How To Use Your Credit Cards Wisely

A lot of people now own more credit cards than they really need and this can make spending responsibly more difficult. This article includes several helpful tips for using credit cards wisely. We call it the ACTNI approach.

Ask

If you have made a late payment or missed one, ask the card company to lower the fees and interest rates. Credit companies have the right to raise rates or charge fees if you make payments late. You could usually get these charges reduced by calling your credit card provider.

Communicate

If you are having financial problems, talk with your credit company. If you are going to miss an upcoming payment, work with your creditor to come up with a solution. This communication may keep the company from filing a late payment report with credit reporting agencies.

Track

By keeping track of all your credit card purchases, this will help you from spending more money than you can actually afford. It can be easy to spend more on your credit card than you intended, so make the decision to keep a total on a spreadsheet or in a written record.

Negotiate

Negotiate for a better interest rate, especially if you have been with the company for a long time. You can negotiate with the company that owns your credit card and try to get a lower interest rate. You may have a good chance to get your Annual Percentage Rate (APR) lowered if make sure you make timely payments, and have a good track record.

Improve

Work at improving your credit score if you want a credit card with lower interest rates. Credit card companies offer lower interest cards to consumers who have good credit scores. Cards with more perks and lower interest rates are offered to people with higher credit scores.

 

The advice about credit cards gleaned from this article will help everyone eliminate their fear about using these cards. When used in the correct manner, credit cards can be very useful, so fear not! Just remember what you have learned and everything will be just fine.

29 Replies to “How To Use Your Credit Cards Wisely”

  1. I have to vouch for some of the advice given in this article especially the “Negotiate” portion of it. I am someone who was fully unaware of renegotiating credit interest rates especially if you’ve been with the same credit company for a long time. Most companies do not make it a point to remind their customers that interest rates have changed and are lowered because it messes with their bottom line once customers are taking on outdated credit interest rates. Don’t trust the credit companies to take care of you automatically, you got to watch out for yourself as well!

  2. I’m considering of getting a credit card soon might as well know what I’m getting myself into. Good advice. Bottom line: we got to be responsible enough to be realistic with our expenses and know that it isn’t scary to use your credit card if you just plan for setbacks.

  3. That’s true! It is always better to talk to our credit card company when we come into any problems regarding paying back our debt. If they help us with any problems that we encounter, then it will be easier and faster to pay them back.

  4. WOW, great article thank you so much! I love this simple easy to remember ACTNI acronym to help me manage my credit cards. I have missed payments in the past and put off the communication part of the above article this was a mistake on my part. Now I have had to work extra hard to clear up several missed payments. For future reference I am going to write down the ACTNI approach and use it and share with my friends so thanks again.

  5. Due to my excessive use of credit cards, I have to say this is very useful to me, and the use of “ACTNI” is a helpful way to remember how to use your credit card wisely.

  6. Agreed, the problem with credit cards are that you are paying in the future.
    It’s like making a promise of payment, not actually paying it (at that moment). Which results in over spending, hence putting us under debt.

  7. Thanks for this article is full of incredible information. Personally i never knew that if you have a higher credit score your interest rates will be lower.

  8. It’s true that after staying with a credit company for over three years and you’ve been making your payments timely you can negotiate for a better interest rate. I’ve done that severally.

  9. Is it really that easy to call the credit company to lower rates? If so, I think there should be more information like this out there to inform users of that. I personally do not know that I can call my bank to negotiate.

    1. Hi Mon, it’s definitely worth a try! Creditors would rather negotiate with you than to see you default and risk not paying them at all.

  10. Acquiring a credit card requires financial management skills. If credit card users do not monitor their expenses, they may overspend any goods and services on a daily basis. As suggested, tracking their use of credit card will help them prevent extra or unnecessary expenditures.

  11. It’s always wise to have constant communication with the credit company with regard to your financial status. It keeps them up to date with your current standing and will be able to help and assist you if faced with issues.

  12. With years of being a Credit cardholder, I can say that before you get a CC, one must figure out what you wantyour credit card to do for you. Online purchase? Earn miles? Emergency fund?Travel? That way you will maximize and track your usage based on what you need and how you pay the charges.

  13. I’ve learned that it never hurts to negotiate. It’s more than likely that they’ll reconsider and you’ll get a better interest rate. If you don’t, then it’s still worth it to have tried.

  14. Make sure to not overspend and go beyond your credit card limit. Using an app to track your finances especially your credit card transactions also helps a lot. It is also important to pay your credit card bill on time to avoid additional interest charges on your account.

  15. Tracking your purchases using your credit card makes you aware how much you spent. This truly helps you minimize or limit your spending.

  16. I am using creadit card for around 5 yers. No issues no delays. You have to learn to manage the creadit limits and range

  17. I think you better not using credit card if you are not able to pay them. DO you know any way that we can delay the payment , I do not know whether the bankers are allowing such..

    1. Sometimes you can call your credit card company and ask for a payment extension – or change your payment due date.

    1. Yes there are a lot of restrictions put in place now due to industry regulations. Credit card issuers really need to be more selective with whom the approve card offers for and how diligent they collect payments so that they won’t lose money.

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