Credit Cards

Top 15 Credit Cards Hacks You Might Not Know


Top 15 Credit Cards Hacks You Might Not Know 18.08.2019Leave a comment
Top 15 Credit Cards Hacks You Might Not Know

Modern people have long been accustomed to using credit cards in everyday life. And there is an explanation for this – the presence of a bank card allows you not to carry bundles of money with you, but to safely store them in the bank, using its funds as necessary. Besides, if a person has access to money, then he can afford to buy what he wants. You can choose a modern phone, computer or TV model, pay bills, go to a restaurant or groceries – right now when you need it.

Today, a credit card makes it possible to feel financial guarantees. If any unforeseen situation arises, the credit card will always come to the rescue, while the process of returning money to the bank does not imply any special difficulties. A person has a stated monthly payment due they have to make.

Possessing a credit bank card is very useful, since situations may occur in which you need to have a certain amount of money available. Large credit organizations are ready to offer their users a wide range of supporting accumulating bonuses programs together with their credit card.

Basic Benefits of Credit Cards

  • There are cases when credit cards are literally inevitable. Such occasions can be booking a room in a hotel, acquiring airplane tickets or simply to rent a car.
  • Many credit card issuers provide the insurance on big purchases. So, one can be saved if his huge buying is stolen, damaged or broken. Also, if a purchase has been made by a credit card it is possible to ask the lending company to give you information on the deal even if a receipt is missing.
  • Using a credit card can be a great instrument to build up a strong credit rating which is important when it comes to mortgages, personal loans, car lending or even rental application. One has to just make payments regularly, in full amount, and without any delays.
  • There is an opportunity to be rewarded for paying back the debt in full before the specified date with interest free period (a set one) for the next purchase.
  • A credit card gives a person protection guarantees on his money. For example, if one has lost his wallet, there is practically no possibility to return cash but a credit cardholder can easily block the card and safe the funds.
  • Of course, credit cards are incredibly useful if there are temporary financial difficulties or emergency expenses. They can help a lot, for example, if a car suddenly breaks down or a natural disaster occurs (flood or fire), and the person does not have free money to cover these costs.
  • Usually, when buying in such purchasing networks as Amazon and Ebay, etc., various bonuses and discounts are provided to credit card owners. Also, the advantage of credit cards is the flexible payment schedule of funds borrowed from the bank.
  • A credit cardholder may receive various offers from the bank that issued the card. The card user has the opportunity to increase his credit limit or extend the validity of the card. Thus, one can conclude that a credit card is more profitable than a simple installment loan.
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Credit Cards Hacks to Save your Money

1. Bonuses for new clients

Churning is one of the easiest ways to gain the most profit out of a credit card. If someone doesn’t know what it is, here you are.

125k-bonus

The most wonderful thing about it that this is completely legal and you can open and cancel as many cards as you want. A bank longs for new customers so hard that it is ready to provide them with some extremely cool kinds of encouragement.

2. Balance transfer credit card opportunities

People can find themselves in a situation where they have a credit card with a high interest which is not uncommon. And, also, there is already an essential debt on it. The point is that there is a great solution to the issue.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

One simply has to find a balance transfer promotion where they give a bonus period with no interest rate and to transfer the existing debt to this card. Some companies offer a term with 0% interest for up to 12 months.

So, it is possible to transfer lending to this card and when the period is to its end to find another one and once again.

3. An annual flight companion voucher

Some banks offer an incredibly profitable program accompanying a credit card usage – an annual flight companion voucher. According to this program, one has the right to fly their companion (commonly a wife/husband) to any part of the United States for a year. Though, a financial organization can demand it has to inevitably be one’s spouse.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

This bonus program is valid for one year, as a rule, and implies the card has to be open all this time. The amount of a voucher is nearly $75-120.  Here is a short list of credit cards with such or similar options:

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage®  Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
  • British Airways Visa Signature® Card
  • Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

4. No Baggage Fees

It’s not a piece of news to anybody, nowadays, that airlines charge fees for baggage check-in. The approximate amount is about $35. Thus, to the expenses of a trip one has to add $280 (both ways) only for bags checking, if he flies with a wife and two kids, for example.

