Wisely used credit cards can provide enough points and other rewards, to help with a good vacation without causing financial problems. People who fail to use credit cards intelligently end up with nothing but more bills. If you want to manage a credit card well, read here for great ideas on ways to manage it wisely. Do not lend your credit card to anyone. Credit cards are as valuable as cash, and lending them out can get you into trouble. If you lend them out, the person might overspend, making you responsible for a large bill at the end of the month. Even if the person is worthy of your trust, it is better to keep your credit cards to yourself. You should contact your creditor, if you know that you will not be able to pay your monthly bill on time. Many people do not let their credit card company know and end up paying very large fees. Some creditors will work with you, if you let them know the situation ahead of time and they may even end up waiving any late fees. Make friends with your credit card issuer. Most major credit card issuers have a Facebook page. They might offer perks for those that “friend” them. They also use the forum to address customer complaints, so it is to your advantage to add your credit card company to your friend list. This applies, even if you don’t like them very much! Be sure to always pay for your credit cards on time. If you do not pay your credit card by the due date, you will incur hefty charges. Also, many creditors will increase your interest rates costing you even more money in the future. If you are determined to stop using credit cards, cutting them up is not necessarily the best way to do it. Just because the card is gone doesn’t mean the account is no longer open. If you get desperate, you may ask for a new card to use on that account, and get trapped in the same cycle of charging you wanted to get out of in the first place! 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. Watch rewards programs. These programs are quite popular with credit cards. You can earn things like cash back, airline miles, or other incentives just for using your credit card. A reward is a nice addition if you’re already planning on using the card, but it may tempt you into charging more than you usually would just to get those bigger rewards. Call your lender if you are unhappy with the interest rate on your credit cards. Request that they reduce it. If your issuer does not agree to a change, start comparison shopping for other cards. Once you are able to establish some credit with the new card, switch all of your business to them. You should ask the people at your bank if you can have an extra checkbook register, so that you can keep track of all of the purchases that you make with your credit card. Many people lose track and they assume their monthly statements are right and there is a huge chance that there may have been errors. Do not sign up for store cards in order to save money on a purchase. Often times, the amount you will pay for annual fees, interest or other charges, will easily be more than any savings you will get at the register that day. Avoid the trap, by just saying no in the first place. Do not use your credit cards to pay for gas, clothes or groceries. You will find that some gas stations will charge more for the gas, if you choose to pay with a credit card. It’s also not a good idea to use cards for these items because these items are things you need often. Using your cards to pay for them can get you into a bad habit. Try not to use your credit card for restaurant and grocery bills, because they take a lengthy time to show on your credit statement and cause people to underestimate their account balances. This could cause you to overspend because you are not aware of how high your balance is. To make sure you don’t use them too much, place credit cards in back of debit cards inside wallets. This will make it less likely that you will grab the credit card when you are rushing through check out lanes or pumping gas. If your credit card company offers airline rewards, be certain that you know haw they work. Really get into the finer details. There may be blackout dates and other restrictions that make the rewards impossible for you to use. Companies might also make certain restrictions difficult to understand deliberately. Most companies do not want these rewards to actually be used. They are really just a hook to get you to apply for their card. Check your credit card statement every month, to monitor it for possible fraud or identity theft. Many times, fraud goes unnoticed until it really starts to add up or a huge expense is listed that you are not familiar with. Regular monitoring of your paperwork will keep you ahead of the game and able to stop illicit activity early on. If you no longer plan to use a credit card, considering closing that account. Closing the account will protect you from identify theft and credit card fraud. In addition, closing an account that is no longer used will help improve your debt-to-income ratio, which is one of the factors that lenders look at, when determining whether or not to approve a loan application. You can still benefit greatly from even the most basic card that offers no perks. Using these strategies can help you enjoy your credit cards, without the stresses sometimes associated with their usage. Use the information here to decide which group you belong to.