Improve Your Credit Today – 7 Real Tips For Real Results

Huge changes are approaching. The bulk for new provision of  Credit   Card  Act took effect since last February of 2012 that may change how many people use  credit   card .

While some people will gain benefits, others may also consider it hard to access their  credit   card  at all. Actually, some credit institutions have already started cutting off clients without any explanation, a rude surprise. But instead of getting discourage over these  card  law and policy changes, take the action in improving your own  credit  score today so you no longer have to worry on what may happen in the future in terms of your finances.

Here are a few tips to help you get started.


1.) Pays your monthly bills on time

The most important responsibility you should take note is to pay your bills every month and on time. You should at least settle the minimum payment or the amount you are required to pay.

2.) If you have any past due bills, pay them up and stay updated.

If you have made a few errors on your credit, you will need to pay up to show that you are able to manage your debt.

3.) Pay down any current  credit   cards .

Are you not sure where and how to start? An ideal concept is to pay off first your  credit  which have the highest rate on interest (while also handling the required minimum payment with the rest of your  credit   cards ). Once you have paid that balance, pay the card which has the next highest rate of interest, and so on.

4.) Stretch yourself thin.

If you’re having multiple cards, spread the charges over all of them while keeping your balances the lowest possible charge. You should at least target using less than 30% of the card limit. But if you do not have multiple  credit   cards , it is not necessary to open more accounts in order to spread out the debt.

5.) Do not close any account that you don’t use.

Closing any account can surely hurt credit score since it will lower the amount of available credit to you. But instead, dust off your old cards and make use of them once per month on small purchases such as take-out or gas. Every month you settle your bills on time, your card issuer will comment on your report as “okay”.

6.) Do not open new account if you don’t need it.

As much as possible, don’t open many accounts in short amount of time.

7.) Check credit report on a regular basis and dispute for any inaccuracies.

To start, you should obtain your credit report regularly every 6 months. Know what’s on a credit report and determine how things are reported. Once you see something which doesn’t look right, correct the errors with credit bureau.

Lastly, don’t be impatient. Improving credit scores would take time. Just like undergoing weight management program, there is no quick fix. You must be responsible with your own credit, settle your bills on time and think first before deciding- pretty soon, you will reap rewards of your good credit.

Tips for Avoiding Credit Fraud

There are a variety of ways that thieves can get your information and use your cards to make purchases. Here are a few of the more common ways:

You pay for dinner at the restaurant with your  credit   card . Your waitress takes the card to the register, processes the transaction and returns it. What you didn’t see was the copy of your card details that she made, and later used it to make purchases online and by phone!

You can’t believe your luck when you get a mailing that says you’ve won a free trip and all you need to do is join a travel club to get the free trip. After providing your  credit   card  details to join the club, you never get the free trip and you start seeing charges on your statement that you didn’t make!

A thief finds copies or receipts of items containing your  credit   card  details in the trash and then uses the information to make purchases.

Fraud like these examples cost cardholders and credit lenders several hundred million dollars every year. While you cannot prevent all fraud from occurring, there are reasonable things that you can do to help prevent and protect against credit fraud.

When using your  credit   card  to pay for dinner at a restaurant, draw a line through all the lines above your signature that do not contain money amounts. So if you have left a cash tip on the table for th server, draw a line through the tip line on the receipt, or even write “left on table” in the space to make sure that the server doesn’t add a tip in after you leave! Try to keep an eye on the server when he or she takes the card to the register, processes it and returns to your table.

When you get a new  credit   card , sign the back as soon as you receive it. Carry  credit   cards  in a different place from the rest of your cash, and even someplace other than your wallet if possible. Save all of your receipts so that you can compare amounts to your actual billing statements, and open the bills when they come in and verify that they are correct each month. Reconcile the account in the same way you would a checking account to make sure everything is correct.

When you are moving, notify your  credit   card  companies immediately with the new address so your statements are not finding their way into someone else’s hands at the old address.

