How to Use Your Credit Card Like a Pro 

This article addresses three of the most common fears of credit card usage.

Overspending on Credit

This is a common concern when dealing with credit cards. When you buy something with a credit card, you never lose anything tangible, so it’s easy to lose track of your spending and forget to budget entirely–after all, it’s as if the purchase never even happened.

Programs like Quicken are inexpensive and help create and adhere to a budget, and the Mint mobile app helps manage money from wherever you are. In the case of both of those programs, you can easily link your bank accounts and credit cards to them so all of your expenses are accounted for. Both Quicken and Mint have options to send users weekly emails about spending and also alert them when they’ve exceeded an allotted budget.

Getting Defrauded

Credit card fraud is increasingly pervasive. Hackers have broadened their skill sets as they take advantage of a consumer base that is becoming increasingly tied to their credit cards. Credit card processors use measures like tokenization, which breaks up card data into unusable pieces.  They also make sure solutions are payment card industry (PCI) compliant, which means merchants who use the solutions don’t have access to anyone’s full credit card number if recurring payments are in place. Although a consumer cannot prevent hackers from getting unauthorized access to information, a consumer can take steps to protect his or her information.

Paying Interest on Credit Cards

Interest and fees go hand in hand with the aforementioned overspending problem. The only way to completely avoid those charges is to pay your bill in full each month. If that is not impossible, you can cut down on your monthly premiums by paying off as much of your bill as possible–this way, you’ll be better off than you’d be if you didn’t pay at all.