A new credit card may be issued for a variety of reasons; a card upgrade or renewal, a compromised account or a change in banking providers. In addition, credit card issuers provide consumers with plenty of reasons to switch by offering great incentives such as extra sign-up bonuses, better rewards and long 0% introductory APRs on purchases and/or balance transfers. Savvy consumers should consider taking advantage of these money-saving offers, but always be aware of the changes that may occur anytime you switch or are issued a new credit card account. If you’re considering a new credit card or if you’ve been issued a new account number by your bank, there are a few things you may need to do for a smooth transition and to avoid potential problems. Here are some pointers to keep your finances on track:
1. Update Automatic Payment Accounts
More and more people are taking advantage of the digital age by authorizing automatic payments for things like cell phone, utility, car and even mortgage bills. Setting up this option requires payments to be drawn directly from a bank account or to be charged directly to a debit or credit card. If your old credit card was used for any auto-pay services, you will need to update the payment information on your account right away. If you close the previous account without inputting the new one, not only will your payment be delayed but there’s the potential of a disruption of service, late fees and possible damage to your credit.
2. Review Subscription Services
Other prearranged payments that may need to be changed when you begin using a new credit card are those for magazines, newspapers and other monthly subscriptions. While there normally isn’t a danger of penalties or fees for missing a subscription payment, delivery may be interrupted for a service or resource that you’ve come to rely on and the gap between ending and restarting the subscription could be as long as six weeks.
3. Modify Wallet or Cloud Accounts
In addition to the vast number of products, services and merchants that make online shopping convenient, consumers can opt to store their credit card information in a secure location on the web for easy access (ie: Paypal). Online merchants that you regularly shop with may also allow you to store your information to make checking out easier. Until you update this information, it may be a little more difficult to shop the Web.
4. Configure Credit Card Auto-Pay
If you’re the type of person that doesn’t like to worry about missing a credit card payment, many credit card issuers offer auto-pay services to ensure your bill is paid automatically, before the due date. You can set it up to cover just the minimum, a specific amount or pay the bill in full each month. If you’ve been issued a new card number, your auto-pay settings are likely to carry over, but if it’s a completely new account or from a different issuer, then you’ll need to configure the account settings so your auto-pay is activated.
5. Increase Your Level of Security
When updating your accounts, you may be required to use a password to protect the integrity of your information. If you’re like a lot of people, you’re using the same two or three passwords for all your accounts and are at greater risk of being hacked. To add an increased level of security, create new passwords at the same time you update your credit card information. Every financial account needs a separate password to prevent the hacking of multiple accounts at once. A secure password is easy to remember and includes numbers, punctuation, symbols and letters (upper and lower case) and consists of a minimum of eight characters.
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