Are there any chances to skip this fee?

Free Checked Bags
Free Checked Bags

The most important thing here is to inquire what airlines are included in this program.

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5. Affordable foreign exchange

Foreign exchange can turn out to be enormously expensive for a person. Exchanging currency in the airports or a hotel can turn around a lot not a little by 10%. If a person travels much, to make it less pricey, one can use a credit card with no transaction fee.

No foreign transaction fees
No foreign transaction fees

Here is a list of such cards:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred®
  • Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
  • Chase Ink Business PreferredSM Card
  • Capital One Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • Deserve Edu MasterCard for Students

6. Prompt payments

Not all people who don’t pay off the credit card arrears timely are malicious defaulters. Some might just forget.

Not to forget about the payment date and organize properly a credit card routine is very easy. It implies to authorize your bank to make a payment due to the credit cards. It is possible to set only minimal paying back dues or a whole balance.

Banks never forget anything so after this you can be absolutely safe about timely paying back the borrowed amounts.

7. Shopping portals

There are credit cards that have designated area on the site where one can order goods instead of buying them from a regular store. It provides for a cashback (5% or more).

Rapid Rewards Shopping
Rapid Rewards Shopping

So applying for a new credit card, inquire if there are such portals for this very card. This can save costs and accumulate great funds. 

Examples: 

8. Profitable discounts categories

Many owners of credit cards use them thoughtlessly without minding discount categories and very in vain. Cashback cards are an awesome opportunity to save a nice buck.

The categories differ, a cardholder can receive bonuses for purchasing gas, foods, paying in restaurants, and traveling. Not to get lost which card to pay for what, one can mark all of them with corresponding signatures and receive nice cashback from each and every dollar spent.

9. A due dates hack

An average person knows that a credit card has its own payment cycle. But what is suggested can be new for you. Let it be explained in the example. For instance, one’s credit card monthly billing cycle from March can contain the operations from 9th February to 10th March.

It means that if you purchase something, at least, on the 12th of March this transaction will go to the April billing cycle due and you will start to pay for this buying in May.

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10. Cards with annual charge profit

Somehow, in the vast majority, people are scared of cards with annual usage fees and in vain. Some of these cards guarantee an essential profit which is a far way higher than that mentioned yearly fee.

Typically, the most generous propositions are offered for travel credit cards and a person can save a good buck with them. It is only necessary to be attentive and curious about conditions of which cards make this supposed benefit possible.

11. “They want to keep you” hack

For the use of most credit cards one needs to pay a definite commission yearly, it varies for each card issuer. And there is a great way to avoid it. A person can apply to cancel a credit card. A financial institution employee will get in touch to find out the reason (it is not profitable for bankers to close cards – this spoils the statistics).

One can say he/she doesn’t want to pay for the service, and if it were free, they would continue to use a card. Customer-oriented banks will offer free service. Anyway, if a bank will just close the card, then, one can always find one with free service from another card issuer.

12. Pay attention to the current deals

Credit cardholders constantly receive notifications about available programs for their cards. Many people just ignore those emails and this is a very wrong thing to do. One has to be attentive and selective on this matter not to miss the very deal which can be of great use for him.

For example, there is going to be a bonus program including a chain of hotels and you travel a lot, so you can save up on the living. Or a deal including good discounts at the shops you make purchases frequently.

13. NFC technology to ease your everyday routine

If a person has a smartphone which supports NFC technology, they can use it be means of  Apple Pay or Samsung Pay.

Apple Pay Terminal
Apple Pay Terminal

Thus, any payment can be made by phone with one touch. This is safer and more convenient than carrying the credit card with you.

