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Take Full Advantage of Owning a Credit Card

Jul 14, 2008
Credit cards are a completely different ball game than they were in the 80's. It was once the case that the only use for a credit card was simply to be able to buy something and pay for it later. Now though, competition between the credit card companies is so stiff that they are offering all sorts of rewards to try to attract more clientele.

Credit cards compete for your business by offering incentives such as low introductory interest rates or rewards to new customers like free flights and cash back. These rewards are generally based on how heavily you use your card. There's a trick to these incentives and we'll show you how to take advantage of these incentive programs.

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.

Try to find rewards which fit your needs. Cash back rewards are good for anyone. Always read the fine print though and be sure to ask the rep fro the credit card issuer if there are any conditions or limits attached to the rewards.

Also ask them if there is a time limit on redeeming the reward(s) as some are only valid for a set period of time and then they expire unused.

If you are thinking of applying for a gas station reward card, be sure that there is one of those gas stations in your city first.

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.

In either event, you could take full advantage of being a credit card owner by using the credit card company's greed against them. Competition always breeds good things for consumers. Look around and see what is available. You may be pleasantly surprised to see advantages you never thought possible.

Always do your homework ahead of time. You can gain a lot by doing this. Don't be in a hurry to sign up for the first credit card which waves a reward your way.
About the Author
Steven J. Talrechi is a veteran on credit for 12 years. He authors various topics on said field, including application for a credit card, and different credit card offers.
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