Add to GuideAsk a Question
To Top

Saving Money With Credit Cards

Category Credit Cards
Hand With Gold Credit Card
There is a cautionary note to be considered when tempted to open a new credit card account because of the promise of savings. This is a guide about saving money with credit cards.
Ad

Solutions

Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

January 29, 2015

To save money with credit cards, shop around for rewards credit cards with no fees. Trust me, they want your business; if you look around you'll find cards with no fees. Interest rates may be higher, but be smart: pay off everything in full every month and don't pay those ridiculously high interest fees. The most expensive things you'll buy (if you don't pay off the balance each month) are far more costly than your original bill. Bear in mind, credit card companies rely on you not being able to make full payments. That's how they earn their money.

Ad

Keep the habit of paying off the total bill each month and you'll not only earn rewards but also improve your credit rating.

Don't spend more than you can afford!

Comment Was this helpful? 3
January 29, 20150 found this helpful

This is sound advice. The interest rate doesn't matter as long as you always pay in full monthly.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 2, 20150 found this helpful

Great advice - paying off your credit-card bill ("Dread-it" card bill!) every month helps keep your credit rating good, and at our house it improves our sleep!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
July 30, 2007

I recently received my credit card bill and was happy to see my cash back amount earned was $120.00, which I called and had them apply to my bill. We only use one credit card and charge everything we purchase in a month. We do not charge anything that we can not pay for when the bill comes due, that way we pay no interest, yet for using the credit card, we receive cash back. As long as you are careful what you charge and know you have the money to pay the credit card bill when due, you get free money while paying out no interest.

Ad

I also pay several of my bills by credit card automatically each month, this saves me a stamp and also adds to the cash back amount accumulating with each charge I make. I recently became aware that when anything changes on a credit card, such as a new expiration date, then you have to notify the appropriate billing departments of the changes. Otherwise, you may be hit with late fees when charges to the credit card are denied. This will happen even if the credit card number is the same and your credit is good. Some billing departments will let you know when a card expiration date is coming up and advise you to "resubscribe" to the auto payment. Some are happy to collect late fees.

Again, I stress this is only a good idea if you are budgeting and watching that you do not abuse the charging items you know you do not have the money to pay for when the bill is due, paying interest is not an option unless there is a dire emergency.

By Bobbie G. from Rockwall, TX

Ad
Comment Was this helpful? Yes
July 30, 20070 found this helpful

We do the same thing however, our card of choice earns airline miles...travel is important to us.. The only thing that is problematic about this is that many people are so far in credit card debt that they may never recover -- plus I always insure what my interest is, only keep a Visa & MC plus my bank debit card -- I never use a credit card to get cash because of the usery laws but I have moved across country (12K)), purchased an automobile, etc...and actually the credit card companies consider "pay balance monthly people" less than desirable - I probably get a minimum of 2 new cc approved applications per week -- into the shredder they go..I enjoy using someone else's money to earn rewards. But I dont recommend it for everyone...cj in Camas

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Ad
By guest (Guest Post)
July 30, 20070 found this helpful

Would love to know which credit cards offer such good deals like the cash back....none of mine do nor have I seen any outside of Discover...do hope someone will post the cards and possible phone number. Thanks....

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
July 30, 20070 found this helpful

I use the same technique with my credit card with one difference. My husband and I consider this 'found' or 'free' money and split it between us (much like an allowance) to be used for personal and/or 'selfish' purposes. It is nice to be able to save up for purchasing his Christmas/B'day present, etc.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 31, 20070 found this helpful

I googled "reward credit cards" and this helpful list came up in the results:

http://www.cred … s.com/reward.php

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Ad
By guest (Guest Post)
August 3, 20070 found this helpful

Go to bankrate.com to check which credit cards offer the best rewards. I use a Citibank Rewards Mastercard for all grocery, gas and small stand-alone drugstore purchases because it pays me 5 points for each dollar I spend. The only negative is to get the full 5% you have to wait until you have $100 or more in credit and they're good mainly to redeem for gift cards like Home Depot, Sears, etc. For other purchases I use my Citibank Dividend Card that pays 2% cash back for all utility payments and 1% for everything else. I use my Costco/American Express card whenever we eat out (it pays 3% cash back) and for airplane tickets, hotels and car rentals (it pays 2% cash back for travel). It can get a little confusing for my husband to use the correct card for the correct purchase so I don't make a big deal of it if he accidentally uses the wrong card once in a while.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
January 31, 20090 found this helpful

This is not a good time to use credit cards, unless you are paying them off every month. With the economy in such bad shape it is likely that will pay very high interest rates and the company can and will raise your interest rate at any time. If you pay a bill with a credit card you should pay it off as soon as it posts to your account, that is the only way you will get your FICO to go up. You have to ask yourself, is the $50 (5%) in cash worth all the interest you are paying and having $10,000 in credit bills? The average good interest rate is about 12% right now, that is double what it was 5 years ago. Don't be fooled by "rewards".