Don’t ever write your account number on the outside of an envelope, or on a postcard. Anyone could notice it and write the information down.

When shopping online, make sure the websites that you are shopping from are secure. They should have an “SSL” certificate displayed, or at least have a domain starting with “https”, where the “s” indicates it is a secure page and it’s okay to enter your card information.

If you must provide your  credit   card  information by phone, be sure the company you are giving the information to is reputable.

Open your statements each month even if you know you did not make a purchase. Make sure that there are no purchases on the account that you didn’t make. If a purchase shows up on your billing statement that you are unsure of, call the company and find out who it is, and what they sell and see if you did make the charge and simply forgot. If you still don’t know who the company is, or know you did not make a purchase- get on the phone and call the card company as it is most likely a fraud case.

If you still find yourself a victim of credit fraud, you need to immediately call the credit lender. Once reported, the law protects you against any liability for unauthorized credit charges, and you will only be liable for up to $50, which is the maximum liability according to federal law.

Tips for Getting a Credit Card Even If You Have Bad Credit

Many of us have been faced with situations that have resulted in a less than perfect credit rating. It’s a simple fact of life and can happen to anyone. Unfortunately, your credit rating can be damaged relatively quickly, yet it takes a good bit if time for those effects to be reversed. Many people are under the impression that, in the meantime, there’s no way they could get another  credit   card …that the banks simply won’t “deal with them” if they have bad  credit . However, that’s simply not true. In fact, many banks work specifically with people with damaged credit and even some larger banks have special programs just for these types of clients. Here are some of the typical options you’ll find when looking for a bad  credit  charge  card .

Option #1: Secured  Credit   Cards 

Many banks offer secured  credit   cards  as an option for people with bad  credit . This could be a great alternative to a traditional  credit   card  account and could help you establish a responsible pattern of paying back your debts to show the  credit   card  companies that you’re back no your feet.

With a secured  credit   card , you will most likely need to maintain a savings account with the bank also. This will be a relatively small amount from about $500 to $1000 or so. The savings account will be money that you can’t really touch since it’s the collateral for your secured  credit   card . Then whatever balance you have in your savings account becomes the  credit  line of your new  credit   card  and as you make purchases, the money comes from that account.

This is a safe way for the bank to offer you a credit line since they can always pay off the balance with the money in your savings account if you default. The benefit for you is that since this is a safe option for the bank, they’re more likely to offer this to you in the first place, so they’re pretty easy to qualify for.

Option #2: Unsecured  Credit   Cards 

In addition to secured  credit   cards , some banks are willing to take more of a risk and offer unsecured  credit   cards , even to people with bad  credit . These  cards  are just like your normal  credit   card , with  credit  lines that aren’t based on you maintaining a savings account as in the case of a secured  card .

Do Your Homework Before You Apply

Of course, before you apply for any type of  card , you want to be sure you understand the total fees, interest charges and other details of the  credit   card  offers the bank has available. Since the banks feel they’re taking more of a risk in working with someone with bad credit, there may be higher fees or higher interest rates involved.

However, this won’t necessarily be something you have to pay over the long term. As your  credit  improves, you’ll be able to apply for a new  card  with better rates. So in essence, a bad  credit  charge  card  can not only help you rebuild your  credit  but can also help you “leap frog” your way to a better  credit   card  with better terms.

You can find several bad  credit  charge  card  offers through your local bank (smaller banks and  credit  unions are probably best). In addition, you can find several offers online. Either way you go, you should be able to quickly find a  credit   card  offer that works for you, even if you have bad  credit .

5 Crucial Tips When Shopping for Low Interest Rate Credit Cards

In today’s market low interest rate  credit   cards  are easily found online, in the mail and at your local bank. There really isn’t a difference where you decide to shop for your new  credit   card  most places offer the same deals from the same card issuers. However, there are definitely some features you need to be aware of and avoid if possible. I have listed the most crucial points to be aware of when shopping for low interest rate cards, they are as follows:

Universal Default – Universal default is a buried clause in the fine print of almost all low interest rate  credit   cards . It basically says that if you are late on payments they can jack up your rates at will. The scary part is that they can use your payment history from other accounts to enact the clause. Say for instance if you co-signed for a car with someone and he misses a payment you can be penalized, harshly. Interest rates can nearly triple when this clause is enacted.

