If you love to use your credit cards all of the time without paying any interest, of course, then read until the very end of this article, because I am sharing my 11 credit card hacks and tips with you so that you can get the most out of your credit card. From getting a 0% interest rate on your credit card to boosting your credit score, we’ve got it all covered in this article.
All right. First off, I want to say that I am not promoting credit card use if you cannot pay off your balance in full every single month so that you are not paying any interest. That being said, let’s talk about tip number one.
Tip # 1
Put everything you can on your credit card. This includes very large purchases to very small purchases. I use my credit card for everything possible that I can. When I go to the grocery store, I will pay for my groceries with my credit card. When I go to the gas station, I will for sure use my credit card there. And then also for fixed monthly payments that I have, for example, my internet bill and my water and sewer bill.
I definitely use my credit card for those types of bills. So think about all of the different purchases that you’ve made with cash or with your debit card and take a second and find out if you can use a credit card for those purchases, there are multiple reasons for doing this, but there are three main reasons that I want to mention in this article on why I use my credit card for everything possible.
Reason number one is because I have credit cards that have cash back on them. So I’m earning rewards every time I spend money on my credit cards. So the more money I’m spending on my credit card, the more cashback I am earning. And that said, I am not spending extra money just to earn the cash back rewards because it is a very small percentage.
So it’s not worth it for me to just spend extra money all of the time to earn a little bit of a reward. But if I’m already making those purchases, why not put them on my credit card to earn as many rewards as I can?
The second reason I wanna talk about using my credit card for everything possible is that it boosts your credit score. Essentially when you’re making a purchase on your credit card, that is going to get reported to the credit bureaus, and it will boost your credit score, if they can see you are using your credit card often and paying it off in full every month if you are not using your credit cards properly, this is not going to help your credit score.
The third reason I want to mention in today’s article that I like using my credit cards for everything possible is that if you have fraudulent charges on your credit card, they get taken care of very quickly and very easily. But if you have fraudulent charges on your debit card, your account will be frozen and you may be responsible for that amount of cash that was spent on your debit card for a time until they can figure out that you did not actually make that charge.
By using your credit card your account is not frozen. They will send you a new credit card very quickly because they still want you to use their credit card and they take care of the fraudulent charges immediately. So your funds aren’t frozen. You have access to your money. And when this happened to me, actually fairly recently, my credit card company told me I could still use that same credit card in-store, but just not online while they were sending me a new credit card, which I thought was pretty cool.
Tip # 2
All right, the second tip I want to share with you is pretty awesome. And I feel like a lot of people don’t know about this tip, and this is if you are making a large purchase and you want to put it on your credit card, call your credit card company ahead of time and ask them if they will give you a 0% interest rate for 12 months. That is exactly what I did.
I was purchasing a lot of flooring because I was doing my townhouse, my rental, and then the property that I live in now, I was redoing all of the floorings. So I was going to make a really large purchase on my credit card. So I called my discover card, that’s what I was using, and asked if they would give me a 0% interest for 12 months. And they said, yes.
So I was able to make the purchase for my flooring and then have more time to pay it off without paying any interest.
Tip # 3
And then my third tip for using credit cards and getting the most out of them is that if you aren’t able to get that 0% interest from your current credit card company, then you could sign up for a new credit card, just make sure that it has a signup bonus and that they are offering 0% interest for 12 to 18 months.
That way, when you are making that large purchase for flooring or whatever it is, then you can get a signup bonus and have that 0% interest. And with different credit cards, they’re going to have different amounts for sign-up bonuses. They’ll usually have you spend a certain amount within a certain timeframe.
For example, I recently signed up for a business credit card and I had to spend $4,000 within three months, but then I would receive a $700 signup bonus. So for me, that was totally worth it because I was making some large purchases anyway. And by opening that new credit card, I was able to get 700 bucks back on my four grand purchase that I was going to make anyway.
And it doesn’t just have to be one large purchase. It’s any purchase you make within the first three months. And just a little bonus tip for you. If you don’t think you’re going to spend that full amount within the certain timeframe they are giving you to get that signup bonus, then you could always buy a gift card to somewhere you are already going to be spending money.
If you do your grocery shopping at Smith’s, for example, you could buy a Smith’s gift card on your credit card, since you would be spending that money later anyway, or you could even do a Target or Walmart gift card if you shop there more often or even Amazon. And once again, I don’t want you buying a gift card somewhere you are not going to use that gift card.
Tip # 4
And then tip number four is to make sure and get a credit card that has some type of cash back rewards or even miles that you could receive depending on what works best for you. Make sure there is some type of bonus that you are getting by using that credit card, because there are plenty of credit cards out there with cash back rewards or sky miles, make sure you are taking advantage of that.
For example, some credit cards just have a one and a half percent cash back on every single purchase, and then other ones do rotating categories. So for three months, you could get 5% cash back on gasoline. And then the next three months you could get 5% cash back on your Amazon purchases or things like that.
