Your credit score, income, assets, payment history, and economic conditions are the factors that allow creditors to set your annual percentage rate (APR). If you have a better credit score, you can get your APR lowered just by making a small request. However, as interest rates fluctuate, the APRs for credit card companies also change. So, if you call and inquire for the availability of the better APRs for certain customer categories in that month, you may get a better deal. Moreover, if you happen to run a business, sound personal and business credit history can make you eligible for business credit cards that can provide a source of quick capital and ease business transactions.

Secondly, you can get your credit limit increased if required. While some companies automatically review your account for credit limit increases, there are some other companies that do not do so. You can just call and make a request. Business cards often command higher credit limits than personal cards. Most business credit cards do not carry spending limits at all, though such cards tend to carry annual fees.

You can try and get rid of your annual fee or late charges if you owe a balance and have a solid payment history. You can argue for an annual fee on a card on top of the interest on your balance.

There is also a provision for changing your billing due date if your credit card payments clash with your other due payments. Just call your credit card customer service number and request a new date. However, bear in mind that you can’t do this often, but when in a bind, it can save you late fees.

For business credit cards, issuers can tailor the payment terms by offering discounts for paying the balance early or the option of deferring payments if cash flow is slow. Some cards also offer an extended payment option, which permits business owners to finance large purchases over a period of time with different terms than those used for routine purchases.

If your business spends money on travel or entertainment, you should try and find a card that offers a reward program. You can earn points and use them on future purchases.

For those with poor or no credit, there are prepaid cards, where there is generally no credit check to qualify. With these cards, you can't spend beyond the loaded value, but they can keep you safe from accumulating debt.

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