Payment Grace Periods – It used to be that consumers had a full 30 days to pay their balances before the card company started charging interest. This isn’t true anymore. In fact the average grace period is about 22 days now. Even the low interest rate  credit   cards  are practicing the shortened grace period. Some of your  credit   cards  designed for bad  credit  do not have a grace period at all! Always find out what your grace period is.

Cash Advances – Be careful when you pull into that ATM to get some cash for the day. Most  credit   card  companies have higher rates for cash advances than they do for purchases. The cash advance interest rates can be almost 30% when you consider the fees added for the transaction. Also, you must pay the cash advance back over and above your regular payment to get rid of the higher interest rate. There is rarely any grace period for cash advances either. We strongly advise against taking cash advances from any  credit   card .

Two-Cycle Billing – This sneaky trick is usually buried in the fine print. Two cycle billing is when the card company will charge you interest based on the on the average balance carried on the card, not the actual balance. Say for instance if we charge $1000 on the card in January with the intention to the balance off completely by March in two $500 payments. Let’s assume your interest rate is 10%, which makes your interest $100. Februarys you make a $500 dollar payment leaving a $500 balance. Your Interest on this balance is $50.00. Not so with two cycle billing. The card company will average the balances which is $750. Your interest due is now $75 not fifty. Look out for this trick when comparing low interest rate cards.

Fees, Fees and more Fees – A lot of market low interest rate cards will charge a hefty fee to cover their expenses. This is because most people that can qualify for a market low interest rate  credit   card  pay their balances in full each month. If the rate on the card is low enough I really do not mind a reasonable annual fee, the call is yours. However what about the other fees? Account set up fees, monthly fees, over the limit fees, late fees, additional card fees and a host of other fees. Honestly look at your spending and payment habits and the possible fees you might incur. It could make the difference between a good deal and a bad one.

In closing, I can’t stress enough that you need to read the fine print! Look at the fees, look at the billing cycles and compare all of these variables with your spending and payment habits. If you carry a balance on your card often and always pay your bills at the end of the month it may benefit to take a slightly higher interest rate in lieu of a better billing cycle and lower late fees.

Tips For Paying Down Your Credit Card Debt and Saving Your Financial Future

1. Create a budget- Knowing where your money goes is very important, most consumers do not know where their funds end-up due to lack of proper planning. In creating a budget not only can you see where your money goes to, but you can control it better, meaning you can cut-out unnecessary spending and use that money for savings.

2. Create a savings fund/account- Now that you have created a budget and you know where your money is going to and you are having a few dollars left-over, start a savings fund/account. Have you ever heard the expression ¨every penny counts¨? Every penny truly does count and it is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the world of savings and possibly investing some of those funds in well thought-out investment programs.

3. Invest a percentage of your savings- You have created a budget, identified your monetary obligations, you are starting to save money because you have your spending under control, why not invest some of those funds smartly so that you can set aside a nest egg for the future? Investing does not have to be expensive; it can also be fun and teach you many ways to make your capital grow. The internet is a wonderful tool if you are thinking of investing, due your ¨due diligence¨ before investing your hard earned money.

4. Avoid excessive use of  credit   cards  Credit   card  use/management has become a sore spot in the lives of many consumers, not being organized enough to know where your money is going, as in the case of a budget, not saving and or investing your left over funds has driven many Americans to the woeful world of bankruptcy, debt collecting and in some cases legal action against them.

In the steps above, I created a simple plan to avoid the consequences of not being financially responsible, by creating such a simple and easy way to stay debt free many Americans now enjoy the financial freedom that they have so desperately looked for. Staying focused on the fact that saving for the future is a long and winding road, avoiding excessive luxuries that with a twist of fate could land us in the poor house, plan ahead, investigate and put a plan into action. It is never too late to begin thinking about your financial future, the sooner you do, the sooner you will rid yourself of the ever imposing threat of just becoming another financial statistic.

