Credit card debt plagues millions of Americans, with the average indebted household carrying more than $15,000 on their cards.
Resolve to enjoy the advantages and perks of credit without paying the high price of credit card misuse and abuse by following these credit card resolutions this new year.
1. Pay your bill
This should go without saying, but even so, it merits repetition. It’s time to commit to paying credit card bills on time and in full. When you only pay the minimum, you get stuck accumulating outrageous interest on the remaining balance.
That means the dinner or new pair of shoes you innocently charged on your credit card a few weeks ago can turn into a tab exponentially higher than you originally signed off on.
2. Check your statements
If the Target and Home Depot hacking incidents of the last year weren’t reason enough to check your statements regularly, consider this — 10 percent of Americans have been victims of credit card fraud.
That stat doesn’t even take into account errors and mistaken charges. If you don’t check your statements regularly, you might be paying a high price for the faults of others.
3. Stop paying fees
With all of the credit card options available these days, there’s no reason to saddle yourself with one that charges hefty fees.
Read through the fine print before choosing a card and do your due diligence to avoid potential fees, including annual fees, paper statement fees, foreign transaction fees, late fees, etc.
4. Maximize rewards
If, and only if, you’re a responsible credit user, get paid for the purchases you’re already making by using credit cards that offer cash back, airline miles, points and other perks.
Credit cards can serve as powerful tools to leverage your purchasing power, but without the proper resolve, you could end up paying a high price.
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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.