How to Make Your Credit Cards Work for You to Save Money

How to Make Your Credit Cards Work for You to Save Money
  • Opening Intro -

    Overuse of credit cards is one of the leading causes of overwhelming debt.

    It becomes too easy to purchase things on credit that you can't really afford.

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Before you know it, you have maxed out your credit limit and can’t afford to pay back even the minimum payments on all your cards.

Smart use of credit cards is critical to good financial health. Many experts recommend limiting credit card use or cutting it entirely. However, it is possible to use credit wisely — or even to use credit so that it works for you, helping you to save money. Here are just a few of the ways that you can make your credit cards work for you:

Get Cash Back

Many credit cards are available that offer cash back. Percentages are low — usually about 2% to 5% — so the rewards do not outweigh the interest that you pay — which can be as much as 29.99% on some cards. However, if you use your cards to pay for everyday purchases and bills for which you would have used cash — such as your groceries or your utility payments — and then use the cash to pay your credit statement in full instead, you can save yourself paying for any interest and earn the cash back.

By using your card to pay for large purchases such as your monthly bills, you can build the rewards quickly. The key is to make sure you only charge the things for which you have the cash ready. Any interest you accrue will cancel out the rewards you have built.

Get Frequent Flyer Miles

Similar to cash-back programs, there are many credit cards that offer you frequent flyer miles for your purchases. Bonuses are often awarded at sign up or for certain qualifying purchases. Just like with cash-back programs, you can use these cards to purchase items for which you already have the cash and earn the miles. Using this strategy, you can quickly earn enough miles for free airfare just about anywhere you would like to travel.

Again, like the cash-back cards, you should be sure to only make purchases that you can pay off each month. Any interest charges will cancel out the benefits you will earn.

Transfer Balances

If you do find yourself carrying a balance from month to month on your cards, you can start to accumulate an excessive amount of interest. If you can’t pay off your balance right away, you can still save money by transferring your balances to cards with lower interest rates. Some cards even offer a zero percent rate for the life of the transfer. Depending on your balances and the interest rates of each card, you could end up saving hundreds of dollars over the life of the balance.
Be sure to pay close attention to transfer fees and any expiration dates on the promotional rates. You may end up paying more overall if you have to pay a high transfer fee or if your introductory interest rate expires quickly and reverts to a higher rate than your original card offered.

Excessive credit card use can quickly lead to overwhelming debt that can put a strain on your financial health. However, there are ways to use credit cards to your advantage to help you save money. Using cards with cash back or frequent flyer offers and transferring balances to lower-interest cards are just a couple of the ways that you can save money with your credit cards. The key is to educate yourself about the terms of your credit card agreements and to make informed spending choices.

Carlina Yepinski is the primary researcher and writer for networkmonitoring.org. Her most recent accomplishments includes graduating from Kentucky State with a degree in communications and computer science. Her current focus for the site involves network management solutions.

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Categories: Credit Cards

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