Learn Insider Tips on Negotiating Rates With Your Credit Card Company

Ok, let’s face it, everybody hates high  credit   card  rates, and they drain hard earned money out of your wallet. As a valued consumer, it is apparent that you learn how to negotiate to get the absolute best rate that you possibly can. The good news however is that it doesn’t have to be a difficult or time-consuming process. In fact, it can be very easy indeed if you know what you’re doing. In this article we will discuss the ins and outs of  credit   card  negotiating to ensure that you get the best possible rate with the least amount of effort.

  1. First and foremost, you should figure out if you even want to continue using your current  credit   card  company. Are you pleased with the overall service that you are receiving? Do you like their benefits? If the answer is yes then you can proceed. If not, you should stop reading this article and start looking for a better company.
  2. Second, you should evaluate your paying history and make sure that it is positive before you call to negotiate. If it is positive then you have power and if it isn’t then you’ll be negotiating from a position of weakness and that might not be good. Instead, you should wait until it is more positive before you call them to negotiate rates.
  3. Third, if you have a good history then remember this when you call. In essence, you’ll have extremely high negotiating power. The company needs your business in order to be successful and with clients they lose big time. Therefore, you should always display this “take them or leave them attitude” while conducting your negotiations.
  4. Draft up a script and memorize it. It can be as simple as “Hello, my name is Bill and I have been a cardholder for X years and I consistently pay my bills on a time. Well recently I have been receiving all types of  credit   card  offers from XYZ bank indicating that I qualify for an extremely low interest rate of X and am considering leaving you and going there if you can’t offer me a lower rate. Is this something that you can help me with?
  5. Practice, practice and practice some more with your script until you are completely and totally used to it. Once you are, contact the company. Read your script and see what happens.
  6. If you get a hard nose customer service representative then don’t threaten her. Be agreeable and ask to speak to his/her supervisor. If that is not possible, be nice to her and try again she may have some leeway. If you like your present company, you can even try negotiating interest rates, annual and even those yucky late fees.
  7. However, if you’re fed up, have an alternative company in the wings, and your current company won’t budge with their rates then be willing to take your business elsewhere. After all, you hold the power so don’t be afraid to use it! They key however is to not bluff but to follow through with your threat. Close the account, ask for them to send you notification in the mail, cancel the  credit   card  and use another card.

In conclusion, you can be successful with the negotiating process if you follow the above mentioned tips. If your current company is unwilling to cooperate then you should simply take your business elsewhere. You’re better off with another  credit   card  company that values your savvy negotiating skills!

Debt Management

Many individuals of varying economic and professional backgrounds have little or poor Debt Management skills and now find themselves trapped in a downward financial spiral – forced, mostly through corporate downsizing or unemployment, to live on credit by borrowing more and more money from their bank, by utilizing one or several credit cards up to their credit limit, or by using other refinancing alternatives such as consolidation loans, pay day loans, home equity loans or a home equity line of credit.

Many of us have become slaves to our credit. We spend money, we use our credit cards and we buy cars and homes. The children need some more clothes for school or that family vacation we have not taken in years. So we buy on credit. But it is how we perform at our debt management that can allow us to achieve “financial freedom.”

At the time when we spend money on these purchases, the costs seem to be minimal or unimportant, as we think that we can pay for these expenditures with the next month’s pay check. But the next month rolls by, something else crops up – the expected pay rise or stock market killing did not materialize or unemployment raised its ugly head – and the debt has not been paid off.

As a result interest usually begins to accrue and as more and more interest accumulates, the more the original purchases actually cost and the outstanding debt spirals out of control. Consequently we are forced to lower our current standards of living by having to choose between repaying the ever-increasing debts and spending on health, education and other more important essentials.

