Having a credit card can mean one of two things. Either it can cripple you with credit card debt, or it can reward you with free cash, prizes and airplane tickets. We prefer the second option. While embracing plastic comes with its share fare of risks, there are also many benefits. So, if you aren’t using a card that rewards you for spending, you’re leaving some serious money on the table. The following are some things you need to keep in mind when it comes to credit cards.
Don’t Carry a Card You Can’t Handle
This is a simple, go-to rule for those who do not want to spiral down into credit card debt. There’s a multitude of credit cards available in the market, all serving a particular customer demographic. This means what’s good for one person isn’t necessarily going to be the best option for you. Before you get a credit card, the smart thing would be to shop around to find a card that fits your situation. Ideally, you should go for a card that has the lowest interest fee and preferably, no annual fee. Compare the perks and the problems before you decide on a card.
Dump Less Rewarding Credit Cards
Carrying multiple credit cards in your wallet will only dilute the value of your rewards by rotating the charges around rather than focusing on a single card which offers the most rewards. If you are the proud owner of multiple credit cards, they should be evaluated to see which ones are really worth keeping. If you are looking to add a new rewards card and dump others less rewarding cards, do so carefully, so that it doesn’t have a negative impact on your credit score. It’s wise to always keep at least one of your oldest cards open.
Align the Rewards with Your Interests
Reward programs come in many different forms and not every credit card rewards program is created equal. If travelling is your thing, go for an airline’s miles reward card. If you’re trying to hunker down on your monthly budget, choose a credit card that offers cash back on the basics such as shopping or filling the gas tank. Choose wisely because after all, you wouldn’t want to spend years of loyalty only to find you’ve won a free pen in the end. If you don’t want that to be your fate, click here.
Keep Track of When Your Rewards Points Expire
Most credit card owners make the mistake of not paying attention to the fine print in their credit card agreement or on what’s said on the reward card’s website. Normally, rewards expire after 12 to 18 months, but some rewards can last for up to 24 months. Whatever the duration, you need to know exactly when that happens so that you can use up your points before the expiration date. While you’re at it, keep track of the snail mail notice that your card provider will be sending you from time to time to keep track of any changes in terms.