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Credit cards are a great way to build a solid personal credit history, but they can also cause significant turmoil and heartache when used unwisely. Knowledge is key, in terms of building a smart financial strategy that incorporates credit cards. Continue reading, in order to understand how best to utilize credit cards and secure financial well-being for the long term.

Prior to applying for a credit card, try to build your credit up at least six months in advance. Then, be sure to take a look at your credit report. By doing this, you are more likely to get approved for the credit card and get a higher credit limit, as well.

It is best to stay away from charging holiday gifts and other holiday-related expenditures. If you can't afford it, either save to buy what you want or just buy less-expensive gifts. Your best friends and relatives will understand that you are on a budget. You can always ask ahead of time for a limit on gift amounts or draw names. The bonus is that you won't be spending the next year paying for this year's Christmas!

Upon closing a credit account, it is imperative that you destroy the associated card. If you do not dispose of it, you may find it falling into the wrong hands, which could lead to someone reopening this account and running up a huge debt.

You should ask the people at your bank if you can have an extra checkbook register, so that you can keep track of all of the purchases that you make with your credit card. Many people lose track and they assume their monthly statements are right and there is a huge chance that there may have been errors.

Make sure the password and pin number of your credit card is difficult for anyone to guess. It is a huge mistake to use something like your middle name, date of birth or the names of your children because this is information that anyone could find out.

Far too many people have gotten themselves into precarious financial straits, because of credit cards. The best way to avoid falling into this trap, is to have a thorough understanding of the different ways credit cards can be used in a financially responsible way. Put the tips in this article to work, and you can become a truly savvy consumer.

Do not write your password or your pin number down. It is vital that you know your password, and that you're the only one who has access related to it. If you have the pin number written down and near your credit card, that makes it super easy to steal.

If you are having trouble with overspending on your credit card, there are several ways to save it only for emergencies. One of the best ways to do this is to leave the card with a trusted friend. They will only give you the card, if you can convince them you really need it.

Never give out your credit card number to anyone, unless you are the person that has initiated the transaction. If someone calls you on the phone asking for your card number in order to pay for anything, you should ask them to give you a way to contact them, so that you can arrange the payment at a better time.

In order to minimize your credit card debt expenditures, review your outstanding credit card balances and establish which should be paid off first. A good way to save more money in the long run is to pay off the balances of cards with the highest interest rates. You'll save more in the long term because you will not have to pay the higher interest for a longer period of time.

To spend less money, try looking click here for a lower interest rate. You can negotiate better interest rates if you have a good relationship with your credit card company. A quick call might be all that is necessary to lower your rate and facilitate real savings.

Make the minimum monthly payment in the very least on all of your credit cards. Not making the minimum payment on time can cost you a great deal of money over time. It can also cause harm to your credit rating. To protect both your expenses, and your credit rating be sure to make minimum payments on time each month.

Read the terms of your credit card agreement carefully before you use your credit card for the first time. When you make your first purchase on a new credit card, the credit card company will usually consider your purchase as your acceptance to their terms. Be aware of all of the "fine print" that comes with your credit card!

The key to using a credit card correctly lies in proper repayment. Every time that you don't repay the balance on a credit card account, your bill increases. This means that a $10 purchase can quickly turn into a $20 purchase all due to interest! Learn how to pay it off every month.

When choosing the right credit card for your needs, you need to make sure that you pay attention to the interest rates offered. If you see an introductory rate, pay close attention to how long that rate is good for. Interest rates are one of the most important things when getting a new credit card.

Check with your credit card company, to learn if you can set up, and automatic payment each month. Many companies will allow you to automatically pay the full amount, minimum payment, or set amount out of your checking account each month. This will ensure that your payment is always made on time.