Most people think of credit cards as a financial disaster, but when used correctly, they can save you money.
Play the Statement Cycle to Your Advantage
Make a charge on your credit card the day after your statement closes. You’ll always have 20 to 25 days after the statement closes to pay off the balance without interest. But, charging the day after the statement closes will get you an additional month to pay the balance off interest free.
Use a 0% Interest Rate Balance Transfer to Save Money
Have you racked up a high balance on one of your credit cards and now you’re stuck paying a tremendous amount of interest? Look for a 0% interest rate balance transfer introductory offer. This can help you save money on the overall credit card debt, because you’ll stop paying interest.
A word of caution: If you haven’t kept the account open long, it can hurt your credit score to close it. A good bit of your score is calculated by the age of your accounts. Don’t bite if you don’t think you can pay the balance off in full before the interest rate on the new card kicks in. It will defeat the purpose; so keep a close eye on the terms and conditions of the new card before you apply.
Know Your Rewards Program
The terms and conditions of credit card rewards programs vary greatly depending on issuer. Know what purchases get you the best rewards. If you earn more rewards for gas and groceries, use that card for gas and groceries. You’re budgeting for those purchases anyway, so you can pay the balance off in full every month, and capitalize on the rewards, whether it is cash back or travel points.
Don’t have rewards program? Keep balances low while paying your bills on time and you’ll eventually reach a point where you will qualify.