How to Use a Discover Card
When used correctly, a Discover credit card is a valuable way to build up your personal credit and strengthen your finances. Discover offers numerous types of credit cards, each with different incentives for responsible card users. With a wide array of credit cards available, you can earn rewards such as frequent flyer miles, cash back bonuses and cash rewards.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
1)Choose what type of Discover credit card you would like to apply for. Discover has options for credit cards with benefits such as frequent flyer miles, points for redemption and cash back options. As of April 2011, the company offers specialized cards for students and features a five percent cash back bonus with every purchase of gas, groceries or other necessary items. If you are looking for a business credit card, Discover’s specialized business cards allow you to earn frequent flyer miles or cash rewards on your purchases. If none of the preset Discover cards appeal to you, create your own card preferences with Discover’s CardBuilder feature.
2)Apply for a Discover credit card. Filling out an application, where you will list details regarding your current employment status and income, is the first step. Today, you can apply for credit cards online and the results are almost instantaneous, so you will know about the outcome of your application soon.
3)Activate your Discover card once you receive it. You cannot use the card without activating it first. Call the telephone number that is printed on the sticker on the back of your card. Go through the automated activating system to get your card ready for use.
4)Create a monthly budget. Sticking with your budget will help you use your credit card responsibly and will help you avoid falling into debt. The primary reason people fall into debt when using credit cards is because they do not pay the full balance immediately. When this happens, the credit card company will charge interest on the money that you owe, which could lead to your bills getting out of hand very quickly. Keep your budget limited to the things you need to pay for on a monthly basis. Resolve to avoid using your card on a whim and aim to only use it when it fits into your budget.
5)Pay your credit card bill within the grace period, which is typically one billing cycle after you have purchased your item. Paying during this period will ensure that you are not charged interest for the items you purchased.
6)Utilize the rewards you have earned from using your Discover card. To use your cash back funds, you have a wide choice of options, including having cash deposited into your bank account, donating to charity, redeeming your bonuses for gift cards or discover card merchandise. If you have accrued frequent flyer miles by using your Discover card, use the miles for your next trip and fly for free.
Tips & Warnings
Stop using your Discover card if you find that you are repeatedly going over your budget. Reevaluate your spending to avoid falling into debt.