KnowYourCard text logo
KnowYourCard text logo

Archives: Tips

    credit cards

  • Light BulbWhen trying to pay down your credit card balances, start with the one with the highest interest rate.
  • Light BulbTry to keep your credit card balance within 50% of your card's credit limit.
  • Light BulbSet a cap on your credit card spending and trigger an alert when you near the limit.
  • Light BulbWhen you use your credit card, you’re taking a loan, which must be repaid.
  • Light BulbIf you want a cash back or rewards card, be sure not to carry a balance or the interest charges could be higher than the 'freebies' you get.
  • Light BulbIf you think you will carry a balance, look for a card with a low interest rate.
  • general card tips

  • Light BulbIf traveling overseas, look for a card (credit, debit or prepaid) that doesn't carry a foreign transaction fee. This fee adds 1%-3% to each purchase you make overseas.
  • Light BulbTo be prepared if your card is lost or stolen, copy down the account number and the issuer's phone number and store it in a safe place. That way, you'll have access to the info if your card is stolen.
  • Light BulbCheck out your card issuer's website to see if you can set email or text alerts for when your bill's due, or when you're nearing your credit limit.
  • gift cards

  • Light BulbGift cards must carry a disclosure of costs, including fee information, on the card or packaging.
  • Light BulbGift cards can’t expire in less than five years (from date purchased or last time money was added to card).
  • Light BulbA monthly fee may be imposed on gift cards only if the card is unused after 12 months.
  • Light BulbGift cards come with a predetermined amount of money on them (say, $25, $50 or $100) and typically cannot be reloaded with more money. They can be for general use, or for use only with one retailer.
  • good credit

  • Light BulbYou are entitled to a free copy of your credit report each year from the top three credit reporting agencies. Go to
  • Light BulbAim to protect and improve your credit history and credit score. Keep balances at 35 percent or less of available credit on revolving accounts—it’s better to use part of your available credit on a few accounts than all your available credit on just one account.
  • personal finance

  • Light BulbWhen trying to pay down your credit card balances, start with the one with the highest interest rate.
  • Light BulbStart now to build up an emergency savings account so that you won't have to take on high-interest debt when financial emergencies arise.
  • Light Bulbif you're paying monthly checking account fees, check to see if you can avoid them by setting up direct deposit to your checking account.
  • Light BulbIt's easy to save by setting up automatic transfers from your paycheck or checking account into your savings account.
  • Light BulbWhen you set up a budget, give yourself a weekly allowance to cover fun and unplanned expenses (when the money is gone, it’s gone).
  • Light BulbOnline calculators and mobile apps that banks and other websites provide are another great way to help figure out how long it will take for you to pay off your balances under various payment scenarios.
  • prepaid cards

  • Light BulbSome prepaid cards allow ATM withdrawals, direct deposit, in-person and online purchases and, in many cases, online bill-pay and automatic recurring payments.
  • Light BulbPayroll cards—a form of prepaid card used to distribute salaries to employees—are subject to Regulation E, a federal law that provides important consumer protections.
  • Light BulbPrepaid cards can include non-reloadable (disposable) and reloadable (reusable) cards. General purpose reloadable prepaid cards may have banking features, such as bill pay.