A 2017 study found that 38 percent of Americans are in credit card debt. So, what are some best practices that credit card owners should keep in mind? In this 2019 Bankrate article, "Five rules of thumb for using a credit card," Harbor Crest Wealth Advisors founder and CEO Michael Hennessy, CFA, CFP®, and other financial experts provide their recommendations.
Hennessy’s credit card tip? Monitor your credit card account activity. If you wait a month to check your credit card transaction history, a lot of damage can occur and your opportunities to fix the issues may become more complicated.
“Perhaps you don’t remember just how many Starbucks runs you made last month, but the transaction report doesn’t lie. Well, it does sometimes lie, and that is the advantage of periodically monitoring your transactions,” Mike Hennessy told Bankrate.com. “It happens more than you think but double charges, charges not matching, and fraudulent activity can all occur on your card. By monitoring your transactions, you can cut down on the time and financial issues associated with incorrect charges.”
As well as monitoring your credit card, here are four other rules of thumb for using a credit card: 1. Don’t charge anything that costs less than $20 to your credit card; 2. Pay off your balance on time and in full; 3. Manage old credit cards; and 4. Don’t spend more than 30 percent of your credit limit. Read more financial tips in the Bankrate.com article here.
Bankrate.com is a personal finance company that guides people through pivotal steps of their financial journey. Bankrate.com provides accurate rate information, intuitive calculators, and curated editorial content to help readers reach their goals. Founded in 1976 as Bank Rate Monitor, a print publisher for the banking industry, Bankrate.com’s breadth of experience has fueled their reputation as a financial authority.