Be Credit Card Savvy

ImageCredit cards can certainly get you in trouble if you don’t use them wisely, but if you do take advantage of their good features, they can actually be a money saver.

I have one card which I use for practically every purchase I make – for the following reasons.

  • I often fly free or buy gifts using the rewards program on my primary card.
  • Deferring payment allows me to use the money in the bank for another month. As long as I pay off the balance each month, that money is available in case of an emergency.
  • The statements help me keep track of where my money is going.
  • If I have an issue with a product or a service, my credit card company takes care of the issue and obtains a refund. I have used this feature several times. If I had paid cash for the item, I would have had to deal with the problem myself – possibly with no success.
  • I have had my primary card for years. Nearly every month, I pay off the entire balance – therefore incurring no interest charges. On a few occasions, I have had to pay less than the balance. I had to do that recently – expecting to pay interest on the partial payment month. I was surprised, though, to see an interest charge again when I paid the next month in full. I called the credit card company. The customer service agent explained that interest accrues daily and was still accruing up to the time I paid the next month’s bill – although I had paid it in full. Since I had been their customer for many years, they removed that last month’s interest charge because I asked.

Credit card companies do not want to lose good customers. Don’t be afraid to ask them to remove charges. It may be a one-time favor, but it can certainly help on the pocketbook!

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