Five Tips To Get Your Credit Cards To Work For YOU!

Many people avoid plastic like the plague, with the idea that credit cards simply work against the average person as it promotes spending and can keep you locked in debt. The truth is, if you can discipline yourself and use your credit cards responsibly, as there are many ways they can actually work in your benefit.

Below are five top tips to maximize your credit card use, so you can have them working for YOU!

5. Utilize Those Benefits

Believe it or not, a lot of credit cards come with a ton of benefits, which at times can include extended warranty protection, discounts with certain retailers, front-of-the-line ticket advantages, price protection, as well as trip and car rental cancellation coverage. Ensure you know all the benefits your credit card can bring you, and then utilize those to their fullest potential when the opportunity arises.

4. Redeem Rewards

Whether your credit cards offers a “cash back” percentage on each purchase, or points towards travel or consumer goods, ensure you are redeeming these point whenever possible to fully take advantage of your credit card’s rewards package. Find something you truly want and work towards a goal, or redeem points during the holidays to save on gift-giving purchases. Rewards cards are great; however, if you are not using the cash/points you are allotted, then really, what’s the point?

3. Pay Credit Cards On Time

This may seem like a no-brainer; however, ensuring you make your credit card payments on time, even if it is just the minimum some months (although, paying your balance in full is highly recommended each month), will help ensure you create and sustain a healthy credit score. In addition, late payments can also mean added fees around penalties and interest rates, and no one wants to waste money on these added nonsensical expenses.

2. Hold On To Them

Speaking of those healthy credit scores, the rule of thumb around opening credit cards and keeping them active help when it comes to the length and sustainability around your credit history is: the longer you keep a credit card active, the better.

1. Paper Trail

For some, using a credit card can actually help them to track their spending, especially if they look at their statements on a regular basis online. Many use this technique to help with monthly budgeting, and an online credit card statement can truly help offer a solid “visual” of what you may be spending in a month, and potentially what you need to cut back on. Additional, for those who are terrible at holding on to receipts, using your credit card can create a “paper trail” of sorts around purchase, especially high-end ones; should you need to return something, your statement offers that “proof of purchase”. It’s important to note, those that use a credit card for a majority of what they spend monthly also require the self-discipline to ensure they don’t overspend, and pay off their card balances – in full – each month. Failing to do so will only result in huge credit card amounts increasing over time, with money wasted on high interest rates, and possibly other fees.