Closing your account isn’t enough to protect against credit fraud. You also need to cut your card up into pieces and dispose of it. If you let your child use it as a toy, or simply toss it in a drawer, it could wind up in the hands of someone else, who could then use the information from the card to reopen your account and make purchases.
Many companies advertise that you can transfer balances over to them and carry a lower interest rate. This sounds appealing, but you need to carefully consider your options. Think about it. If a company consolidates a higher amount of money onto one card and then the interest rate spikes, you are going to have a hard time making that payment. Know all the terms and conditions, and be careful. If you apply for a store branded credit card, make sure it is a store that you shop at regularly. When a retail store inserts an inquiry onto your credit in order to qualify you for a card, this is recorded onto your credit report regardless of whether you actually open up the card. A report that is peppered with too many credit inquiries like those made by retail stores can hurt your overall credit score. Keep a running track of how much you are spending each month on your credit card. Keep in mind that impulse, and incidental purchases can add up really fast. If you aren’t paying attention to how much you already put on your credit card, at the end of the month you may not have enough money to pay off the bill.
Getting and using a credit card is a matter of educating yourself about credit. While there are lots of credit cards to choose from, most of them are pretty similar, so if you learn some credit card basics, you’ll be able to understand what you’re looking at. Read this article to learn about credit cards.