Many now see the personal debt management problem as one of the most important political and moral issues of our time.

One of the reasons debt is so dangerous is because there is usually no debt management education curriculum dealing with debt management until you get to the university level. By this time, many adults are already in debt, because of student loans or credit cards they received in their freshman year. Some if not many, young people believe they will make enough money when they leave college to pay off these debts, but this is not a certainty.

Debt can prevent you from dealing properly with your financial planning. When money must be set aside for paying off debts, less money is available for retirement, and maybe others forms of protection including disability and long-term care. You may have to work a number of extra years beyond your expectation because of your debts. Your debts can become disastrous to your credit if it results in your being late on your mortgage payments, or worse, you default on a loan.

Debt is often seen as an enemy in the financial planning process. But with wise and sensible debt management, your financial outlook can improve. Planning is usually the culprit, when it comes to getting burdened by debt.

Planning is very important. If you know you are buying a home in two years, it is a good time to start planning by eliminating bad debts. The more control you have over your debts, the more financially rewarding things you can contribute to including your children’s education or the new business project. It is never too late to start, it is up to you to begin.

Debt can stop you reaching your financial goals. However getting a strong hold on your debts can be the difference between “financial freedom” and being burdened by debt. You should make debt management part of your financial planning and seek help if necessary.

There are simple, common sense debt management steps you can take to get out of debt. Unfortunately, like losing weight, they are not necessarily easy or painless – but if you stick to them, you will become debt-free.

Stop Borrowing Money – The first step to escaping debt is to stop borrowing. Simply put, the more you borrow, the more you will owe. You can’t borrow your way out of debt, but must instead pay off your existing debts while not borrowing additional funds.

If you are a typical consumer, you probably engage in a lot of borrowing by making purchases with credit cards. You should try to break this credit habit. Most credit card companies and store cards will reduce your credit limit if you ask them to do so. The credit card company may try to talk you out of lowering your credit limit – because they make the most money when they let you borrow more than you can afford. You can also cut up some or all of your credit and store cards.

Budget Your Income and Expenses – Map out your income, expenses, and payments on your existing debts for a typical month, and create a balanced household budget. Remember to budget some money for emergencies – if you are fortunate enough that no emergency occurs, you can either save the money for future emergencies or, if you are afraid that you will spend it, use it to pay off some of your debts.

If you are paying credit card debts, budget to pay more than the minimum required monthly payment. Minimum payments are usually set in an amount such that, if you don’t make an additional payment toward the credit card balance, you will never pay off the debt. Usually, your credit cards will carry the highest interest of any of your debt, and thus it will make sense to pay them off first.

If you cannot figure out how you can possibly pay your bills and still have enough money to survive at the end of the month, you may wish to consider using a credit counselor or a debt management service. You may also wish to consider the possibility of a debt consolidation loan.

Stick To The Budget – For many people, this is the hardest part of debt management. It is easy to create a theoretical budget which allows them to get their debts under control, but impossible to resist the impulse purchases which break the bank each month. You can help avoid temptation by cutting up your credit cards and instead making your purchases with cash.

Negotiate Credit Card Settlement – Advice on How to Settle Your Credit Card Debts

We all use credit cards and we probably all spend a bit more than we really ought to, but when finances are tight it is really easy to slip gradually into fairly serious debt. It gets to a point where it becomes a vicious circle as your card bills rise, leaving you less and less each month, leading to even more reliance on credit cards. The end result for a great many people is a mountain of debt to many different card companies, with no apparent way of ever getting enough money to pay it all back.

So you wonder what to do and look around at possible solutions. Too many people end up trying to solve their debt in ways that simply push the problem further down the line. Taking out new cards to pay off the old ones for example or getting a debt consolidation loan to pay off all the cards. The problem here is that you are not actually getting rid of any of your debt, just transferring it somewhere else.

When your credit card debt has built up to a really serious amount, as it does for many of us, you need to find a solution that will actually lead to the card companies being satisfied and leaving you alone. If your monthly payments are far more than you can afford, then your solution has to involve negotiating new terms to settle the debts. This can range from freezing interest charges and agreeing smaller payments, to agreeing to write off a proportion of the debt in exchange for a lump sum payment.