To find a credit card that works best for your spending habits. One credit card that I signed up for pretty recently was the Venmo credit card because they offer 3% cash back on certain categories. That’s a pretty high cashback. So I ended up opening that credit card and they were doing a signup bonus at the same time.
So I got that signup bonus and now I can get 3% cash back on some of my purchases, just make sure to read the fine print so you know exactly what you can and cannot get cashback on.
Tip # 5
And then credit card hack number five is to get double rewards. And this works well if you are spending a lot of money on your credit cards, but essentially if you are usually getting a statement credit for the cashback, that you are earning, you could actually have a check sent to you or have that credit directly deposited into your checking account from your credit card.
And that way, how much ever you received into your checking account from your credit card, you can spend that amount again on your credit card and then be getting even more rewards back from your credit card. And then you can pay it off with that amount that was in your checking account, sent there from your credit card.
Tip # 6
And then credit card hack number Six is to pay off your balance before the statement closing date, if you want to have a little boost in your credit score, for example, if you are looking to buy a home pretty soon and you want your credit score to be as high as possible, if you pay off that credit card balance before that statement date, then on the statement date, it gets reported to the credit bureaus, but because you’ve already paid it off, then it shows a zero balance, which means your debt to income ratio will be a little bit better pushing up your credit score.
Tip # 7
Credit card hack number seven is if you are married, then each of you could sign up for your own credit card instead of just getting an extra card for the same account for the other spouse because you can both get that signup bonus if you are both signing up for that credit card. And since all of us probably are not married, I’m going to include another tip with this one.
I’ve heard of certain credit cards that will offer a bonus if you add someone to your credit card. So when you add them to your credit card, you’ll get that bonus. Not only that, if you have good credit, that will help build up the other person’s credit that you were adding to your credit card. So that’s a little tip inside of a tip.
Tip # 8
Tip number eight to getting the most out of your credit cards. If you have a business credit card and you are earning miles on that credit card, don’t use it for your business trips, use it for your personal trips because you can write off your business trips on your taxes.
So if you’re already going to be taking a personal trip, then use those rewards for that. And that way you can get a deduction on your taxes. And that’s only if you are already going to be taking those trips.
Tip # 9
Credit card tip number nine to getting the most out of your credit cards is to ask for an increase on your credit limit. And some credit cards make this easy to do, and some are a little more difficult to do, but nonetheless doable.
For example, with my discover it card, I can just log into the discover app and right there at the top in the center, it says to increase my credit limit so I can click on that. And then it just asks me for my income and then I think one other thing, it’s very simple, and then it immediately decides if it is going to increase my credit limit or not.
And honestly, every time I’ve done this with my discover card, I have received a credit limit increase. With my chase visa card, it’s a little more difficult. They don’t allow you to do it directly in the app or on the website. You actually have to call and ask for that. And then they run a credit check on that.
So they’re checking your credit. So you’ll get a little bit of a ding in your credit score, not a lot, and it will go away pretty quickly, but by increasing your credit limit, that is going to boost your credit score because your credit score includes that debt to income ratio. So the better you can make your debt to income-ratio, the better your credit score is going to be.
So if your credit limit is going higher, but your debts are staying the same or even going lower, then you are going to be able to increase your credit score. So check with your credit cards right now and see if you can increase your credit limit. And of course, we don’t want to max out our credit cards and go all the way to that limit. We wanna keep it below that limit and only spend what we normally be spending.
Tip # 10
And the final credit card tip is to not cancel any of your credit cards, even if you are not using them. Because if you do cancel those credit cards, it could lower your credit score. And we don’t wanna be lowering our credit score. There are some credit cards that require you to use them maybe once a year. So you may have to put a small purchase, on some of those credit cards.
So I just have one little automated charge that goes on that visa every quarter. But honestly, when I stopped using my discover it card for a while, they did not have me make any purchases. So it just depends on the credit card, but you really don’t wanna be canceling those credit cards because the longer your credit history shows on your credit score then the higher your credit score is going to be.
Plus it is taking into account all of the credit limits on each of your credit cards, which we already know we want that to be high. It also shows the credit bureaus that you know how to handle multiple credit cards, and that you have different debts that you’re able to pay off.
Comment below and tell me what your favorite credit card tip or hack is. And I’m sure I missed a lot. So please share the ones that I missed as well. And I just wanna reiterate again, that we do not wanna be spending extra money on our credit cards that we wouldn’t normally be spending, and we want to pay them off in full before we get charged any interest.
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that I am not a financial advisor. I’m only giving my personal experience and thoughts. All strategies, ideas, suggestions, and recommendations offered are exclusively for the purpose of entertainment and education. Investing comes with certain financial risks. You must undertake your own research and due diligence, and if required, seek the assistance of a professional adviser.