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

June 5, 20061 found this helpful

I use my Citicard "Platinum Select Card" to buy gasoline. You save 5% of cost (about 15 cents/ gal.). It adds up!

By Alfred from Westport

Comment Was this helpful? 1
June 5, 20060 found this helpful

Be careful with this. If you carry a balance at all, you end up paying interest, which will eliminate any savings you may get from a "cash-back" program.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

February 24, 20050 found this helpful

When trying to tackle your credit card debt, be sure to call your credit card company and ask for a lower rate. Tell them that you are shopping for a better interest rate and wanted to see what they had to offer first. They will often try to work with you to retain you as a customer.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
February 27, 20050 found this helpful

I decided to try this out the other day. Figured it couldn't hurt. So I called and said "Why haven't you offered us a lower interest rate? We pay off the card every month and you keep adding credit but haven't dropped the rate." So being cornered they dropped it two points to 9 percent. I should mention I have an awesome bank that has never charged an annual fee or a late fee if you call them and let them know what's happening. And they never raise your rate from the original APR. But it still feels good to get something cheaper. Well look who I'm telling! You're all with me on THAT one ;)

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
February 27, 20050 found this helpful

Actually, once each year I will call up each Credit Card company, starting with the one with the worst terms, and tell them I want to cancel. This almost always results in a lower interest rate, or other special offer to continue my membership. But if they don't, then I cancel my account. It works very well.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 9, 20050 found this helpful

Call all of your credit card companies and ask them to lower the interest rate (only if you are in good standing with them, of course.) Usually, they will. It can save you lots of money in the long run.

By RRementer2003

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
June 1, 20050 found this helpful

I did this today and got my rate decrease by 9%. They also changed it from a variable rate to a fixed rate, with no fees (I didn't have any before) and it's not promotional, so it'll stay that way. That was worth the 45 mins of boring hold music!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
July 5, 20080 found this helpful

I have done this as well. For the most part the did lower the rate. Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn't. Not that big of a deal since I pay off my cards each month, but love anything that can help my credit rating.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

February 6, 2008

Turn lemons into lemonade! This is how we turn the painful gas prices into a rewarding experience. If you don't already have a credit card that has rewards, research card companies that have great rewards. We use a Chase card and often they have a promotion that will reward 5% on everything purchased at a gas station, including the convenience store. We have to buy gas, we use the card. If you are a cash-only person, when you buy the gas on the card, take the same amount in cash and put it in an envelope. When the credit card bill comes in, you have the exact amount of cash in that envelope that you can put in your bank account and pay the entire bill off. And let's say you spent $500 in gas during that month, then you also earned $25 in rewards. Not huge, but it's more than you would have gotten if you just paid cash.

And if you are out with the family and need a quick drink or lunch, don't stop at a drive through, go to a gas/convenience store and get the family meal there. Benefits: everyone can stretch their legs, bathroom breaks, healthier food choices, cheaper drink choices, AND the rewards that come with that spending.

Discover is long known as the "card that pays you back", but my Discover cash back rate is 1/4%. I get 20 times that much with my Chase card. And we save all our rewards up over a year's time and then use those rewards to help pay for our annual vacation. You'll be amazed at how quickly you will accumulate rewards!

By Amy from Northern Virginia

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
February 6, 20080 found this helpful

I really am happy that you love your Chevy Chase Bank "Chase" Card. You have not been their "victim" yet. I have. Here is a court victory against Chase. There are many, many sites you could go to find out about not just Chase but almost all the big bank Cards.

http://www.atom … ychasebanksucks/

http://www.pcpu … evy/chevywhy.htm

I had a Bank One credit card for years and paid 2% above prime interest. It was so low, I used it to remodel my house ($15,000).

It was December 2005, and I believe we were watching a 60-Minutes report on Chase customers and how having a Chase card had thrown their lives into absolute turmoil. I didn't even know that I would be a Chase victim. I told my husband, I am so glad we don't have a Chase card. Those poor people.

I opened up my mail and there was a Chase Card with my name on it. BankOne had sold my account to Chase. Within two months Chase raised the interest rate on my existing balance (these were charges made under the original terms of my BankOne Card) to over 30% with absolutely no explanation. My payment went from $300 to almost $1200 a month. I had no late payments ever on my Credit Report or with BankOne. Perfect Credit.

