Credit Cards: How to Capitalize Owning One?

By: Stevenj.talrechi
Credit cards today are a different animal than they were 20 years ago. It used to be that a credit card was only used to buy things now and pay later. The fierce competition between the credit card issuers has made it possible for cardholders to take advantage of owning a credit card.

One of the ways that card companies compete is by offering rewards or low introductory interest rates. These can be anything from cash back rewards to free flights. The reward is based on how much you use the card. There is a trick to this however and we are going to see how to use this to your advantage.

Rewards cards: You should definitely look around for the best offer when it comes to cards that give you rewards. You want to look for rewards which will genuinely be useful to you. If you don't fly often, or don't charge a lot on your card, then it's unlikely that a card which offers free flights as a reward is right for you. These sorts of rewards programs often require you to spend a lot before you get a flight.

Look around for a reward which really fits into your plans. Cash back rewards are always good. Of course, as with anything else, always read the fine print first. Be sure to ask the credit card company rep if there are any limits on the rewards; many credit card companies allow you only a certain amount of rewards and once you claim those, that's it.

You should also ask the rep about time limits. A lot of these programs either have a limit to the amount of rewards you can claim or a time limit in which you can claim the rewards, with an expiration date.

In the case of a gasoline reward card, make certain that there is an affiliated gas station in your city/town.

Low introductory rates: There are a lot of possibilities here. Say that you have a card with an APR of 19%. You make some small purchases and have a balance which is small enough that you can easily pay it off in 180 days or less. You then find an offer for an introductory rate of 9.9% - you can transfer the balance from your old card onto this one and pay it off faster, saving a lot of money on interest in the bargain. You can either keep your old card for emergencies or cancel it.

Keep this in mind - when the credit card companies compete, you come out on top. Don't be afraid to shop around for the best offer - the credit card companies want your business. You might be surprised by the deals you find!

Do your research before you sign up for any cards - you stand to get some great rewards and perks this way; just don't rush into anything, there might be a better deal right around the corner.
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