Factors to Consider When Choosing a Credit Card

If you’re planning on applying for a credit card with your bank or credit union , there are a few things that you should consider first. You can quickly get in over your head with credit card debt, and the situation will be even worse if you chose the wrong credit card company. Here are some of the most important factors to consider when you’re choosing a credit card.

The Credit Card’s Interest Rate

Credit card companies offer varying interest rates to customers, depending upon their credit ratings. Your interest rate might be a fixed rate, meaning it is the same from month to month, or it might be a variable rate that fluctuates based upon the federal funds rate or prime rate. Credit unions often offer the most competitive interest rates for credit cards, auto loans , and home mortgage loans.

The Credit Card’s Fees and Penalties

Your credit card company can also charge you fees and penalties in addition to monthly interest. It’s important to have a very clear understanding of these fees and when they will be implemented before you enter into a credit card contract. Your credit card company may charge you fees for balance transfers, cash advances, late payments, going over your credit limit, paying via phone, or requesting a higher credit limit.

Your Personal Spending Habits

Finally, you should consider your own personal spending habits before choosing a credit card. If you plan on paying off the balance of the card every month, the interest rate won’t matter to you as much. If you plan on using the card frequently and paying the minimum amount every month, you’ll want a card with a low interest rate, a high credit limit, and a customer rewards program.

At GCS Credit Union, we offer a Visa rewards credit card in O’Fallon with competitive interest rates and low fees. Our credit union also offers great rates on personal loans, lines of credit, auto loans, and home mortgage loans. To learn more about our banking services, call us today at (618) 797-7993.

Paying Down Credit Card Debt

Outstanding credit card debit may hang over your head and weigh you down; it can also make it difficult to get favorable rates on auto and home mortgage loans. Watch this video clip for tips on paying down credit card debt.

Debt can be overwhelming, but handling it the right way can help you come out on top. If your credit cards carry different interest rates, consider paying off the ones with higher rates first; this will allow you to save some money as you work on paying off your cards with lower rates.

If you would like additional tips on paying down credit card debt, contact GCS Credit Union or visit our website. Our credit union in O’Fallon is happy to offer a plethora of services including home mortgage loans and online checking accounts. Give us a call at (618) 797-7993 to learn more about us today.

Are You Ready for Your First Credit Card?

Just like your first car or your first night out without a curfew, a Visa rewards credit card can offer you a new sense of freedom. However, this freedom must be used responsibly. Read on if you are wondering if you are ready for your first credit card.

When used properly, your first credit card can help you build credit and prove your trustworthiness and reliability. When used improperly, on the other hand, it may get your credit started on the wrong foot. Having a credit card means regularly paying off your debts, and you must have a steady source of income in order to make these payments. You may be ready for your first credit card if you already have experience in making regular payments; the process is similar to paying towards your cell phone bills, monthly rent, or student loans.

Does it feel like it is time for your first credit card? Call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993 so we can set you up with a Visa rewards credit card. We also offer checking accounts and auto loans in O’Fallon. Feel free to visit our website or stop in and meet with us for more information.

Is Now the Time to Teach Your Kids About Money?

At some point your children will probably make use of checking accounts of their own, but for now it is a good idea to start by introducing them to certain financial concepts. Watch this video clip to find out if now is the time to teach your kids about money.

The sooner your children learn about money and financial responsibility, the more time they will have to integrate these positive habits into their adult lives. Teach your children about the concept of money, currency, and value when they are as young as three years old. As your children age, offer them allowances and teach them about saving money.

GCS Credit Union specializes in home mortgage loans and online checking accounts in O’Fallon. If you would like to learn more about our credit union, please feel free to visit our website or call us at (618) 797-7993 for more information today.

Are You Ready for Your First Credit Card?

Just like your first car or your first night out without a curfew, a Visa rewards credit card can offer you a new sense of freedom. However, this freedom must be used responsibly. Read on if you are wondering if you are ready for your first credit card.

When used properly, your first credit card can help you build credit and prove your trustworthiness and reliability. When used improperly, on the other hand, it may get your credit started on the wrong foot. Having a credit card means regularly paying off your debts, and you must have a steady source of income in order to make these payments. You may be ready for your first credit card if you already have experience in making regular payments; the process is similar to paying towards your cell phone bills, monthly rent, or student loans.

Does it feel like it is time for your first credit card? Call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993 so we can set you up with a Visa rewards credit card. We also offer checking accounts and auto loans in O’Fallon. Feel free to visit our website or stop in and meet with us for more information.

How to Choose a Credit Card

A credit card can be a valuable financial tool, but not all cards are created equal. Choosing the right card for you will help you manage your balance, maximize your rewards, and perhaps most importantly, save money. Your credit union representative can help you select the best credit card for you. Here are some other things you should consider.

