Interest rates keep going up, but introductory offers keep on coming in at low rates! Mail boxes are flooded with low offering rates – but these can sometimes come with a trap. High interest rates, heavy late payment penalties or high annual fees: watch out for the traps!
Get Hold of Rewards
One of the most important credit cart strategies around, you need to keep an eye out for rewards – they come in every card and each one can help you get something you want! From pay for travel to just cash, rewards can help make you feel like the credit card isn’t just something you use – but is something that pays you for its use! Try and keep it from becoming addicted to rewards – if you do, you might just start buying up as much as you can and stacking up credit card debt, which is as far from a good credit card strategy as you could possibly get.
Try to keep your finances safe – while federal law protects credit card purchases and while you have the right to dispute any charge on your credit card (say that you buy something that doesn’t show up, or the wrong item is delivered, or it’s not delivered as you were promised: flowers for Valentine’s Day showing up a week late is just one example).
If you are going to dispute an error on your card, you have to follow the rules. You can’t just pick up the phone and complain to customer service! Each one of these is a good credit card strategy in its own right – feel free to extend them to other credit card issues!
- Write to the card issuer as their ‘billing inquiry’ address, not the one where you’re sending your payments. Make sure to include your address and name, your account number, and a description of exactly what went wrong and how it did
- Don’t wait forever! The sooner you send the letter, the better, but the deadline is within two months of when the bill with the error reached you – so no, you can’t go back to your January bill in August and find an error to try and get some refunded payments.
- Be smart about it: send by certified mail and make sure you request a return receipt so you are granted undeniable proof of what your card issuer got. Make sure to include copies of the relevant financials – sales slip, bill, and so on – to support your claim, and keep at least one copy of the dispute letter.
- After you send the letter, it’s going to take some time. The card issuer has up to 30 days to acknowledge the problem in writing, and then – if the problem hasn’t been resolved – another three months to actually finalize the dispute and ensure you aren’t wronged from what happened.
That sounds like you lose out on the cash for the time it takes for the dispute to be resolved – but it’s not so bad! While the dispute is going on, you withhold payment on that particular item. Keep in mind that the rest of your payment must still be done: it’s just the disputed item for which you can withhold payment. Keep in mind that a debit card lacks the same sort of protection, and that buyer’s remorse is not a valid reason to make a claim!
You also have protection against your card being lost, stolen, or used by any sort of thief – and while there is no time limit for an unauthorized charge like that, the sooner you make the claim, the sooner and easier the dispute will be taken up and resolved! This doesn’t include an unauthorized purchase if you lend the card to someone else, so be careful about who you let use your credit card lest you fall into bad credit card strategy habits.
Build Your Business
Credit cards are easier to get than normal loans – and if you have a start-up you’re trying to get going, then a credit card can be the way to go. With careful use of credit card strategy you can use that plastic to get your life where you’ve always wanted it to be! There’s a downside, of course: with a hefty credit line you might want to buy things that aren’t necessary for your business. Do you actually need that fancy letterhead, or that ridiculously priced computer? You don’t want to be in trouble – so try not to rack up finances faster than your revenue flow.
Only use your credit card as you have to! A business card has additional federal protections for your benefit.
Save Money When Renting a Car
This credit card strategy is important if you find yourself renting cars frequently – and you want to watch out for certain traps. A $10 per day rental car can easily shot up to $30 if you get the protection that rental car companies try and sell at their counter. It’s not actually insurance – it just works that way.
But you can just say no to that over-priced ‘insurance’ they offer with the right credit card strategy! Check if your auto-insurance company extends to rental guards and whatever the gaps might be – and check your credit cards to see which offer collision damage waiver coverage. Some will!
Follow these credit card strategies and you’ll find yourself ever more thankful for getting a credit card in the first place!