How to Know When to Close a Credit Card

The general consensus is that you shouldn’t close credit card accounts because they help boost your score by showing that you have a credit history that expands over time. However, there are definitely times when it’s more beneficial to close an account rather than keep it open.

Here are occasions when you might want to close an old card:

  1. You keep overspending on it.
  2. It has a high annual fee/high interest rates.
  3. If it’s a joint credit card with an ex.
  4. There are too many unnecessary charges being put on it.

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Credit Cards Where the Fee Is Worthwhile

When a credit card has a fee, most people steer clear. However, if you’re utilizing the benefits enough to make that fee something to not even bat a lash at, then you’re doing it right. Here are a few cards where the fee is well worth it.

  1. Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve with a $95 fee. If you’re planning to put a lot of money on this card, then it becomes very worthwhile. With this card, you automatically get Hilton gold status and free internet access, late checkout privileges, and 10 HHonors points per dollar spent. If you put $10,000 on the card, you get a free weekend night each year. And if you spend $40,000 on the card, you’ll become a Hilton diamond status member.
  2. American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles with a $195 fee. This card allows for free checked bags for you and everyone else on your reservation as well as the chance to earn Medallion Qualification Miles that can lead you elite status. The best benefit, though, is the annual companion certificate, which basically amounts to a buy-one-get-one-free roundtrip domestic coach flight.
  3. Capital One Venture Rewards Card with a $59 fee. Capital One’s travel process is notoriously easy, and with this card you get two miles per dollar spent.

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How to Get a $0 Balance

Credit card debt is a massive pain, and during the holidays it can feel especially heavy. But getting that $0 balance isn’t impossible, and getting it might be the best holiday gift you can give yourself. Here are a few steps to try and do so.

  1. Set a budget and stick to it.
  2. Negotiate to lower payments.
  3. Find new credit cards with lower interest rates.
  4. Keep an eye out for fees.
  5. Limit gift-giving.

Image via CreditReady.

Best Credit Cards for Renovators

Planning to renovate? Well, you might find that some credit cards are actually better than others for that task.

Traditional credit cards are great, especially if they have bonus points within the first year. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card gives 50,000 points if you spend $4,000 within your first three months. The Discover it Match card offers 5 percent cash back on rotating charges, including home improvement costs.

Store specific credit cards, like the Home Depot Consumer credit card, has no annual fee, a yearlong return policy, and six months of deferred interest on purchases of $299 or more. The Lowe’s Advantage card offers 5 percent off purchases made in-store.

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Bad Credit? Here Are 3 Credit Cards That Will Give You A Shot!

When you struggle with bad credit, you may find it hard to get approved for just about anything. The good news is, if you want a credit card, there are some companies out there that will still approve you. Most are secured, meaning you will have to pay a deposit.

Here are 3 credit cards you should check out when trying to rebuild your credit history:

  1. Capital One Secured Master Card: This is a secured card meaning you will have to put money down on it. The good news is, you have 80 days to do so. Your interest rate may be really high, but that’s to be expected with any credit card if you have bad credit.
  2. Discover It Secured: This is a secured card. In order to apply, you must first apply for a regular Discover Card. If you’re denied, then they may offer you this card, but there’s no guarantee.
  3. First PREMIER Bank MasterCard Credit Card: You must have a bank account in order to qualify for this card.

Image via Deserve.

Unsecured Credit Cards For Consumers With Bad Credit

You may think you can’t qualify for a credit card if you have bad credit, but many card companies offer unsecured credit cards specifically for consumers with less-than-stellar credit. While these cards often come with some restrictions, responsible use of them can help you repair your credit score. Click below for recommendations on the best cards for those with bad credit.

Image via Flickr/Jeff Rose

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Should You Use A Credit Card For Down Payments?

If you’ve ever thought of using your credit card for a down payment of any kind, think again. It’s not a great idea to use a credit card for a down payment on items such as cars, or large appliances.

You are only adding more debt on top of the price of the already expensive item. And, the large purchase could have a negative effect on your credit score. If your card balance is higher than your credit limit, your score will take a hit. This is the same level of damage of a missed payment.

Here’s a rule of thumb, if you’re using the credit card because of the high credit card limit it gives you that means you probably can’t really afford the item you’re trying to purchase. If you don’t have the actual money for the down payment on what you want, it’s best to go without it.