14. Gift cards

Some credit cards provide the opportunity to redeem points that can be converted into actual money on the gift cards. They will help to save up funds, for example, taking part in the loyalty programs like Discover and Chase.

The average rates for such cards are 1 point for 1 cent. Gift cards can be a great present for your friends, for example, or just an awesome way to add some money to the current budget for a cardholder.

15. Travel credit card reward

Those people who travel around quite a lot can obtain hotel credit cards of the chain they prefer to stay the most. This can allow them taking many benefits to it. Those cards have nice programs to suggest.

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IHG Rewards Select Credit Card
IHG Rewards Select Credit Card

For example, with the IHG Rewards Select Credit Card, a person can spend the anniversary night of possessing the card in practically any of the IHG property, including housing with the price up to  $1,000 per night. One can book a room in more than 4,900 hotels.

Ways to Use Credit Cards

This “plastic” has ceased to be just a convenient way to get hold of bank money, although it has not lost its function.

Why else can a credit card come in handy?

  • For saving and earning. If you are well-disciplined concerning money and you do not have a huge debt on the card, you can even earn a little bit on its use. Fortunately, an increasing number of credit “plastic” is now equipped with additional features. So, utility number one is a grace period. It is worth mentioning that it is not “attached” to every credit card, and therefore it makes sense to ask about it the bank who issues you the card. If you have a card with a grace period, this will mean the ability to use money from the card account and not overpay anything to the bank. Of course, subject to certain conditions – the validity period of this same term is limited, and for a “free” loan, you need to have time to return the borrowed money at that time.
  • All kinds of bonuses, points, and cashback. People spend money from a credit card, return it within an interest-free period and … accumulate discounts or even “live” money. Agree, it’s hard to argue with the profitability of the opportunity to buy the right thing at a discount (having accumulated the required number of bonuses) or accumulating a “bonus” for spending bank funds. Yes, the amount of cashback is usually small, but if you handle the card correctly, you can keep it in your net profit.
  • To improve your credit history. If you previously had misunderstandings with creditors, then you already know about their consequences. The more delinquencies a person has, the worse potential lenders will react to him in the future. The answer lies in a document called “credit history”, where banks meticulously contribute all the negative information about their borrowers. It is possible to rectify the situation, but it looks more like a vicious circle – it can be rectified only by exemplary behavior about paying off the debt, but not a single bank lends money. And then a credit card will come to the rescue. Well, of course, if you already have one – but if not, you can turn to some small bank for an instant credit card. Yes, you can’t talk about the profitability of such cards, but your task is not to save. Therefore, you agree to everything that they offer – a small limit, high rates, etc. And begin to use this card regularly. Ideally, if the card is all with the same grace period, then besides the hassle (spent the money – put it back on time), working on a credit reputation will cost you almost nothing. After a year of using such a credit card, you can try to take a small personal loan from the same bank, etc.
  • Credit cards for reservations and online purchases. Sometimes, people open cards even with a zero limit, depositing their own funds to the card account so as not to become a bank debtor. Why such difficulties? For example, online shopping will require a credit card. It doesn’t work with a debit card, mostly, to book a hotel room. The security service of such institutions understands that a debit card, unlike a credit card, does not imply deep verification of its holder. However, it should be noted that the status of a credit card should be no less than “average” – just because of the degree of verification.
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Final Words

Credit cardholders definitely gain benefits out of their possession. At least, those who are well-financially-disciplined and don’t suffer from shopaholism.

However, for sure, there are distinct drawbacks like in any financial product. But, if a person has a sound approach to credit cards and wants to make as much as possible out of them the smart and simple hack described above will come in handy to them, without any doubts.

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Andrei Shilkov

Blog author. I am well versed in Finance and Digital Marketing. I have two bachelors degrees in Finance. Born in Russia, but later moved to the USA, to western Pennsylvania, the city of Pittsburgh. I have a Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO) certificate. I also worked at IRS and Microsoft.

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