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Easily Manage Multiple Credit Cards By Doing ThisJune 11, 2020
Most consumers prefer to have multiple credit cards – either to take advantage of the various rewards different cards offer or to benefit from the combined credit limits.
However, managing multiple cards can be a task.
You must make sure that all payments are made on time and that you don’t fall into debt or get defrauded by criminals.
Managing multiple credit cards
Different cards provide different facilities, and their terms and conditions are different as well. If you hold more than one credit card, it is advisable to:
1. Budget in advance how much you can spend on each card.
The main advantage of budgeting is that you’ll be able to understand how much you can afford to swipe.
You must never charge more than you can pay off because carrying a balance from one month to another may ultimately land you in debt.
Take into account the interest rate and credit limits of each card when deciding its budget – generally, larger amounts should be charged to lower interest cards, and you should try to maintain a credit utilization ratio of each card at 30% or less at all times.
2. Track the terms and conditions of each card with a spreadsheet.
You can list the interest rates and credit limits of all cards here, and also details about the rewards program.
For example, you can note down what your reward balance is, when points expire, etc.
Keeping these details handy will help you get the most out of each card.
3. Choose a due date that suits you
This will help minimize the risk that you’ll forget to pay off your credit cards.
Many consumers choose the same due date for all cards so that they don’t have to keep track of various dates.
That said, you might choose a due date to sync with the time of the month when you have maximum cash on hand so that you don’t fall short of cash to pay off your bills.
Another tip is to set up alerts or reminders for due dates.
Or, set up automatic payments where the minimum amount due on your card is automatically deducted from your checking account each month.
4. Check all credit card statements at least once a month to identify suspicious activity.
The earlier you identify unauthorized transactions, the easier it will be for you to protect yourself from damage caused by criminals.
Making payments on multiple credit cards
If you’ve already run up balances on each of your credit cards that are getting difficult to manage, follow the steps below to lessen some of your burden.
5. Make at least the minimum payment on all your cards
This is important because unless you do so, you may have to shell out late fees.
You may even get hit with the penalty rate and have the delinquency listed on your credit report.
6. After making good, the minimum payment on all cards, direct the remaining amount towards paying off cards where the payment is past due.
By doing so, you can get rid of late fees and, hopefully, also do away with penalty rates (if imposed) sooner.
7. Once past due accounts have been taken care of, start paying off the balances of credit cards that are near, or over, their credit limits.
When the credit utilization ratio of any card is above 30%, it can damage your credit score and send out a negative signal to potential lenders.
This can make it difficult to get new credit at favorable terms or rates.
Moreover, by paying off balances on cards whose limits have been breached, you’ll also do away with any over-the-limit fees.
8. Pay off the balances of cards that charge higher rates of interest.
As you pay down these balances, the total amount of payment that goes towards interest will gradually reduce.
Eventually, more and more of the payment you make will go towards repaying principal, which will help you get out of debt faster.
Juggling multiple credit cards can seem like a difficult (and often impossible) task; however, the job can be made easier by following the above tips and suggestions.
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