How to make money with a credit card: 9 important rules
A credit card is more than just a piece of plastic in your wallet that you can use to pay for a product or service. They provide amazing opportunities to save money on purchases and earn rewards: travel, refunds, gift cards, and other goodies.
But “all that glitters is not gold,” and you need to know how to play this game. Below are 9 rules from experts to help you save money and get the most out of your credit cards.
1. Use trade portals
Some websites provide a breakdown of great deals from stores, airlines - and not just for purchases with a credit card.
“Every time you buy something, you have to log in [using your credit card] to see if the offer is good for you and how many points you can earn from the purchase,” said loan officer Holly Johnson. - For example, on the Chase Ultimate Rewards trading portal, you can often earn an extra 5-20 points per dollar spent at certain stores. These points can be converted into cash immediately if you wish. ”
2. Be attentive to the categories of discounts
Some credit card incentive programs offer cash refund by category.
“Most people use one card for all of their expenses, which can cost them valuable points and miles,” said Eric Rosenberg, a personal finance and travel expert. - Make sure you know which card to use to receive bonuses for purchases such as groceries, gas, restaurants and travel. This will help you get the most out of your investment. For example, place a note that says “gasoline” on a credit card that gives a reward for buying fuel.
3. Pay attention to the timing
Your credit card has a regular monthly billing cycle specified in the statement. If you want to make a big purchase around October 10, for example, you should wait until October October 11, if possible. This way you can save money by getting an extra month to get a loan for an expensive product.
4. Do not refuse annual collection cards.
The use of credit cards is charged annually, or not charged for the first year, or not charged at all. As a rule, credit cards with the most generous programs, such as travel, are paid. However, sometimes it is more profitable to pay once a year and get all the benefits.
“The annual box office scares a lot of people away from some of the best cards,” says Rosenberg. “If you calculate, you may find that you will make more profit than the annual fee for it. I once received $ 400 for registering a card that cost $ 85 a year to service. ”
5. Call and cancel the annual card fee
On the other hand, you can save more money if you do not pay an annual fee for a credit card. Many cards are free if you have not taken advantage of the bonuses in full.
“Before paying the annual fee to renew your credit card, call the manager and ask them to cancel the payment,” says credit card expert Jason Steele. "In this case, they can offer you the amount of bonuses equivalent to the value of the card, so that you can continue to use it."
6. Check credit card offers
Credit card transactions may be available for a limited time, so keep an eye on their relevance.
“Check all of your American Express cards,” Johnson said. - If you find an offer and plan to use it, then add it to the map. I recently raised $ 50 at the Sheraton Hotel where I attended a work conference. Then I collected $ 30 and $ 50 for regular purchases in the store. The proposals change all the time, so you have to pay attention to that. ”
7. In case of refusal of a credit card, ask for a review of the decision.
If you applied for a credit card, but were rejected, you may be given a second chance. Perhaps then your credit history was not good enough. Do not give up.
“If you are ever denied a credit card, call the manager and ask a representative to reconsider the decision,” Steele said. "Often, reps will manually approve proposals that were automatically rejected."
8. When buying gift cards, get a gift
Gift cards for friends and relatives or even for self-use are very popular now.
“With most loyalty programs, including Discover Chas, you can redeem points with gift cards for cash,” Johnson said. - If your goal is to save money, cash it, for example, at Walmart or Amazon, where you can order food or supplies for your home. By using gift cards, you can reduce your monthly expenses. ”
9. Get a travel credit card
If you travel frequently, get a loyalty card for the company you most use to participate in their rewards programs.
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