Judging from the current media perception of what is now happening to the credit industry, you would probably think that getting a credit card is more hassle than it is actually worth. Actually, credit cards can be very beneficial to you when you use it right. Use it wrong, however and you will be paying through the nose to get out of the mess you'll get yourself into.
Using credit cards is similar to playing a game. The problem with this particular game is that the odds are stacked against you so high that one mistake will bury you to the neck. However, as long as you keep to the rules and play it smart, you'll come out a winner I the end.
When using your credit card, always remember that the payment you are making for your purchases is a loan. Loans have their uses but they also have interest rates. Interest rates are the fee you pay for taking out a loan. Miss out on paying the loan and your interest rates bites you harder.
On that note, maybe you are thinking that paying for purchases with a loan is a bad financial move. You'd be one step ahead of everyone else if you did. You should start thinking about getting a debit card. Like credit cards, you get to pay with plastic when you use debit cards. Unlike credit cards, you are not paying with a loan but from an amount you deposited earlier.
One of the biggest problems with credit card payments is keeping up with the schedule. It's not like you don't have anything else occupying your time other than your credit card debts. So you might want to setup an automatic payment service. Just make sure that the service is reliable and pays on time. Also, when paying your debts, avoid the “minimum amount” trap. When you pay the minimum amount, a large chunk of your payment goes to paying off your interest, not the debt itself.
For those carrying multiple credit cards and have debts on them, remember to focus on repaying the biggest debts first. The bigger the debt, the larger the interest. Also, if you have multiple credit cards, there is a high probability that one of those cards is a 0% interest card you are using for debt payments. If so, avoid using your debt payment card for purchases.
Finally, never go over your credit limits so that you don't get hit with a hefty fee. More importantly, do not ever use your credit card to withdraw cash. You'll get hit with a withdrawal interest rate, a withdrawal fee and your withdrawal will start earning your credit company interest on that very same day.