The solution you end up with will depend on many factors, but you essentially have three choices. You can either try to negotiate with the card companies yourself, use a debt management company to set up a payment plan (Debt Management Plan), or use a debt settlement company to reach a negotiated settlement with your credit card companies.

Anyone who has tried negotiating with a credit card company will know how tough this can be, and it is not for everyone. However, if you are able to do it well, you can maximise the benefits of any reductions you manage to achieve. The process is made harder if you do not understand the way card companies work and the systems they use when dealing with unpaid debts. An inside knowledge can mean the difference between getting agreement to write off 60% of the debt or being sued instead.

The debt management approach is to use debt negotiators to agree new terms with your creditors, which allow you to just make one affordable monthly payment instead of all your previous debts. The process does not involve writing off any of your debt, but usually does mean freezing or reducing interest charges or late payment fees.

Using a debt settlement company to negotiate credit card settlement means that experienced negotiators work on your behalf to agree new deals with the credit card companies to settle your debts. This often, but not always, means that the debt is drastically reduced in exchange for a lump sum payment. As you are unlikely to have a lump sum to settle with, you just keep paying a regular monthly amount into a separate account, which builds up and is used towards the settlement payments.

While debt settlement companies are common in the US, it is not a widespread practice in the UK, because there is a better alternative, called an IVA. This is an Individual Voluntary Arrangement, and, like debt settlement, usually involves writing off a good proportion of your debt.

If you would like to negotiate settlements on your own, there is help and advice available on how to do this. If you wish to use a debt management or debt settlement company to help you, there are a few things to bear in mind when deciding which ones to approach. You may hear stories about debt settlement being a rip-off or a scam. The fact is that debt settlement is not a scam, but some companies have used it to take advantage of people in debt, giving it a bad name.

As well as not wanting someone who is trying to rip you off, neither do you want someone who just isn’t very good at debt settlement negotiation. You therefore need to take care to use only reputable companies. Check that they are well established and have a track record of successfully negotiating credit card settlement for many other people. You should also approach two or three companies in order to compare what they can offer you. Most have a website with a very simple online form to start the ball rolling.

Stop Identity Thefts – Effective Ways to Prevent This Theft

More and more people are becoming victim of Identity Theft. According to a survey conducted in USA, more than 750, 000 Americans are suffering from this theft every year. Mostly, these thieves work on internet to get details about credit card statement or any other details by few hacking tips while few other thieves look for hard copy of your credit card statement. To stop someone from stealing your identity is very difficult but still you should keep few things in your mind which can minimize your chances of becoming a victim.

Identity Thefts not only involve your cash. But these thieves can also make your life hell by stealing your personal details. By stealing your character identity, they can commit any crime by your name. In few cases, these thieves stole your medical details and through which, they can claim any medical insurance in your name or they can use your policies to get rid of their own problems. By stealing Driving License details, they can commit any traffic related crime by your name. These are few other ways of losses you can suffer from these thefts except financial loss.

Simple way to stop these thieves in getting your personal data is to destroy all your personal information completely like private records, credit card statements or bank statement after their usage. If you can’t destroy them, lock them in safe cabinet. Avoid mailing your cheque or bills from your home. Try to do this directly via post office. In few cases, thieves collect your cheque, change its payee name by using solvents and use them for their own purpose.

Social Security Number should also be protected. There is no need to carry Social Security Number with you every time. This number is the key to all your personal details and thieves mostly try to go for this personal detail. By stealing your Social Security Number, they can access your bank accounts and credit cards. Avoid carrying more than 1 credit card in your wallet.

For people who surf internet daily can be a victim of identity thefts. These thieves uses few emails through which they can collect your personal information. For these types of thefts, all users should perform reverse email search which allows them to recognize the exact identity of person sending those mails. After knowing personal details, you can easily stop replying to these unknown mails if they are having any bad criminal record.

