Manage Money

Credit Card Usage Tips

Banks try their best to retain their existing cardholders and work hard to attract more. With this in mind, banks are often willing to offer a number of perks and benefits to their customers. It is always at the customer’s discretion that these privileges and liberties are put to use.

Here are a few avenues that you could explore to receive additional perks and improve your credit health.

Limit Your Expenses

If your credit limit is high, you will tend to spend more. Increasing your credit balance leads to an increase in your credit utilization rate, which inevitably brings down your credit score. Also, if you spend more than you can afford to repay, you might incur a debt.

You can ask your issuer to set caps on the amount of purchases that you are allowed to make so that you can keep your credit utilization rate low, preferably below 30%. Alternatively, you could cap your expenses yourself by setting up a monthly budget.

Change the Due Date

Timely payment is crucial for your credit score. A late or missed payment can have long-lasting repercussions. However, if you have multiple credit cards with different due dates, you could get confused and miss a payment unintentionally.

You could sort out this problem by speaking with the card issuers and asking them to move your monthly due dates to a single date. That being done, you will have just one date to remember and the chances are that you will not miss any payments anymore.

Increase Your Credit Limit

You can negotiate with the card-issuing company to decrease your credit utilization rate by increasing your credit limit. This request will lead to a hard inquiry; so you must carefully evaluate your chances of approval before applying for the raise. If your current credit limit is low, or if you carry a balance, you might try to request an increase in your credit limit.

The decision is entirely at the company's discretion. However, if your request is approved, you must be very careful with your expenses. A higher limit might tempt you to spend more.6 Little-known Credit Card Tips

Reduce Your Interest Rate

If you have been associated with your bank or your card-issuing company for a long time, you would definitely be a valuable customer for the bank. There is no harm in politely requesting your bank for a lower interest rate, provided that you have maintained a clean credit history with timely payments.

If approved, a lower interest rate can help you save money if you were ever to carry a balance in future.

Remove Late Fees

If you've had a spic and span track record of timely payment, you can approach the card-issuing institution and ask them to waive the late fee for your late payments. Some cards also have an offer in which the late fee of your first missed payment is discounted.

However, this is just a backup option, and you should ensure that you make all payments on time.

Annual Fee Waiver

Some credit cards charge a hefty annual fee, and many customers even cancel credit cards to avoid it. In case you too are thinking on the same lines, stop and reflect! Closing an account can affect your credit age, and you wouldn't want your credit score to drop because of that.

If your issuer values you, they might be willing to waive your annual fee. You could try talking to them and ask for a waiver.

To Sum Up

You might find it hard to believe, but a quick phone call to your card issuer can solve a lot of potential problems and open up a door to many perks that you originally did not have access to.

However, it is best to be a responsible spender and reduce the chances of running into a problem. Also keep checking your credit score regularly to make sure that things are going well.

 

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