NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for May 2016

Kevin CashMay 5, 2016

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As someone of historic note once said, "April showers bring May flowers." Somehow that person forgot to mention that April showers also bring a fresh new round of NerdWallet credit card tips!

Every month, the Nerds round up a new set of pointers to help you maximize rewards and minimize costs with each use. Here are our tips for May 2016.

If you're a college student who just graduated, now is a perfect time to evolve into adulthood and get yourself a proper nonstudent card. Upgrading to a standard credit card can have multiple benefits:

Not all issuers have specific policies on how and when customers can upgrade student cards. The easiest way to know your options is to call your issuer and ask about upgrading. If you've already landed a job upon graduating, you can also report higher income to the issuer when you ask about the upgrade, which may better your chances of approval and getting a higher credit line.

If you are still a student, there are a handful of available if you want to start building credit.

It's always possible you're not using the credit cards that best align with your spending. But there are a few easy ways to decide whether you should keep your card or cut it in half. First, take all of your cards, lay them out on a table, and divide them between the ones you use and the ones you don't.

For the cards you aren't using:

For the cards you are using:

Like checking your car's oil and calling long-distance relatives, conducting a self-audit of your credit cards is a good regular habit to keep at least every few months. Doing so can save you a bunch of money on fees and earn you more on spending.

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