If you have been using plastic money for some time now, it will be normal for you already to receive unsolicited credit card offers. But even before you say yes to every offer that comes your way, maybe you would like to take the following notes into consideration:
• You do not need too many cards to get by your daily life. There is no reason to have a wallet overflowing with cards you don’t exactly maximize. One or two cards will do and experts advise to have not more than five or six cards. Too many accounts may lead to mismanagement and missed payments.
• Keep in mind that credit card offers do come by because issuers think that they can possibly earn more from you and not because you are doing really well. So when offers literally flood your mailbox, re-think your spending habits and usage because most likely that is a bad sign. If you have been maxing out your limits, card companies deem that by giving you another card, you will still spend up to the limits, thus the opportunity to collect money from you through interests.
• Credit card offers are usually based on promotional rates that are lower than average for new purchases only. Never fall trap into that teaser because interest rates shoot up after a certain period of time. But if you must, make sure that all outstanding balances are paid off before the promotional rates cease and become regular rates.
• Other than the interest rate or APR you might want to consider other stuff that makes credit card offers appealing. If you are someone who is used to paying the outstanding balance within the grace period, then interest rates are the least of your worries. Check whether you are entitled to rebates or cash backs. Ask how long the grace period is, the usual of which is twenty (20) days.
• Check the billing cycle and learn how it works. Will it be beneficial for you? Will the company adjust to your other billing cycles so you will not miss payments? Some companies also charge interest upon purchase, which is not good for the pockets. Make sure that there is a grace period after which interest amount will only be added to your bill.
• Lastly, understand when and how much you will be charged for late payments and penalties. You may not need it with your organized bills system but it pays to know how much you will be charged just in case.