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How To Get Full Advantage Of Your Credit Card

Aug 17, 2007
Credit cards offer a lot of possibilities these days to bring savings and other offers your way at discount prices. Many people do not take advantage of them and end up paying much more than they need to on the things that they charge to their credit card. Here are a few ways that you can take greater advantage of a new credit card and make it work for you.

Starting out, you want to look for that credit card that will best suit your needs for it. Select your card with rewards or rebates that you can really benefit from. For instance, if you have need to drive a lot and your biggest monthly expense is gas, hotels, and restaurants, then you will want to get a gas card, or driver's credit card that will give you rebates on these things. If you fly a lot, then you want an air miles card that also gives you rebates or points on your hotel and restaurant bills, too. Either one of these cards could also give you points which you can use toward renting a car.

Other cards will give you a low percentage of usually one to three percent on your purchases of gas, food, and medicine. Beyond that, you get credit for whatever the card may specialize in. Here is another way to get savings. By buying regular things on your card, you can reduce the actual cost even more. The key here, though, is that your savings are really based on your paying the balance off each month and on time. If you don't, then your savings are probably being eaten away by your interest and possibly late payments.

The first feature that you want to look for when getting a new credit card is one with a low interest rate. This rate will become part of your payment each month after the introductory period runs out. Just one or two percent in interest can save you hundreds of dollars each year if you regularly leave a balance on your credit card. It will take a good credit rating to get a real good rate, though. You also want to make sure that you make your payments on time, too, because even one late payment can ruin your chances of keeping the introductory offer. After that, you will probably end up paying the full interest rate.

A balance transfer option is another money saving feature that you need to have if you have any existing credit card balances on other cards. Look for a long introductory offer of at least one-year of 0% APR interest and put your balances on the new card. Avoid cards with fees for balance transfers - many are available. Then, pay as much on your monthly bill as you were before on the credit card that will reduce your principal quicker than if you had the interest on it.

Look for any fees that may apply and get a credit card with as few as possible. This will mean taking some extra time in order to read some of the fine print - you might be surprised what is printed (or online) there. Then compare all other features with the other cards you think might be good. After that, you should be able to come out with the card that will allow you to get full advantage of what a good credit card has to offer.
About the Author
Joe Kenny writes for the Credit Card Store, offering views on UK credit cards, visit his other comparison site today to compare credit cards and find yourself a better credit card deal.
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