It’s known among consumers that many card companies take advantage of their customers, which is why many people avoid getting a credit card. However, the financially savvy know better than to be afraid—they know how to use credit cards and its providers to their advantage. Here’s how:
Tip #1: Pay your credit card balance in full every month
Want to avoid interest payments on your credit card? Pay off its balance in full every month. That way, you only pay for the items or services you purchased. It’s one of the best ways to minimise the money that card providers make off you.
With this approach, you’ll be able to use your funds for more important matters like your emergency funds or retirement savings. Don’t worry about your card provider—they still make a considerable profit from the fees collected from establishments for every swipe of your card.
Tip #2: Maximise their concierge services
Prestige cards like platinum credit cards provide concierge services, which is like having your own personal assistant. They can help search hard-to-find items, do research on a variety of topics for you, book travel accommodations, get reservations at restaurants—they can even answer the crossword and find a giant tub of nacho cheese for you.
The best part: concierge services are incredibly polite, helpful, and much nicer than your average customer service representative.
Tip #3: Make the most the free insurance
Don’t have a prestige card? Don’t fret. Many credit cards offer some form of free insurance, like travel insurance, accident coverage, and rental car insurance. If you do own a platinum or gold credit card, then you might have access to domestic travel inconvenience insurance and luggage insurance. So when planning a trip, consider using this feature to maximise your card.
Tip #4: Request for a lower interest rate
If you always pay your card on time and have been a good customer, then asking for a lower interest rate wouldn’t be that difficult. In fact, there’s an excellent chance that your card provider would give in. In case your provider is unwilling, say you’ll cancel your credit card. Since competition among card companies is pretty intense, they just might allow it.
Tip #5: Transfer your balance to a card with zero per cent APR
If your card provider remains reluctant to lower your interest rate (see above), then it’s time to shift to plan C: look for a new credit card with a zero per cent introductory rate, then do a balance transfer. Just make sure the standard rate is lower than your previous credit card. That way, you still get what you want!
Tip #6: Ask the company to waive your fees
Similar to tip #4, you can ask your card provider to waive your fees and interest charges. Again, remember that your request would be much more effective if you’ve been a good customer and pay your bills on time. But if you miss payment dates repeatedly, asking them to waive your fees would be more difficult.
Tip #7: Get free extended warranty
Another perk offered by credit many card companies is free extended warranties, which they use for luring more customers. If your credit card offers this, then by all means, use it to enjoy protection beyond the usual manufacturer’s warranty.