Owning a credit card doesn’t mean you have become a financial expert, and you can never get into the traps of debts. A lot of people become cardholders and end up canceling their cards because mismanagement and lack of self-control triggered unpaid balances.

In this article, we aim to let you understand even more the complexities of credit card ownership and help you handle them the best way possible. 

When is the best time to use my credit card? 

These financial tools are better than cash in some respects. Traveling abroad is one of the best times to use them, considering the risks of carrying cash when in a foreign place. Although some issuers impose international transaction fees, these are minimal compared to the peace of mind you can have when not risking your cold cash.   

Credit cards are also handy when buying items online. Some fear for security, but merchants already have a way of protecting your details. OTPs or One-Time Passwords are the main security measures imposed on every account. It would be best if you never shared those with anyone along with the three digits embossed at the back of your card called CVVs. 

credit card

 

Travel and online purchases are just two of the best times you can use a credit card. Aside from these, you can also take advantage of the promos and discounts tied with the plastics. So before heading to the restaurant or department store, check which among your cards offer the perks which cash could not. 

Why do my interest rates rise and fall? 

The interest rates imposed by banks on different offers vary. For instance, credit card-linked loans do not have the same rates, especially during the promotional period. At one point, you get as low as 0.49% while you will be offered 1.21% six months after. This should never confuse you. The interest charges on some credit cards provide highly depend on your reputation as a borrower. If you have been consistently paying your dues on time and in full, you will definitely get a lower rate. On the other hand, if you tend to miss payments and your accounts are delinquent, expect higher interest charges. 

Banks reward good borrowers. If you are looking at availing credit card offers like balance transfers, installments, or loans, make sure your account is active and with an excellent credit standing. 

Why is my credit card not earning points or rewards? 

Points and rewards can be earned from a credit card with that feature. Secured credit cards don’t usually offer such perks. If you are an existing cardholder for a long time, you can always apply for a rewards card that could provide you with privileges that secured cards couldn’t. 

credit card

 

Evaluate your existing card and compare it with emerging ones. If you think you’ve been using them for so long and yet you haven’t earned a single cent back, it is time to consider a new one from a different issuer. 

Most issuers offer promos like gift certificates and No Annual Free programs for new customers. Grab this opportunity and start enjoying perks. 

How do I choose the credit card to maintain? 

Existing cardholders have the dilemma of choosing which among their credit cards should be cut and which should remain active. The idea of having multiple credit cards boost financial success but may also lead to confusion and economic mismanagement. 

 

citi rewards

 

When choosing a credit card to retain, check out which one suits your lifestyle. Travelers will always covet and keep cards with flight privileges like Citi Premiere or any other platinum credit card. On the other hand, car owners would want to have a card linked to gas stations. HSBC credit cards offer 6% rebates on Caltex purchases for the first time and 3% on succeeding transactions. 

How do I protect my account against fraud?

Fraud is every credit cardholders’ fear. Unauthorized transactions that drain credit limits are just everywhere. Although issuers may be at fault, cardholders can also take a part of the blame. There are already a lot of ways to protect your credit card account. Scammers will try their best, but if you keep your details private and never fall prey to fraudulent tactics, you’re protecting your account. 

Why does my credit card issuer refuse to increase my credit limit? 

Your credit card issuer evaluates all the transactions made with the card before granting your credit limit increase request. If they think you are worthy of a higher amount, the issuers will automatically have it increased even without your request. Your credit history should always reflect you are a responsible borrower. 

credit card

Why do banks refuse to waive the annual fee? 

Annual membership fees vary depending on your credit card tier. For a lower or mid-tier card, it will be more comfortable to ask for an annual fee waiver. On the other hand, higher-tier cards like platinum or black may be challenging to waive because the perks entailed with them are exclusive and expensive. Also, the annual fee waiver comes with several conditions that you might have failed to fulfill.

If you don’t want to pay the annual membership fee, apply for a credit card that comes free forever. 

Final thoughts:

Credit card ownership is not an easy venture. It takes a lot of reasoning and analysis to make the best decision for every transaction. Once you’ve mastered how the plastics work, you will surely enjoy all its privileges without having to pay for them.