Many of us apply for our first credit card during college and begin to learn the fundamentals of how to properly utilize it. As years pass by, we learn how to manage multiple loan and credit accounts proficiently.
There are some credit card users who strive to become credit superheroes! Below are five ways they are able to do so.
- Take advantage of rewards.
Do not make exceptions. Pay your statement balances in full and on time, every month. As long as this is a habit, you can start seeking the most valuable rewards. Create a portfolio of different cards, each with elevated returns of your most frequent purchases.
- Always ask if a fee can be waived.
Did you know that most card issuers will waive the occasional late and annual fees? Call the company and ask to speak to a representative who works in the member retention department and see if they will waive the fee to keep you from closing your account.
- Ask to be reconsidered if you are rejected for a new card.
Smart cardholders seek the best cards with the most generous rewards. If you have opened several accounts recently, the card issuer may not approve you. However, most of this rejection happens by a computer. If you call and request to speak to a person and ask for a reconsideration, you may be able to persuade them to approve. How? You can offer to transfer some of your credit from an existing card, or maybe even cite other income that was not included in your initial application.
Do not forget to keep an eye on your credit score! Sites like creditkarma.com will help you keep track of how you are using your credit. They will also show you card offerings that you qualify for.
- Keep track of your purchase deadlines.
As long as you pay your balances in full every month, think of a credit card as a free loan. If you are unable to meet the proper deadlines on a card, interest charges can pile on. One rule of thumb is to make a purchase within a day or two after a statement cycle closes to take advantage of the maximum amount of time to pay it off interest free.
- Stop applying for more credit if applying for a big loan.
It doesn’t look good if you apply for a new credit card in the months leading to a large purchase. Also, try to keep all balances very low. Keep in mind that minimum payments factor into the debt-to-income ratio and can limit how much house you can afford. All unpaid balanced appear as debt on a credit report until the next statement is issued.