How to find the right credit card management service for you
Whether you have one credit card or multiple, you may find it difficult to keep up with things like payments and rewards. If this struggle sounds familiar, you could consider looking into credit card management services. These services come in different forms, including many apps to help with whatever you may need.
What is credit card management?
Credit card management is finding a successful way to keep track of your rewards, payment dates, current balance and transactions across one or more credit cards. It’s important to know how to manage credit cards, as falling behind could potentially have negative consequences.
For instance, if you miss a payment on a card, it may be reported to the credit bureaus and negatively impact your credit score. It can also mean your balance accrues interest, which adds to your debt.
Learning how to manage more than one credit card may also help you make the most of your rewards, since you’ll be on top of your cash back, points and miles. Effective credit card management includes steps you take daily, monthly, quarterly or annually to ensure that everything is in good standing. If you aren’t sure how to manage multiple credit cards, you may want to try an app to help keep you organized.
Types of credit card management services
There are many ways to manage your credit cards and several apps that may help.
Apps for addressing debt
There are various ways to pay off your credit card debt. Find an app that suits the approach you’d like to take, such as the snowball or avalanche method. Once you put your information into the app of your choice, you’ll be able to create a plan and track your progress as you go. Using an app like this may help ensure you don’t miss payments and start putting a dent in your debt each month.
Apps for budgeting
Good credit card management starts with good budgeting. Consider downloading a budgeting app to help you keep track of where your money goes and when. While there are many different budgeting apps, many let you input both your fixed and variable bills, as well as when they’re due. You may also be able to enter the amount you get paid and how often. A budgeting app can help you get a bird’s-eye view of the money coming in and out of your accounts each month.
Apps for paying bills
If you’re struggling trying to figure out how to manage multiple credit cards, you may want to try an app specifically designed for paying bills. These apps typically have you input all of your cards and account information, after which they’ll pull your current statements. From there, you can see all your bills and when they’re due in one place, instead of checking multiple apps or accounts.
Apps for tracking credit card rewards
If one of the things you love about credit cards is the rewards, you may want to try a rewards tracking app. These types of apps allow you to input your different cards, even across different issuers, so that you can see all your rewards in one place. Many rewards tracking apps will also alert you if and when your awards start getting close to their expiration date, so you can ensure you use them in time.
Apps for monitoring credit card benefits
While rewards often get the hype, many credit cards also offer other benefits that people don’t always take advantage of. For instance, some cards offer price protection, extended warranties, travel insurance and more. Using an app that tracks these benefits may help you use your credit cards more effectively, especially if it comes down to choosing one over the other for making a purchase that you may want certain protections for.
Credit card management tips
In addition to using apps to make credit card management easier, here are some other tips that may help you manage credit cards:
- Know your terms: Keeping the full terms and conditions that you agreed to when you opened your card easily accessible may be helpful. Whether you want to print it out or keep an electronic version on your desktop, being able to access it with ease for quick reference may prove pretty handy.
- Pay your balance: If possible, make sure you’re paying your credit card bills on time, and, ideally, in full. This will help keep your slate clean and give you less to manage by eliminating debt. Setting up automatic payments may be a helpful way to ensure you don’t miss a payment.
- Create a key: Keeping a note, either on your phone or in your wallet, that outlines each card’s best uses could be a useful cheat sheet to reference. For example, if one of your cards has 5% cash back on dining while the rest are 2%, it may be worth having a reminder of that somewhere the next time you eat out.
- Move due dates: If you have a hard time keeping track of due dates, it could help to rearrange them so you only have one or two to remember. You may be able to request specific payment dates through your credit card issuer.
Credit cards are generally a great way to build and maintain your credit score, earn rewards and gain certain protections and benefits. However, if you aren’t able to keep track of all these details, you may find having a credit card management service makes it easier to stay on top of payments, debt and rewards and make the most out of your cards.