Due to the recent economic recession, people have become more and more displeased with their banks. High interest rates, credit card fees, and poor customer service have left them clamoring for change and better treatment. The recent Credit CARD Act of 2009 is a step in the right direction, but it’s not an all encompassing fix.
Luckily, there is minority of people who have found ways to outsmart their credit card issuers and make the system, flaws and all, work for them. As one of those knowledgeable few, allow me to share a few credit card tricks I’ve learned along the way.
1. Never Carry a Balance
This is the holy grail of credit card use. As long as you pay your balance on time and in full every month, you will never pay a dime in interest or fees. Better yet, you will be earning interest on the cash you held onto from the time you make your purchase, to the time your statement becomes due. That’s up to 50 days in interest gains!
Tip: Register online for instant access to current account information. Log in frequently to ensure that you are not spending more than you can afford, and to pay in full when your statement comes due. Set up an automatic payment plan to ensure that you never miss a deadline.