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This guest post is by Kembala Evans from GainMoneyControl.com, a personal finance website dedicated to helping people take control of their finances. Her personal finance blog has practical tips on saving and managing money.
In today’s economy, cash is king, but if you use credit wisely you can take advantage of the benefits that come with a credit card. How would you like to put more money in the bank by using your card? It can happen if you choose the right card and handle your credit card responsibly by paying it off every month.
Here are 5 Ways to Maximize Your Credit Card Benefits:
Credit card reward programs are extremely popular, because they allow you to earn points, miles and cash back on the purchases you make everyday. These rewards include cash, airline tickets, gift cards/certificates, merchandise, a chance to donate what you’ve earned to charity and more. With savings accounts interest rates as low as .01%, it’s refreshing to receive up to 5% cash back on purchases.
Tip: Familiarize yourself with the reward program details (expiration, redemption policy) to get the most value. For example, many 5% cash back promotions require you to sign up, have limits and are limited to specific purchase categories (e.g. groceries, gas, home).
Most credit cards provide travel benefits that will save you money, such as rental car collision waiver, lost luggage reimbursement, roadside assistance, trip cancellation and accidental death and dismemberment insurance. These travel benefits are one of the biggest perks for purchasing your airline ticket or rental car using your credit card.
Purchase protection protects any covered credit card purchase against theft or damage. Although this credit card perk is often overlooked, it can really save you money on replacing a damaged or stolen item.
Some credit cards extend the warranty on your purchase for up to five years. For example, if you bought a new laptop on your credit card with a one (1) year warranty, your warranty could be doubled (2 years) automatically – at absolutely no additional cost.
Price protection gives you more peace of mind on your purchases. If the price drops on an item you purchased with your card within a specific period of timeframe (e.g. 60 days), you could receive a refund.
What are your credit card benefits?
Be sure to check your cardholder terms to learn more about the specific credit card benefits your card offers you.
Bonus Tip: While credit cards have many benefits, it’s important to use credit wisely. Practicing good money management habits, such as being a disciplined spender, budgeting and paying off your bill every month helps you avoid the debt trap.