Ralph Nadar jumped onboard, and class action lawsuits were filed. Chase bought credit cards where people had great credit and never ever made late payments. Then they jacked up the interest rate, assuming that these wonderful people that adored their stellar credit ratings would anti up rather than lose their ability to have credit. Well they put many people right into bankruptcy, ruined their credit rating, showered them with incredulous fees, and laughed all the way back to their shareholders. Ironically the banking industry lobbied Congress and passed legislation exempting credit card debt from most bankruptcies.

Even though they lost the court case, have to repay money, and erase bad credit ratings from their victim's credit reports, it does not undo the damage that victims suffered for years, trying to make the outrageous payments, trying to hold onto their homes, unable to use their phone because of unrelenting credit collection calls. My cell phone lay idle for months, because Chase dominated it 24 hours a day. With all the fees no amount of money mailed into Chase lowered the total amount due more than a few dollars.

I'm glad you were not one of their victims. But thousands and thousands of us were not so lucky. Thanks to Chase, I may never have good credit again, because even though they have been court ordered to clear negative reporting from our credit reports, it doesn't help to clear the other bad ratings that occurred when we couldn't pay our other bills on time because we were struggling so hard to line Chase's pockets with gold.

Not everyone is going to get a credit card and have the option or discipline to pay it off in full every month. These will be Chase's and other credit card companies who play under the "new rules" future victims. Please be careful.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
February 6, 20080 found this helpful

I use my USAA debit cards for all of my purchases, including gas. This also helps with costs by giving me money for my purchases but also keeps me from racking up credit card debit because I am "saving" money. You don't have to use a credit card to get free money anymore! YAY!!! =)

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
February 7, 20080 found this helpful

Discover has a gas card that offers 5% back beginning

with first purchase, i.e. no minimum must be met.

Application here:

http://tinyurl.com/2mujoa

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 14, 20080 found this helpful

Discover Card that you were talking about can help you save not jut 5%, but up to 10% if you redeem your cash back balance for gift cards or shop at Discover shopping network. There's also a BP card that saves 10% and a few more that save more than 5% on gas purchases. Check out these sites to see them all:

www.PumpAndSave.com

http://www.pumpandsave.com

CreditCardMix

http://www.cred … gas-credit-cards Gas Cash Back Credit Cards

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh0 found this helpful
June 6, 2008

Store Credit?

Store Credit?

The scenario is familiar. At the check out counter of the local department store, the clerk asks if you would like to apply for the store's credit card. As a reward for signing, you receive an instant discount in the amount of 10% or even 15%. Do you sign on? Before you do, think it over.

The Plus

The most obvious plus to accepting the credit card is the instant discount. These offers seem to surface when the total at the bottom of the receipt exceeds $100. A $10 discount is tempting and seemingly flawless.

Often these store credit cards send future discounts your way. If managed correctly, they can bring in future savings. Money back for points earned is also a great incentive that comes with the card.

Credit scores are raised when the amount of available credit is larger than the amount of debt. In other words, opening a credit card with a $2,000 limit can be good for your credit score if you don't carry a heavy tab on the card. Likewise, if you decide to apply for the card today but never use it, simply cut it up without cancelling it. This keeps your credit looking strong and eliminates the temptation to create a new bill.

The Negative

A credit card is a credit card. It may come with annual fees, high interest rates, and the temptation to use it in excess. Be careful. Interest rates on store credit cards are traditionally high. This isn't a problem if you don't carry a balance from month to month. It can be difficult to erase a bill that is created on a card of this type.

The more credit cards you have, the more trouble there is minding the monthly bills. When you entered the store you planned to pay for your purchases in a set way. Now, with the option to open a store credit card, your shopping trip is "free." However, in a month that "free shopping" will reappear. Will you remember that the bill is on its way? What about the other bill from the store across town? Did you remember to save money for the remaining bills that you want to pay down? The more cards in your wallet, the more problems heading your way each month.

The Answer

Is there an answer to the question posed by the store clerk? "Do you want to apply for our credit card?" she asked. For the shopper who says "yes," be careful. You'll gain discounts. For the shopper who says "no," you'll save headaches.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
June 8, 20080 found this helpful

I have found using the Kohl's credit card is great! They mail me coupon's up to 30% off but most of the time they are 15 or 20%. I shop the clearance rack for my grandsons and with the discount I find things cleaper that at WalMart or Target. And they are much better quality. I also shop the clearance rack for myself and my son. Yesterday I got Sketcher shoes retailed at $59.99, marked down to $23.99 and with a 20% discount and with tax they cost $20.77. Can't beat that at Payless shoes, WalMart or anywhere else. I do pay my bill IN FULL with the statement comes out.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

November 2, 20050 found this helpful

Looking for a way to earn money? Apply for a credit card with an introductory rate of 0% interest for 12 months when you use the credit card checks....

