How To Manage Your Credit Cards


by Colin McDougall

In 1951, Diners Club issued the first credit card to 200 customers who could use it at 27 restaurants in New York City. From that modest beginning, credit cards have become an indispensable part of modern life. Consumers rely on credit cards to help them achieve their lifestyle goals by letting them take advantage of special bargains, spread payments out over several months, and provide cash in emergencies. Credit cards have become so widespread that they are often accepted as a piece of primary identification.

Getting the most from your credit cards involves four main steps:

Use your credit cards wisely

Follow these simple tips to get the most from your card.

Tips:

Protect yourself against fraud

While credit card fraud is a problem, here are a few simple steps you can take to greatly reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

Tips:

Review your credit history regularly

After you have obtained the best card, and are using it wisely, review your credit history on a regular basis. This helps ensure your history is accurate and that any issues have been resolved to your satisfaction.

North America has three national credit-reporting bureaus. Your credit rating is held at one or more of these bureaus. When checking on your rating, be sure to contact all three, as your rating may be held on file at more than one bureau. The three national credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Check the Yellow Pages, under Credit to find the numbers in your area.

Get the right card

With all the choices in cards available, chances are good—very good—you can find a better card for your needs. Today's cards can save you money, offer better features, and even support a cause you believe in. Here are some tips on finding the right card and where to check that you have the best card for your needs.

Tips:



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About the Author

Colin McDougall is the editor of the personal finance sites http://www.only-the-best-credit-cards-online.com and http://www.loans-source.info.




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