The credit card industry is incredibly competitive. There are many companies offering tons of products, each with the intent on lending you money with interest. While credit card companies certainly profit when their customers spend money, they offer a legitimate service. Oftentimes people need to make purchases when they don’t have cash, either on-hand or in the bank. On the other hand, when people overuse credit cards they tend to accrue large amounts of high interest debt.
Credit Cards Can Be a Good Thing!
This leads some people to use their credit cards almost not at all. This can seem like a good strategy. “If I don’t use my credit card, I can’t go into debt.” While that’s technically true, this strategy leaves money on the table. Because the credit industry is so competitive, credit cards are produced which offer incredible benefits and returns to their users. Here are some of the best which are available. If these are offered on a credit card you already own, take advantage of them. If you pay off your balance monthly, you could earn many benefits that you wouldn’t have simply using cash.
Purchase Protection Insurance
This is one of the coolest perks offered by credit card companies, but most people don’t even know it exists. If your card offers this kind of insurance, you could have the entire purchase price of new goods refunded if they are damaged or stolen soon after purchase. This insurance sometimes also pays you back the difference in purchase price if you find a cheaper price on an item with months of buying it for a higher price. Another of the several benefits of credit card protection is the fact that some policies will simply refund the full purchase price of an item if you are unhappy with it but the retailer from whom you made the purchase will not accept a return. These are all powerful tools, and should be used if offered through your credit card.
Some credit cards offer cash back for certain purchases like groceries, hotels, or retail goods. If you often pay for these things, a credit card with this reward program will be well worth the time it takes to sign up. 3% back on regular purchases could save you hundreds per year.
Travel rewards are some of the most popular rewards offered through a credit card. Travel miles may come in a lump sum as an introductory offer for signing up with some cards, with even more coming if you spend $X in the first months of holding the card. If you love to travel, this can help pay for your airfare on an international trip, one of the restricting expenses that prevents people from traveling overseas more often. Discounts to hotels, food, and transportation may also be had.
There are many ways which credit cards reward their users, but most people neglect to take full advantage of them. If you have a credit card with great rewards, you’re wasting your time (and probably some money) if you aren’t realizing these benefits.