This just in: Your credit cards really can be two-faced stinkers. But just like a gun doesn’t shoot on its own; your credit card can’t walk up to a terminal and swipe itself silly without your help.
If your monthly bill is looking like you suddenly have a gold-digging mistress helping herself to designer bags with your plastic - you may have unearthed the ugly side of credit card debt.
Now before you run to your stationery drawer to find the biggest pair of cutters you own to slice the little critter in two, hold up! Your credit card ultimately responds to its master. Treat it right and it can help you out of a doozy of a cashless situation. Treat it wrong and you’ll very soon find the debt collectors at your door.
We at RinggitPlus live to help you take on Gremlin-like banking products. Check out our list of ways to keep your little rectangular friend in good behaviour.
Be Good to Your Credit Card
Want your card to behave itself? Keep these tips in mind.
1. Treat her like a Lady
Your credit card isn’t cheap (cough, interest rates) so don’t treat her trashy. If you keep whipping her out every time the urge to splurge hits you - you can bet she will turn nasty.
Your credit card, like a shrew, never forgets. She’ll bill you at the end of the month and throw in interest charges and late payments if necessary. These can haunt you for a very long time if you aren’t careful.
2. Keep a clean slate
No one likes baggage and neither will your credit card. Don’t go to bed angry; or in this case, without paying your dues. Make sure you pay your credit card in full monthly and rest easy knowing you both will start the new month without the baggage of a revolving bill.
3. Don’t be a Fair-Weather Friend
Find yourself only turning to your credit card when you want to shop or have a nice night out? Whilst fun times are great - your credit card is best able to show his friendly qualities if you use him for emergencies.
Let him be there for you when you have a flat tyre and need a mechanic as opposed to when you want new rims to pimp your ride. Limit the happy spending and learn what a true friend your credit card can be when the chips are down.
4. Be faithful (well, somewhat)
Think it’s cool owning a card from every bank to reap maximum cashback and rewards benefits? Think again.
Too many credit cards will only induce you into a false sense of comfort gleaned from owning money you don’t actually have.
Keep a trusted few; don’t be the credit card player. It’s a game you’ll only lose. Find the best one, or two credit cards for you and be faithful.
5. Think long-term...sometimes
As with any relationship in your life, if you maintain it well long enough, it will reward you. Banks often reward long time customers with added perks and better customer service so being faithful helps. Of course, if you find your credit card has given you a bum deal - ditch it! Hey, love is a two-way street.
6. Separation is a last resort
Sometimes, it may just not work out between you and your plastic. That’s ok. Maybe you’re the cash only kind of guy or there’s a better credit card out there waiting to warm your pants (we mean by being in your trouser pockets, what were you thinking?). You need to cut ties but make sure you’ve thought it through.
Cancelled credit cards can mean a lowered credit score especially if you’ve been a problematic paymaster. Other banks will look at it and say “He couldn’t handle a credit card. Let’s not give him another. Or any other banking product for that matter.” Don’t ruin your market with financial institutions so only dump your card if it truly is ‘irreconcilable differences’.
The solution is YOU
Has your credit card turned your life upside down with its debt accumulating antics? Was it the card or you? Well, chances are; it was you. Just like the rocky road of human relationships - relationships with your credit card can go sour if you don’t follow the cardinal rules of good behaviour.
Think you’ve got what it takes to handle a credit card? Or maybe you’re looking for a replacement for an old doozy of a card that just wasn’t panning out. Like a card to travel with, shop with or dine with? The key really is in finding your perfect match. Check out our aggregator - the credit card matchmaking extraordinaire tool you just might find yours.