If you handle the majority of the credit cards for your household it might be hard for anyone else to understand the behind-the-scenes process, or even care.
Let’s assume the majority of bills are paid digitally and with a credit card. What if another family member had to step in and take over? Would they know what to do or would the cards go unpaid, racking up interest and perhaps creating an interruption in service? Worry not, here’s the information you want to compile:
- What cards do you have? Major ones like Visa, American Express, MasterCard, or cards from a specific bank or store like Target or Walmart? If this isn’t easy to answer, then you probably have too many cards.
- How do you pay for it each month? Is it on autopay from a particular bank account? Do you manually pay it online when it’s due? Do you still send a check in the mail? Do you pay it all at once, only the amount due, or the minimum amount?
- Share some helpful specifics: What are the last four digits, security code, and expiration date so you know the card is up to date?
- What rewards are associated with each card and how do you access them? The main benefit of credit cards is to get something back for using them. Do you get miles, cash back, shopping reward points that can be used on Amazon or at Disney World?
- Have you included the online account login details with the rest of your passwords? Is it coupled with a bank account (example: Chase Visa)?
- If you still receive paper statements: Where do you keep them?
If you use one or two cards to pay for the majority of your expenses it makes bills and other recurring services much easier to track, not only for you but for someone in your family who may need to step in and help out. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…
Get the essential details of your credit cards organized and shared with someone you trust. If you don’t want to get too detailed these three bits of info will point your family in the right direction:
- Type of card
- Payment method
- Online login details (which should be stored with your passwords)
Bonsu Tip 1: If you’re looking to cut back and save money, having an overall picture of your credit card expenses let’s you reevaluate which ones are necessary and which ones can be eliminated. This is where financial aggregation services come in handy, offering you a clear picture across all your cards in one glance.
Bonus Tip 2: Most cards offer a year-end summary, which you should print out and keep with other financial info. If you’re more digitally inclined, keep the pdf documents in a folder in the cloud with other important financial documents, like your Tax Returns.