If you haven’t had a credit card before or are thinking of getting one, then this article is for you. In many ways, it is a good thing that you have refused it thus far in your life. But when used well, getting a credit card can be a good thing. So this post is all about getting a credit card and the ways it can help you, as well as the pitfalls.

In basic terms, when you have a credit card, it allows you to show how able you are to borrow something (money) and then pay it back. When you do this, you can build up your credit rating which can help you to get more credit down the line. So for people wanting to own homes or even get a car on finance, having a good credit rating is really key. Which is why sites like repair.credit can show you some of the best ways to rebuild your credit, if that is what you need. But how can a card help? Here are some of the things to think about.

Avoid Chasing Rewards

There are so many credit cards out there that can help you to get different rewards. From airmiles if you spend a certain amount on the card, to discounts on insurance. While all of those things are well and good, they shouldn’t be the main driver when it comes to getting a credit card. If you’re going to spend $3000 in the first three months of using the card, then yes, getting the BA.com airmiles can be a nice reward. But if you wouldn’t be spending that amount, don’t try to spend that amount of money just to get the airmiles, for instance. So be sensible and don’t chase the rewards if it will mean you are spending more than you earn.

Check the Interest Rate

The interest rate on the card is one of the most important things that you need to check. Of course, you plan to pay off your card in full each month. But on the odd occasion that you can’t pay it all, then you will generate some interest. And if the interest rate is sky-high, then it isn’t going to be a good thing. Instead, look for the lowest rates possible or zero percent for the first six months, for example.

Don’t Adjust Credit Limit

If you are applying for a card with a reputable bank, then the credit limit that they will offer you will be because of what you earn. You will have shared those details in the application process and the credit limit will have been calculated. Often, you’ll get a letter from the card issuer offering you a higher limit of credit after a while. But don’t approve it. It can be a slippery slope and is more likely to lead to debt if this happens.

Have you got any other questions about owning a credit card? It would be great to hear what you think.