Here are some things to consider doing. Some items may not be applicable to you.
Before applying for a credit card:
- The interest rate for purchases (watch out for unspecified rates, e.g., "as low as" a certain rate);look here for great credit options available to you, or get help from credit counseling as well.
- The interest rate for cash advances
- If there’s an annual fee and, if so, how much
- The waiting period before finance
When you receive a new card:
- Make a note (in wallet, home files, etc.) of phone number to call in event card is lost or stolen
When you receive a notice (e.g., "important changes") with your credit card statement:
- Read it carefully, looking for:
- New or increased penalties for paying off your balance (look here for more details)
- Cutbacks in rebate programs, etc.
- Shorter waiting period before payments are late
- Higher late charges
- Penalty interest rate if you’re late making payments, e.g., twice