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Credit Card Usage Guide & Know the Terms Used in Credit Card Monthly Statement

The Beginning of the Credit Card Era

Diners Club in 1951, issued the very first credit card to 200 customers who could use it at a selection of twenty seven restaurants in New York City. From that modest beginning, credit cards have grown to become an indispensable part of modern life across the word.

Nowadays consumers rely on their credit cards to help them in achieving their lifestyle goals by advantage of special bargains, spread payments out over several months, and provide cash in emergencies. Credit cards have become so widespread that they are often accepted as a piece of primary identification. It is commonly called 'Plastic Money'

Credit Card Usage Guide

Managing your credit card & getting the most from credit cards involves four main steps:
  1. Use your credit cards wisely.
  2. Protect yourself against fraud.
  3. Review your credit history regularly
  4. Get the right card for your needs.

Tips : Use your credit cards wisely

Pay your credit card bills on time. This is the single most important thing you can do to preserve and enhance your credit rating, pay off your balance in full each month. If this is not possible, then make as large a payment as you can comfortably afford, to save your money on interest charges ( the rate of interest on credit card dues is very high). Or always pay at least your minimum payment to avoid to be called a defaulter and you have to pay penalty charges also in addition to interest and billed amount.

If you can't pay off your balance in full, then slow down on your credit card use for the next while.Take time to step back and have a careful look at how much you earn and how much you spend each month. A little budgeting can save you big money on interest and penalty.

Check your statement carefully each month.Review your statement carefully. Do all the charges look correct? Have any required credits been applied? Are there any unusual or unexpected charges? Your credit card company will correct legitimate errors, but only if you bring them to their attention in a timely manner before you pay your bill.

Transfer your balance to a card with a lower interest rate.If you have two or more credit cards with outstanding balances, consider moving the outstanding balances to the card with the lowest interest rate. You will save money each month and simplify your record keeping by receiving only one bill.

Negotiate for a lower rate with your credit card company.If you have a good credit history, you are a valuable asset to your credit card company. Call them and seek ways to lower your interest rate. This is often possible, but never advertised. If the interest rate you are currently paying is very high, imply you may cancel the card and go with a competitor unless they adjust your rate downward. It doesn't hurt to ask, and you may be surprised at the results.

Tips : Protect yourself against fraud

Sign new cards immediately.When you receive your new or replacement card in the mail, sign it, in ink, right away. If it is a replacement card, destroy the old card by cutting it into many small pieces.

Destroy old credit card receipts.All old receipts with your credit card number and any unneeded documents with your sensitive personal information should be destroyed before disposal. This prevents the common practice of criminals going through the waste to find receipts and stealing your identity.

Never fax your credit card number.Your credit card number can lie for hours in the fax basket at the other end. Anyone passing by can record your number and begin to use your card number fraudulently. It is even possible for criminals to intercept your credit card number while the fax is in transmission.

Use caution when giving your credit card number out on the phone or on the Internet.Only give out your credit card number on telephone calls you initiate to business or organizations you trust. Never give your number out to callers who call unannounced, no matter how legitimate the call sounds.

On the Internet, look for an Internet address that begins https:\\.The "s" indicates that it is a secure connection and a small padlock symbol should appear in the bottom right hand corner of your screen, indicating it is safe to transmit your credit card number.

Call your credit card company instantly if you suspect trouble.If you lose your card, call your credit card company on 24 hour help lines without delay! Much fraud happens within the first hour or two, before the victim realizes the cards are missing. Your credit card company will block your cards from being used and stop you from being responsible for any charges thieves incur.

Take advantage of any security features your card offers.Photograph on the card and one security password /pin be registered with the credit card company These are excellent protections and are highly recommended.

Tips : Review your credit history regularly

Make a habit to review your credit history on a regular basis. This helps ensure your history is accurate and that any issues with the credit card company have been resolved to your satisfaction and charges / interest charged are much comparable with the other credit card company offers presently.

Tips : To get the right card

Now a day many choices with different market usage options are available to select a credit card as per your requirement. Today's cards can save you money, offer better features, and even support a cause you believe in. Here are some tips on finding the right card and where to check that you have the best card for your needs.

New Offer :Be alert for companies offering a great interest rate for transferring your existing balance to their card. Usually these rates are only in effect for a short time, often six months. At the end of this time, the rate can revert to a much higher permanent rate. Keep your eye on the charges and rate of interest to be charged by the credit card company; this is the figure that counts in the long run.

Lower RateIf you usually carry a balance and not making full payment on due date; read the fine print and find the interest rate the companies charge you. Select the lowest rate possible; as each percentage point drop will save you money on the months you have an outstanding balance.

Annual FeeTry for a credit card that does not charge an annual fee. Many credit cards charge you a fee each year to use their cards. You can find cards that do not charge this annual fee.

Explore the optionsToday's cards offer a wide range of excellent features, including frequent flier points, programs that bank points toward a new car, and cards that support charitable organizations. Other options worth having include insurance coverage, cash back offer, discount on market price and extended warranty coverage.

Terms Used in Your Credit Card Monthly Statement

Credit card Monthly Statement : Your monthly statement is a record of all transactions you've made during a particular month. When you make any transaction, you receive a charge slip or a bill from the Merchant Outlet. Keep these slips and cross check the amounts stated in your monthly statements. In case you find a transaction that doesn't match your records, call the credit card issuing company without any further delay.

Card member's name and number

Your name as it appears on the card along with your 16-digit card number.

Statement date

The date on which the statement was generated.

Payment due date

The date on which your payment is due.

Credit limit

The maximum amount that can be outstanding against your credit card at any point of time.

Available credit limit

The unutilised value of the credit at any point of time after taking into account the balance outstanding billed and unbilled.

Available cash limit

Amount available for cash withdrawal (Subject to Available Credit Limit).

Purchases and Debit

This is the sum total of all retail / cash transactions incurred by you during your statement period. This also includes the fees.

Finance Charges

This is the charge that is appliable in cash advances and Revolving Credit facility.

Payments / Credits

These are the details of payments made by you and any credits received during the month prior to Statement Date.

Transaction details

All purchases that have taken place in India and abroad are listed in this section. It covers the date on which the transaction took place, brief details on the transaction (including the registered name of the merchant establishment, the transaction number . the amount of the transaction and some companies also informs the city in which the transaction took place). It is recommended that you check each Card Statement carefully. In case of any discrepancy, call the credit card issuing company customer care office / 24 hour help line immediately.

Billing cycle

During the billing cycle, purchases, credits, fees, and finance charges are posted to your account. At the end of the billing cycle, you are billed for all unpaid charges and fees made during the billing cycle. Your credit card payment is due 20-25 days after your billing cycle ends. The period of time between your billing cycle end date and your bill due date is known as your grace period.











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