It’s always advisable to take necessary steps to protect you and your close ones from being a victim of Identity Thefts. Precaution is the best way to get rid of this. In case, you lost your wallet, credit card, passport etc, immediately inform respective department to block the usage of that stuff. Follow all these tips and live a happy life.

Accept Credit Cards and Watch Your Business Bloom

Caring for your business is a lot like caring for a garden: you plant the seeds, you tend it faithfully, nurturing it lovingly. And like a garden, your business needs to be fed with a constant stream of ideas and techniques that will help it grow and thrive, even during economic droughts. Learning which techniques work and which are no more than showy methods that drain your budget and energy takes some time. But the results are well worth the effort.

For businesses looking to grow and blossom in today’s economy, one of the best and most effective steps to take is to begin accepting  credit   cards  for purchases of goods and services. Accepting  credit   cards  is a simple process, thanks to today’s merchant account service providers.

With more providers entering the field every day, fees have been reduced and application requirements and procedures have been greatly streamlined, meaning you can open an account with minimal effort and low cost. In fact, with so many account providers looking for your business, the number of account options has made establishing an account easier and more affordable than ever, even for small or new businesses.

With the advent of television shopping channels and web stores catering to customers from across the globe, businesses have had to become savvier in attracting and retaining customers, and in growing their overall profits. Accepting  credit   cards  can help you achieve all of these goals, while still maintaining your budget.

Studies indicate that now more than ever before, consumers are using cards for all sorts of purchases, from small, everyday items, to large special purchases for holidays or special occasions. Many consumers appreciate the flexibility afforded by  credit   cards , allowing them to make purchases of nearly any size while paying back a little each month. And unlike a loan or store purchasing offer, consumers know that once they pay back part of their balance, that part becomes available for them to spend on other items, increasing the flexibility factor.

 Credit   cards  today offer loads of online tools that help consumers manage their monthly budgets and grow their  credit  score and credit history, which can help them get loans, insurance – even a job. Many cards also offer extended warranties on electronics and other purchases, making them especially valuable to customers who buy those products.

One of the major reason consumers are using  credit   cards  more often today is as a result of the incentive programs they offer. Even just a few years ago, competition among issuers was much more subdued than it is today.

In recent years, though, as consumers have begun using  credit   cards  more frequently, card issuers have begun to actively compete for a greater share of the business. As a result, many card issuers now offer bonus incentives that allow consumers to tote up reward points each time they use the card. Points can be redeemed for airline or hotel vouchers, electronics, jewelry and other merchandise – even cash, making it worthwhile and often profitable for consumers to use their cards.

OK; those are a few of the reasons why consumers love to use card. Here are a few of the reasons how that attitude can help your business bloom:

  • Customers who use  credit   cards  tend to spend more than those who pay with cash.  Credit   card  users are more likely to buy more expensive items than cash customers, and tend to shop much more frequently. In addition,  credit   card  users make impulse purchases far more often than cash buyers, and those impulse purchases are usually significantly higher than the impulse purchases made by cash buyers.
  • Customers who use cards appreciate convenience, and so tend to be more loyal to the businesses they patronize. Every marketer will tell you, it costs more to attract a new customer than to retain a current one. Offering  credit   cards  is a great way to grow a customer base that is loyal and less likely to shop around.
  • Companies that accept  credit   cards  are viewed more favorably by customers who feel these companies are striving to meet their needs. In addition, research indicates businesses that accept are viewed as being safer and more legitimate than cash-only businesses.
  • Accepting  credit   cards  can improve your cash flow, too. When  credit   card  transactions are processed, those funds are deposited to your business bank account that day. There’s no waiting for checks to clear – and more importantly, no bounced checks – and no risk of theft or loss, since the money is directly electronically deposited.

It’s true: Your business is like a garden, needing attention and care to make it grow and bear fruit. By spending a little time today, you can sow the seeds for a more fruitful and profitable business tomorrow.