Make Your Credit Card Work For YOU

Nobody in their right mind likes the idea of being in debt. Owing someone anything is never a good feeling. I have always been a person who was against credit cards. But I recently found out a way to optimize the most out of my credit card to benefit me. 

Do your research
Nerdwallet.com is a great site that I recommend to look into credit cards that fit your needs best. For me, it was travel and cash back.  I chose a card that gave me points/per dollar spent and that granted me bonus points for monies spent on travel and dining. Again, the needs vary from person to person. The points with this certain card can be used to book more trips at discounted prices that include trip insurance! Also, make sure you look for the annual bonuses. For my card, if I spent $4000.00 in the first 3 months, I was granted $500 bonus money/ 50,000 points. Which I most likely will use to book my big trip in June. There are some cards that will give you points to use at certain hotels and airlines. For me, it wasn’t the best option to limit myself to one hotel brand/airline because I try to look for the best flight fare at the time of travel. But if you, let’s say, use Marriot often, then it would be a great idea to look into a Marriot rewards card. You might as well get points for the companies you already use so you can earn free nights/discounted rooms.

Do not spend the money you do not have
I find that most people who get stuck in credit card debt are the ones who think their credit card limit is “free money.” Remember, you are borrowing a bank’s money. It will never be your money. For every transaction I use my credit card for, I transfer money into the card from my checking account. Depending on the rate you spend/use your card, you might want to set an automatic payment withdrawal. There is some leisure with spending more money than you normally do because you can put it on your credit card. Of course, it comes with payments. Please do not get carried away with this! Do not give the banks more money than they are already making off of us! 

Maintain your credit score
The ugly reality is that this economic world is not friendly for us millennials. Most of us have school debt and the ratio from debt to income won’t favor us. For a while, my credit was very scarce. I personally do not have a large amount of school debt, fortunately. I use creditkarma.com to keep track of an idea of my credit score. I found that it does not give me my real credit score, but something very close. The site also has a list of your open/closed accounts and the inquires you’ve had. I check my score at least once a week. 

The best time your credit score is the highest
You’ll eventually get the hang of maintaining your credit score and you’ll see what times your credit score is the highest. Your credit score can change in a matter of a week after you have paid off your credit cards. One factor that falls into your score is how much you use your credit cards. Let’s say you have a credit limit of $500 on the one card you have. If you have just made a payment on it and now have a balance of $30 on your $500 card, you have used %6 of your credit limit. The lower, the better your score at that time. This is a good time to get percentage rates for a car loan, for example. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me via ask or email; TammyKayL@yahoo.com

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