Most popular credit card mistakes

Monday, August 13th, 2012
Updated: August 13th, 2012
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Everybody makes mistakes whether due to confusion or carelessness. And credit card mistakes are the worst and too common ones. Even a tiny slip-up may cause tremendous fallout which can result in lower credit limits, higher interest rates and unwanted fees or may affect your credit score. It’s up to you to use your credit wisely or not.

Here are common credit card mistakes:

Late bills payments

Late payments are the worst irreverence you can show when it comes to credit cards. The consequences may follow – leveled-up interest rates and lowered credit scores.

Try to pay your bills on time regardless the mood or weather forecast. The CARD Act requires banks to mail your statement at least 21 days before the due date. So mark your calendar and never be late.

Clumsy balance transfers

Moving debt from your unfair high-interest-rate card to one with a tasty low introductory rate can make financial sense, but only if you read the fine print carefully. Don’t ignore balance-transfer rules and try to understand every single comma; otherwise you could end up owing even more.

Paying just minimum

Most of credit card holders know that they should pay more than the monthly minimum on a credit card bill; it seems that nobody cares about it nowadays though. Today your monthly statement includes information on how long it will take to pay off your balance by making only minimum payments, as well as how much you would need to pay to erase your debt in three years. So think before you decide to spend additional $50 in a restaurant.

Overlimiting spendings

You have three cards or just one – it doesn’t matter, keep an eye on your credit utilization ratio (the proportion of your total available credit you use each month). In general it is recommended to spend no more than 30% of your revolving credit card limits.

Also be sure to use all of your cards periodically. If a card is inactive for a long period, the lender may close the account. That would result in unexpected changes in your credit utilization ratio, which could drag down your credit rating.

Monthly statements ignoring

As you received your monthly credit card statement, take a few minutes to look it over. Mistakes happen, so be sure there are no erroneous charges. The sudden appearance of unfamiliar charges can also mean identity theft. Call your lender immediately to report discrepancies.

Accumulating foreign transaction fees

Nobody wants to see a credit card statement full of foreign transaction fees after returning from a vocation trip. Most credit cards have these fees, which often run as high as 5%, including the 1% that Visa and MasterCard charge on foreign transactions.

Foreign transaction fees vary by credit card, it worth searching for a card that charges no transaction fee and use that card for purchases while abroad.

Taking cash advances

Unless it is an emergency, do not use your credit card to get a cash advance. The interest charges on cash advance are really high and probably you won’t avoid an upfront fee for the privilege. The longer it takes to repay a cash advance, the more you’ll have to pay. Try to explore the ways to get extra cash without lightening your credit card.

Paying annual fees

Avoid annual fees whenever possible. Usually banks charge these fees if credit cards offer rewards programs, premium services and if a credit card holder is deemed a risky borrower. The first two are matters of choice. If the premium services are worth the price to you, pay for the privileges. But if rewards are what you want, make sure the rewards’ value surpasses the annual fee. Being a consumer of doubtful creditworthiness is a sticky situation, but you can always try to shop around for a card with lower fees.

Hunting teaser rates

Before you apply for a new credit card with a 0% introductory APR, make sure you understand how long the promotional period lasts and how high your rate will climb after the offer expires. Do not apply repeatedly for promotional offers; think how they affect your credit score. Too many opened credit cards and too many closed as well may lower your scores. Constantly closing and opening new accounts just to take advantage of promotional offers acts like a signal to the credit-reporting agencies: they may think you can’t keep account in good standing for a long period of time.

Paying no attention to credit score

The best way to pay less on your credit cards is to improve your credit score. But if you don’t understand how the whole system of credit scoring works or you neglect your scores at all, that can be very hard to do. Do some homework, try to know everything about credit scores and what they are made of. If you understand the system of scoring and if you check your report for errors regularly, it will be easier to understand some peculiarities of relationship between you and credit card issuer.

All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.

Latest Bad Credit Card News

Wednesday, December 27th, 2023

Credit cards allow you to pay for everyday or large purchases and have a small window to pay them off. All purchases made during the billing period of 28 to 31 days are added to your statement balance. After the end of each billing cycle, you receive a statement with your total balance owed and […]

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

If you have less than a perfect credit, a limited credit history, or recent derogatory marks on your credit report, you may have trouble applying for many of the credit card options currently available on the market. But there is another way to prove that you can handle credit responsibly: a secured credit card. Since […]

Monday, February 7th, 2022

On the threshold of the most romantic holiday, WalletHub published the results of the so-called Valentine’s Day Spending Survey. 1,000 men and women from across the U.S. participated in the poll. The questions concerned not only the expenses and expectations before February 14, but also how the financial situation may affect a relationship. The most […]

Sunday, June 28th, 2020

The numbers of co-branded credit cards have grown again. It seems that any more or less large company now strives to launch its own credit or at least debit card. Just remember the Apple Card. This time it’s Verizon’s turn. Starting today, June 26, its new Verizon Visa Card is officially released and available for […]

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

As a new online Bankrate survey of almost 2,5 thousand respondents shows, 84% of Americans face financial product denials. The bigger part of millennials (22-36 years old), namely 58%, was rejected for a credit card or another credit product at least once. The reason is their bad credit score.

Best Credit Offer
Surge® Platinum Mastercard®
Check off the cards you want to compare. Then click the Compare link to go to the comparison table.
Consumer Rating: 4 / 5
Horizon Card Services Group One Freedom Card
Copyright © 2001-2024 All Rights Reserved.

See the credit card's terms and conditions on the online application page. Note that this website may be compensated by credit card issuers when the visitor applies for a card through the links on this website. We do our best to maintain all information accurate and up to date. However, we do not warrant the credit card information won't change. Click the "Apply Online" button and review the current info on the secure credit card terms page.

Information in these articles is brought to you by Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles.

The webpage is a free service and an information resource for credit cards and financial products and services available to eligible United States consumers. does not offer any warranties and is not a direct service. There are no guarantees for approval or offers when applying for a credit card. Please refer to the application if you would like more information on each credit card. When you click "Apply" for a particular credit card, please take the time to review the terms and conditions of the product/service at the issuer's website. All logos on the website are property of their respective owners.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all info is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for terms & conditions. makes every effort to keep information up to date and accurate. However, the information regularly changes and is presented without warranty. Therefore, we strongly recommend all our readers to visit the credit card application page by clicking "Apply Online!" button to review the detailed credit card's terms and conditions. Note that may be compensated by the credit card issuers when the readers apply for a credit card through this site. is an independent, advertising-supported website which receives compensation from the credit card issuers and companies whose offers appear on the site. Compensation may impact how and where products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear on the site pages. does not review or list all available financial or credit offers.

You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Thank you for providing this information! We will make sure our letters are useful for You.

User Generated Content Disclaimer: These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.