10 can't-miss credit card tips

Do you want to be a savvier card holder? Here are 10 tips for managing your plastic.

 of 11
 of 11

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

44Comments
May 13, 2014 7:31PM
avatar
The best way to deal with credit card debt is to stop using them altogether if you have debt, or only charge enough to build credit if you don't.  What person in their right mind would borrow money at a 20% rate of interest?  If it is from a credit card, no one seems to mind.  I realized that I really needed to get my finances on track this year, and these were the biggest tips for me:

1. I now put away the maximum amount in my 401K (5% for me) that my employer will pay into the plan as a match. It is free money and dumb not to do it. It was basically a raise I gave myself.

2. I need life insurance to protect my 2 daughters, but I got rid of a $325 a month whole life policy for a policy from LifeAnt insurance and now I only spend $19 a month. I save the difference to my Roth IRA account in vanguard funds. If you are unfamiliar with this and want to learn more watch shows or read articles from Suzey Orman or Dave Ramsey sometime they basically recommend it multiple times every show.

3.I cut way back on eating out. I am having a year of putting away money hard, and food was a huge portion of my budget. I save about an extra $85 a week now, and eat healthier and better. Ditto for others if you spend a lot of money in bars.

All of America could really use a lesson in managing their finances.  I know it has made a big change in my life.
May 15, 2014 5:04PM
avatar
Like everything else moderation is the best way to keep your nose clean and stay out of debt.....If it isn't what you want or can't afford, why the hell buy it?
May 13, 2014 12:42PM
avatar
Add an authorized user?? Seriously??
May 15, 2014 8:10PM
avatar
I have 6 credit cards and pay 0% interest. I just got a new one that is giving me $250.00 if I put $1,000.00 on it in 3 months. That will be easy since I run all my bills through my credit card for rewards already. I put all my bills on the card and then pay the card at the end of the month. Doing this means I don't pay interest and get my rewards for paying what I have to pay already. I used to wonder how they could afford to pay me to use my card until I was talking to a store owner and realized he is charged every time I use my card. My credit card company makes money and they give me rewards for doing it. I never carry a balance.
May 16, 2014 1:26AM
avatar
While visiting England a few years ago, it was required that everyone enter a pin code (even at restaurants).  It upsets me that credit card companies in the US refuse to offer us the same security feature.
May 15, 2014 9:40PM
avatar
I am not only savvy,  I am Kimo Savvy,  Tonto.
Jul 5, 2014 12:47PM
avatar

I recently learned a very valuable lesson I'd like to pass on to all: DO NOT authorize any company to automatically charge, say, a monthly fee to your credit card account. Case in point - I had a problem with AOL's Iolo System Mechanic, a computer performance monitoring service. Specifically, I wanted to cancel their service BUT could NOT get through to them. Repeated telephone calls and visits to their to websites all proved fruitless.


Frustrated beyond belief, I then contacted the credit card company. In my letter, I informed them of the problems I was having trying to cancel the service provided by AOL/Iolo/System Mechanic - and that as a result - I wish to CANCEL/REVOKE their automatic billing to my account.


Guess what – in so many words, the credit card company's response was “TOUGH S#IT!” – That ONLY the biller – not the billee – is authorized to cancel automatic billing.


P.S.


Yes, months later I F-I-N-A-L-L-Y was able to reach AOL and they did cancel that service.


May 18, 2014 11:49PM
avatar
I consistently use about a third of my available credit card credit.  My FICO score is over 800.  My available credit is greater than my annual income.  Maybe the average usage is only 7% but you certainly don't have to limit your credit usage to that level to have a good FICO score.
May 15, 2014 10:34PM
avatar
ON # 6 DON'T CLOSE THE ACCOUNT--USE THEM JUST TO KEEP THEM OPEN AND WHEN USING THEM PAY OFF THE SMALL-THE SMALL BALANCES. ITS BEST FOR CREDIT SCORE.
May 13, 2014 11:42AM
avatar
We all need guidance in our life's but not on this.......
Jul 5, 2014 3:02PM
avatar
the game never ends when your whole world depends on the turn of a friendly card.
                       Alan Parsons & Eric Woolfson of the Alan Parsons Project.
Jul 5, 2014 11:29AM
avatar
There are a lot of people with good tips here. It is hard from being a big spender to becoming a Moderate Spender. I wonder how much Kick Back MSN gets for running these Credit Card Things. I bet the Credit Card Companies are reading this and going ouch at some of the tips. In a way it is like getting the answers to a Poll without paying for the Poll.
May 15, 2014 7:52PM
Jul 5, 2014 12:18PM
avatar
I you have to pay twice a month to keep your % of credit low enough to matter in your credit score, it would be better, if possible, to ask for a higher credit limit rather than cost you interest on your money by paying early.
May 18, 2014 10:44AM
avatar
The key here is not to overuse your credit.  The credit bureaus will ruin your credit by giving you a low overall credit score.  Pay your balances down starting with the lowest total balance and then work up to the next credit card until they are all paid off in full.  Then do yourself a favor by cutting up all your credit cards except for one card and keep it paid off.
Aug 12, 2014 9:36AM
avatar

Chances are if your interest rate for the card is 16% that's rate it's going to be regardless of whether you get cash back. Instead of looking at it as paying 6.67 interest and only getting 5.00 cash back, look at it as only paying 1.67 to borrow $400 instead of $6.67 since you would have paid $6.67 if you didn't have a cashback card. Closing cards will affect you credit score even if you get cards that fit your needs better because even time you open a new card there is a ding to your credit score due to the hard inquiry. Also, you usually don't provide the other person's social security number when you add them an authorized user, so there's no way it can show up on their credit report.

May 15, 2014 5:14PM
avatar
OBVIOUSLY MANY PEOPLE HAVE MISUSED THEIR CREDIT CARDS.   I HAVE ABOUT 5 OF THEM.  I USE THEM TO MY ADVANTAGE TO GET POINTS.  IT WORKS GREAT.   WHY NOT LET THEM PAY YOU.   IF YOU ARE SO MAD AT THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES THIS IS A GOOD WAY TO GET BACK AT THEM.    CREDIT CARDS ARE LIKE GUNS.    THEY CAN BE MISUSED AND THEY ARE MISUSED.  THEY IS WHY THEY ARE REGULATED, UNLIKE GUNS.
May 15, 2014 9:12PM
avatar
They always say you can dispute charge, but never say what happens if the CC company or service company not agreeing with you (100% the time). You end up get screwed even with the dispute. Such a useless feature. 
May 13, 2014 1:40AM
avatar
Just make sure you go out and....   BUY, BUY,  BUY...SPEND,  SPEND,  SPEND.....
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

SMART SPENDING