by Laura Ginn
How To Maximize The Way You Use Your Visa Credit Card
Using credit cards poorly has the potential to sink you into debt, and rack up enormous interest fees. But, if used correctly and conscientiously, you can reap the many benefits of spending on a credit card while staying debt-free. These tips will help you maximize the benefits of your Visa credit card, and any other cards you have in your wallet.
To encourage you to sign up, many credit card companies offer freebies once you’ve spent a specified amount on your card. These perks include such benefits as points toward a free flight, or vouchers for online shopping. Use your card for normal spending, but to avoid the interest rates, pay it off in full every month.
Many credit card companies offer free one-year extended warranties on electronics, and other major purchases. Doing diligent credit card comparison will ensure that you will get the best warranty deals available, potentially saving you a great deal of money on product repairs and replacement.
Under the UK Section 75 Law, if you spend a minimum of £100 ($131.14) on a product from a company that disappears soon after, your lender is liable for refunding your money, if something goes wrong with the product, and you are unable to contact the company from which you purchased the item.
Use your card to make major purchases, but only if you have the cash up front to pay off the balance in full. That will avoid paying interest fees that will add up to much more than the product is worth.
Many credit cards offer some sort of protection against items purchased on the card, if that item is lost or stolen within a certain amount of time after purchase. So know which of your credit cards offer you this protection, and use those cards for purchasing items that are frequently stolen, such as bicycles or personal electronics (smartphones, etc).
Boost Your Credit Score
If you have less-than-stellar credit, you can use your credit card to vastly improve your credit rating. Spend only what you can afford to pay back each month, especially if you have very poor credit, and an easy-to-get “second chance” credit card. All or most of the second chance credit cards have astronomical interest rates. However, if you pay your balance in full, and on time each month, you will start to see your credit score increase.
Make Money With Your Card
If you are debt-free, and have a good credit score, you can potentially make extra money from your credit card. Many credit card companies offer 0% interest cards to new customers for a specified period of time. You should make all of your purchases on your credit card, and keep the difference in cash that you would have spent on a high-interest credit card account.
By doing that, you can rack up a good amount of money, while paying only the minimum amount due on the card each month. However beware, if you miss a payment, you could lose the 0% interest rate. Making money off of your credit card is called “stoozing” and you should only do it if you’re disciplined enough to make your minimum payments on time each month.
Get Cheap Loans
Some credit cards offer new cardholders the ability to transfer cash into your bank account as a loan, so that you owe the money to the card. If your credit card has very low interest, it’s probably lower than the cheapest loan available through a bank.
However, you need to be disciplined enough that you repay the loan over a fixed amount of time, since the credit card will only require the minimum monthly payment. Decide how soon you want to repay the loan, then set up a direct debit to pay it off.
Get Cash Back
When you’re in the market for a new credit card, comparisons of different cards is essential to ensure that you will get the best deal available. Opt for a card that offers a certain percentage of cash back on purchases made on the card. If you use the card for normal purchases, such as gas, groceries, and other typical expenses, you can get quite a bit of cash back.
Again, paying the entire balance when your credit card bill arrives is important to avoid paying interest on your purchases, which can quickly negate the cash back you will receive.
Whether you carry a Visa credit card, or a variety of other cards, knowing the terms, conditions, and benefits of all of your cards is important for getting the best deals, and the most savings out of your card.
Laura knows that when she goes shopping, she can always rely on her Visa credit card. To find out more about applying for a Visa credit card, check out the free information on uSwitch.com.