One of the first things you should look for in a credit card is a low-interest rate. The lower the rate, the less you will pay for your purchases. A card with no annual fee will also help you save money. You should also consider a card with a rewards program, so you earn bonuses on the money you spend.

At GSC Credit Union, we’re pleased to offer a Visa Rewards Credit Card with a low-interest rate and no annual fee to our credit union members. If you’re interested in applying for a card or want to join a credit union in O’Fallon, call us now at (618) 797-7993 for more information.

Getting a Credit Card

Obtaining a credit card is a big step in establishing your long-term finances. If you don’t have a viable credit history yet, check with your credit union first. Credit cards issued by credit unions are typically more accessible to people without credit. If you have bad credit and are unable to get a traditional credit card, look into getting a secured credit card or taking out a small personal loan to build your credit and repair your credit score.

Watch this video to learn more about getting a credit card, then come in and speak with an advisor at GCS Credit Union in O’Fallon . We offer low-interest credit cards with no annual fee. You can also sign up for the GCS Visa Rewards credit card to earn points that can be redeemed for merchandise, travel, discounts, and other offers. Call us at (618) 797-7993 to learn more about applying for a credit card.

How to Get the Most from Your Credit Card

As long as you are a financially responsible person, using a credit card with your credit union in O’Fallon can be a great idea. There are a few key components to maximizing your credit card benefits. Keep reading to find out how to get the most from your credit card.

Make Payments On-Time
One inherent aspect of financial responsibility is punctuality. It is important that when you borrow money or pay using credit, you pay back the money you owe within the allotted timeframe. Failing to pay off your credit card debt on time can result in late fees and increased interest rates that can quickly add up and become a hassle. Always keep an eye on your calendar and pay attention to your due dates; for many people it helps to set up an automatic payment plan that takes care of itself.

Spend Within Reason
Credit cards come with limits, which are essentially spending ceilings. Just like unpaid debts, these overspending episodes can incur penalty fees and interest rates . You may notice that the consequences of paying off your debt late and overspending are similar, but so are the methods you can use to prevent these penalties from occurring. Do your best to keep track of how much you are spending; if you are unsure whether a purchase will put you over the top, use online banking to check your balance before proceeding.

Capitalize on Rewards
Many credit cards offer unique benefits and incentives, like the Visa rewards credit card. These types of cards offer various types of rewards for your card use. You can make the most of your credit card by remaining financially responsible with a Visa rewards credit card and reaping the benefits you earn.

For more tips on how to get the most from your credit card, feel free to call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993. We are an O’Fallon credit union that offers online banking, home mortgage and auto loans, and more. Please do not hesitate to visit our website or come in and see us if you would like to learn more about our services today.

Tips for Using Your Credit Card Abroad

Credit Cards Abroad Your credit card can be as valuable of an asset abroad as it is at home, but the way you go about using it may slightly differ. You will be far away from your credit union in O’Fallon and the last thing you want to deal with is a credit card that continually gets declined.

Always keep your passport on you when you use your credit card abroad so that you can prove your identity. You should also be familiar with currency exchange rates and make sure you are charged according to the local currency to prevent stores from overcharging you. You may also need to contact your credit union to remove any hold resulting from “suspicious” activity.

For more tips for using your credit card abroad contact GCS Credit Union. Our credit union provides checking accounts, savings accounts, and credit cards that can help you take control of your finances. We also provide mortgages and auto loans to our members in O’Fallon. Feel free to give us a call at (618) 797-7993 or come by and see us to find out more information about our services.

A Brief Guide to Credit Card Fees and Penalties

Paying on Time Banks and credit unions in O’Fallon can be incredibly helpful when it comes to storing money and accessing online banking systems. Credit cards can also be convenient, but it is important that you know how to use them responsibly in order to avoid unnecessary fees. Here is a brief guide to credit card feeds and penalties.

Going Over the Limit
It is important to pay close attention to your credit card activity because you may be hit with fees if you exceed your credit limit. Your credit card will typically allow you to spend up to a certain amount of money, or a credit limit. You may not necessarily be penalized on the first time, but exceeding your credit limit two or three times is not a good idea if you want to avoid fees and maintain your good credit score.

Bouncing Checks
Your checkbook is kind of like an alternate credit card, and bouncing checks comes with its own penalties. Fees that are imposed due to bounced checks may be relatively substantial when you consider the ability of both your credit card issuer and your bank to issue them.

Paying Late
Missing payments is bad for your credit score and bad for your wallet. Late payments trigger penalty rates, meaning that your outstanding payment will begin to incur interest. Be sure to make your payments on time in order to keep up your credit score and avoid the extra hassle – and burden – of paying interest.

For more information about credit card fees and penalties, call GCS Credit Union at (618) 797-7993. We serve the O’Fallon area with online banking and bill paying, auto loans, and credit cards. For more information about our credit union and membership, visit our website or stop in and see us today.