I love, I mean LOVE my credit cards. And not the “rack up the card and pay monthly payments” type of love. I enjoy the points and the cash back you get from them. Credit cards have to offer you something to get you to sign up. Before you read these please DON’T get a card if you have no self control and had issues with credit cards in the past. This is not an affiliated post all content is my personal opinions of the credit cards I talk about. Here are a few tips I use to pimp my cards.
1.SIGN UP WHEN THEY OFFER A SPECIAL DEAL
Now most will always give you 1 year 0% interest but ignore that, you should NEVER carry a balance from month to month on a credit card, if so you are literally burning money each month. Many cards will run a special and give you a $100-$500 bonus or a set number of points if you spend $1,000 in 3 months. Depending on who you are, this is what you would normally spend each month anyway. I signed up for my american express card when I was about to pay for my wedding. Also I was able to keep up with how much I was spending on my wedding without my household items interfering. I also got the card, because I got so much cash back on items I was already planning to buy. Plus we took a honeymoon in St. Thomas so I didn’t really want to use my debit card. By signing up when they had a offer I got 15,000 points which really means $150 towards a gift card. Yay! and with american express you can just get a general gift card that can work anywhere so that could be your groceries for the month!
2. ONLY SIGN UP FOR CARDS WITH $0 ANNUAL FEE
You shouldn’t have to pay to use a card EVER. I look at credit cards like you should be happy to have me, not the other way around. My American Express card, Bank of America cards both have $0 annual fees, and I love it. If you have cards with annual fees you better be getting more back in money and rewards, that it actually pays off. But to be safe stay away from annual fees.
3.USE THE CASH BACK PROGRAM
So here is my favorite way to start pimping your cards. Try to have at least 1 card that offers cash back on purchases that you normally would spend on a regular day. So I have the Bank Of American Cash Reward Card.You get 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and now at wholesale clubs and 3% on gas. So for me and husband we use this card only to get gas and groceries. Just for having the card about 2 in a half years I have earned over $100 dollars. Just by paying for my normal expenses with that card. Also many cards are offering special cash rewards on top of that. Every month they update the stores and allow you to add them to your card they range from chili’s to places like Starbucks and AT&T at 10% cash back. The great thing is I can easily set a budget on gas and groceries for the month then use this card when they send me the statement I will know exactly what I spent and the exact cash back I received. I don’t really care for the 1% cash back that is created to get you to spend the card on anything when you may not have it. Focus on the cards with more than 2% cash back.
4.USE THE POINT SYSTEM FOR ENTERTAINMENT
This may sound like a lot but bare with me. I have another card that earns me points for purchases. At the end of the month the points just keep adding up and you can use them to go shopping in there “online store”. This mostly will have gift cards to restaurants, clothing stores, etc. After you have built up a healthy amount of points every month, plan a special day and use your points for that day. We normally get a gift card to the movies, or we buy a Groupon and then use the Groupon to pay for an activity or a new restaurant downtown. This helps us have a little date night and its FREE!!! Try not to go over board and rack up the card for the points. When the car breaks down, gifts, or a big item you have PLANNED to purchase put that on the point card. The point system isn’t my favorite but if you sign up when they are offering a special then it can really help. Also I like to have 1 card that has a massive credit limit to lower my credit usage but I will explain that more in another post.
While using a card that earns 2% on groceries and 3% on gas will not make you rich, it will add a few dollars to your account, and the points will allow you to go out and have fun without the worry of going over your budget. Please do not attempt any of these tips if you have an issue with spending more than what you can pay in cash. If you fall into the trap and charge items you cant afford you will just start a tall order of debt!