Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Save Money On Your Credit Cards

Two weeks ago I started a series which I am trying to continue. It's all about different ways to save money. This Thursday I would like to look at a few ways you can save money with your credit cards. Most people use them, and most of the time they are worse off for doing so. If you know what you are doing and follow simple guidelines, credit cards can be an asset rather then liability to your finances. Here are a few tips to save you money on your credit cards.

#1 Reward Cards Are Not Always Rewarding
It may be tempting to get a rewards card, thinking for every dollar you spend you will earn redeemable points towards all sorts of cool gifts, but unless you pay your balance off in full each month, a rewards card will usually have a higher interest rate. If you are one of those people who pay off your balance right away, than Rewards cards will save you money, but on the other hand if you carry a balance, a normal card will be the money saver.

#2 Simply Ask for a Better Rate
After being a customer for 4-6 months, give the credit card company a call, and simply ask for a better rate. As long as you have been paying your card on time and do not have any other credit problems that have popped up recently, they will likely try and make you happy, and reduce your rate by at least a quarter of a point.

#3 Pay Off Your Entire Balance Each Month
This is probably the single most important tip. If you can't afford something, and can't pay off your balance in a month, then don't buy it. Credit card interest rates are super high compared to normal loans. Paying off part of your balance every month is a sure way to get into long term debt.

#4 Shop for the Best Rate
You will find a huge array of interest rates each credit card you are approved for has. If you jump right into a card offer, you will likely be borrowing at 1-2% higher then your could be. That small percentage really ads up over time if you are not one of those people who pays off their card each month. Shop online for the best rates, and see which ones approve you.

#5 Never Ever Take a Cash Advance
Most Credit card companies will allow you to take a cash advance. This is a straight up cash loan. The problem is that the interest rate is usually quite a bit higher than the normal credit card rate. To make things worse, if you carry a balance, that balance will be paid off before the cash advance loan is since it is more profitable for the credit card company to use your payments towards the lower interest rate balance. If you need cash, go to the bank and get a loan. Even with bad credit your loan will have a much better rate from the bank.

Follow These 5 tips to the best of your ability, and you will not only save money, but have a much better control of your credit card debt.


urvi said...

Great post about saving money on credit card, according to me if you are using credit card than always check statement as many frauds are happening. It will surly help many people who is interested in saving money on there credit cards. For more details on saving money refer Save Money.

that's talking MOMsense! said...

I am just about out of cc debt (about $1k)...thanks!

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