Learning to manage your finances is not always easy, especially when it comes to the use of credit cards. Even when we are very careful, we can end up paying way too much in interest charges or even incur a significant amount of debt in a short time. The following article will help you to learn how to use credit cards smartly.

Don’t fall for the introductory rates on credit cards when opening a new one. Be sure to ask the creditor what the rate will go up to after, the introductory rate expires. Sometimes, the APR can go up to 20-30% on some cards, an interest rate you definitely don’t want to be paying once your introductory rate goes away.

Every time you decide to apply for a new credit card, your credit report is checked and an “inquiry” is made. This stays on your credit report for up to two years and too many inquiries, brings your credit score down. Therefore, before you start wildly applying for different cards, research the market first and choose a few select options.

Remember that you must pay back what you have charged on your credit cards. This is only a loan, and in many cases, it is a high interest loan. Carefully consider your purchases prior to charging them, to be sure that you will have the money to pay them off.

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.

It is a good idea to avoid walking around with any credit cards on you that already have a balance. If the card balance is zero or very close to it, then that is a better idea. Walking around with a card with a large balance will only tempt you to use it and make things worse.

It is important to always review the charges, and credits that have posted to your credit card account. Whether you choose to verify your account activity online, by reading paper statements, or making certain that all charges and payments are reflected accurately, you can avoid costly errors or unnecessary battles with the card issuer.

Contact your creditor about lowering your interest rates. In many cases, companies are willing to lower the interest rates of customers who they have a lengthy and positive relationship with. It doesn’t cost you a penny to ask, but it can save you a lot of money.

Credit cards can either be your friend or they can be a serious foe which threatens your financial well being. Hopefully, you have found this article to be provisional of serious advice and helpful tips you can implement immediately to make better use of your credit cards wisely and without too many mistakes along the way!