Credit cards are a convenient and secure way to pay for your purchases, but if you don’t use them responsibly, they can quickly become a financial burden.

With a debit card, you can only spend the money in your bank account. But with a credit card, you can dip into your cash advance and spend way beyond your means. These cash advances often come with high-interest rates from your credit card issuer, making it difficult to stay on top of your debt.

It’s important to understand the common mistakes people make when using credit cards so that you can avoid making these same costly errors.

Here are four things you should never do with a credit card.

Reaching your credit limit

One of the most significant mistakes you can make with a credit card is maxing out your spending limit. Not only will this hurt your credit history, but it can also lead to high-interest rates and hefty fees.

If possible, try to keep your credit card balance at 25% or less of your total available credit limit. That way, you can maintain a good credit score and easily manage your monthly credit card debt.

Missed payments

Missing credit card payments could seriously affect your credit history and credit card account. Late payments come with late fees and an increased interest rate, which means you’ll end up paying more for everything you purchase with your credit card in the future. They also leave a mark on your credit report, lowering your score and making future lending all the more difficult.

To avoid this kind of financial headache, set up reminders for yourself so that you never miss a payment deadline again!

Only paying the minimum payment

It’s easy to get into the habit of only making minimum payments on your credit card bill each month, but doing so could leave you buried in debt over time.

As soon as you receive your statement from the credit card company, take note of the total amount owed and strive to pay off as much of it as possible before the next billing cycle begins. This will help reduce interest costs in the long run and help keep your debt under control overall.

Signing up for too many cards

It may be tempting to apply for multiple credit cards in order to take advantage of sign-up bonuses or reward programs - but having too many cards open at once can actually harm your credit score over time.

Be honest with yourself and consider whether you will spend the entire limit on a new credit card. If you struggle to control your spending, it might be better to miss out on that signup offer to stay away from the temptation of a credit card cash advance.

Focus on building up one good relationship with just one card issuer instead of trying to juggle several at once — you won’t regret it!


If you’re struggling with finances right now, there is help available to get you out of any sticky situations. Whether you’re battling the cost of living or wading in credit cards, always seek support from your lender or a helpline, like Citizen’s Advice, to find out what your options are.

Credit cards are very useful tools if used correctly; however, if not handled properly, they can quickly become an expensive mistake.