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More...

June 9, 20170 found this helpful

Many people creatively use credit to overcome financial obstacles. This guide contains information about making your dreams come true with a credit card.

Teenager With Credit Card

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes

June 7, 20170 found this helpful

Credit cards can be very easy to use if you don't have cash on you, but make sure you can pay off the charges you make. This is a guide about treat your credit card like real money.

Woman using Credit Card at store

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes

May 2, 20130 found this helpful

This guide contains credit card rewards tips. Make sure you get all available benefits from your credit account.

Credit Card

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
November 7, 2008

I'm thinking about closing a credit card account because the creditor does not want to lower my APR. I've had the card almost 2 year and pay on time faithfully. But if I cancel will the APR continually accumulate on the balance or would it be whatever is left at the time of cancellation? Also, the credit card is through my bank. Do you think they'll make me close out my checking accounts with them?

Tantanisha from Sanford, FL

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
November 7, 20080 found this helpful

What you may think, what other people may respond with and how the credit card co. responds will be three different answers. I would suggest you call the credit card company and get their answer which I believe would be the more accurate. I am sure any balance you have will continue to have interest charged to it. You could also call your bank and speak someone who deals with credit cards.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
November 7, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you for your input. I will do some calling around.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 9, 20080 found this helpful

Look around online for a reputable credit card that has a great introductory rate and a better rate than you are getting now for the long run. Frequently they have no-fee balance transfers. Transfer the balance you have to the new card and then close the old one.

You are not required to have a credit card to have checking and savings accounts (they still make money off of any balance you keep with them). However make sure you keep whatever minimum balance is required so you don't pay big fees.

Meanwhile, do everything you possibly can to pay down your credit card balance as quickly as possible. You are NOT saving money by buying anything on sale if you are putting it on a credit card. Ideally, you should be able to pay off your credit card in full each month and use the card simply because it provides for faster checkout,returns of merchandise, and perks through whatever points program they offer

Good luck

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 9, 20080 found this helpful

Definitely talk to your credit card company. A friend of mine was able to persuade her own credit card company to giv her a 6-month moratorium on interest, essentially a promotional rate. Since my case with my own credit card company wasn't nearly as strong, I couldn't get the same deal. If you're in a position of strength, ask for a break, especially if you're cancelling the card anyway. Be aware, though, that unless you can qualify for a break, your card will continue to accrue interest until it's paid in full. Pay as much as you can, as quickly as you can, and cut up the thing when it's paid off - and don't forget to specify *in writing* that you want the account closed.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
November 12, 20080 found this helpful

I know long time ago it was a good thing to CLOSE an credit card account but now they say it can hurt your credit report and credit score in the long run. You can go to www.clarkhoward.com website. He is a consumer guru from Atlanta Ga but you can pick him up on radio all over the country. He says to pay it off and every so often charge something on it to help your credit score. You could also say you got an offer from somewhere else and see if they will match it.

GOOD LUCK

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 25, 20080 found this helpful

Try asking for a cut in the interest rate at different times-what does nt work at 4 pm sometimes works at 2 am-it s just getting the right person-persistance.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
December 2, 20080 found this helpful

Be sure to read any terms and conditions or the fine print; my last credit card disclosure stated in the fine print that if I do not agree, they can close your account. I usually do call and ask nicely if there is a way of lowering my apr; and in most case they will if you are a good user.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 23, 20090 found this helpful

I can't answer your question about rates going up on a closed account, but if you are attempting to build your credit, don't close the account unless you have to.

Closed credit card accounts lower your credit score. They say it lowers the amount of money you have access to. This information came from creditcheck online which reports your credit information from all three of the major credit agencies--Experian, Equifax, and the third one.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Related Content
Categories
Budget & Finance Credit CardsMarch 29, 2012
Guides
Teenager With Credit Card
Dreams Come True with a Credit Card
Woman using Credit Card at store
Treat Your Credit Card Like Real Money
Credit Card
Credit Card Rewards Tips
A woman filling out Christmas cards.
Saving Money on Christmas Cards
More
😎
Summer Ideas!
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
Contests!
Newsletters
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Categories
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2017 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by .

Generated 2017/07/20 22:02:19 in 8 secs.
Loading Something Awesome!