Today, credit cards are a way of life and we simply can’t do without them. For older citizens, however, credit cards may be confusing.
Senior citizens did not grow up with credit cards in the way that many younger people did. In addition, senior cardholders may have different needs than the average credit card user.
According to the National Council on Aging, around 60% of people 60 years of age and older are in debt. Most of that debt is credit card debt. This guide offers tips to help senior citizen cardholders use their cards responsibly and to their advantage.
Shred All Receipts With Your Credit Card Number
Never leave your credit card information out there for the public to access. Be sure to shred all receipts that contain your credit card information. Otherwise, your card may be used for criminal activity.
When you shred your receipts, it makes it harder for criminals to get a hold of your credit card details. Responsible cardholders always protect their credit information.
Unless You Initiate the Call, Never Give Out Your Card Info
Unless you’re the one who initiated the call, never give out your credit card info over the telephone. When you are the one initiating the call, it means you called the right number that’s at the bottom of your card.
Some scammers may call you and pretend like they are the issuer and ask for information about your credit card. Your bank will never contact you and ask for your information. If you wish to speak with you bank about your cards or accounts, contact the official phone number on the card itself.
When it comes to offers, always be skeptical of them until you do your own research conclusively. Anyone can be scammed, but senior citizens are more vulnerable targets. Be skeptical of all offers at first, until you can validate them.
When you find out that they are true and the offer does exist, don’t be in a rush to jump at it. Take your time to find out if it suits you. Find out if the offer brings any value to your financial life or not. You certainly don’t want to incur more debt.
One thing you don’t want to do is stay isolated from people. This usually happens when you feel you’re getting it all wrong when it comes to your credit card. At times you leave your kids to take care of your credit card without getting involved.
But it’s good to keep close relatives up to date with what’s going on with your finances. Doing so helps you avoid getting into a bad situation. Connecting with others, especially a younger generation, can help you stay ahead of changing financial trends and products.
The perks that come with your credit card should be redeemed. Whether it is converting them to miles or gift cards or cash, they should be used. After all, you did earn them.
Most seniors just spend, spend, and spend some more on their credit cards without redeeming the perks that come with the spending. However, using rewards is the main benefit of having a credit card.
These are just some of the tips and practices that senior citizens should adapt to ensure their credit cards don’t become a financial burden to them in their later years. In fact, these are great tips for all cardholders, no matter their age.
Disclaimer: All credit products carry risk. Be aware of these risks by reading the associated terms and conditions.