There is no magic trick to saving money on your credit card. You simply need to know how. The following five methods of saving on your credit card have been used by many others in the past and are guaranteed to work. As long as you can qualify for a credit card, most of them work even if your credit score is a little lacking.
How to Save Money on Your Credit Card
1. Save Money on Interest Rates
Many credit card companies offer low introductory interest rates to tempt card holders to open a new account. New card-holder rates may extend to balance transfers, new purchases, cash advances or any combination of these. These rates can dip as low as 0% APR for the first six months or more. You can save money on your monthly credit card bill by rotating balances between cards with a 0% introductory APR. Be careful of late payments when rotating balances in this way. Late payments may cause your APR to skyrocket unexpected before the introductory period ends.
2. Enjoy Member Only Discounts
Most major credit card companies have formed partnerships with other companies to offer discounts on the products and services that lots of their members already use or might be interested in using. Examples include insurance, identity theft protection, tax preparation software and more. Card holders can save a bundle by purchasing the products and services they want directly from their credit card company instead of buying from third party providers. Card member services can usually tell you about any special promotions their partners may be offering.
3. Cash In on Rewards Programs
Many credit card companies offer reward programs. For each dollar you spend using their credit card, the company gives you a set number of points which can be applied to the purchase of goods or services. Some rewards programs have only a few items, like those that offer points towards travel expenses including airfare, hotel accommodations and car rental. Others have massive catalogs including small kitchen appliances, software, gift cards to popular restaurant chains and lots more. Rewards programs can be a great way to save with your credit card provided that the points can be applied to items you would normally purchase anyway. For example, a card that offers only travel discounts is great for someone who travels a lot but someone who travels less frequently may prefer other types of rewards.
4. Get Instant Savings at the Register
Some credit card companies offer their card holders instant savings at the register instead of cumulative rewards. This is one of the easiest ways to save with your credit card. Convenience store credit cards may offer customers a reduction of $0.05 or $0.10 per gallon of gas, free or discounted car washes, reduced prices for coffee or other perks. Many big-name retail clothing chains reward their card holders with special coupons, sales and other discounts that can only be accessed when paying with the store credit card. Your own spending habits dictate how much you can save each month with perks like these.
5. Earn Better Bonuses
Credit card companies encourage their card holders to pay their bills promptly by offering more and better perks to those that have the best payment histories. Some examples include interest rate reductions, more points or miles in a rewards program and even cash back. Companies usually send mail alerting card holders to any opportunities to get better rewards by maintaining or improving payment history. Be sure to check all mailings from your credit card company so you do not miss out on any of these opportunities.
Be a Good Credit Card Holder
No matter how great the credit card offer, you have to be a good card holder in order to save money with your credit card. Pay your bill on time, stay under your credit limit and use your card regularly to reap the biggest rewards. Any savings you might make with a good rewards program, immediate discounts, savings through special offers or other incentives will be lost if you are frequently for being irresponsible with your credit card.
Andy has been blogging about managing money for his company, which is one of the biggest Australia’s leading impartial comparison websites. He leads a busy family life, enjoys working on new start up businesses, loves to travel and spending time outdoors. Follow him on Twitter.