How to Turn your Credit Cards Into a Powerful Wealth Tool?

By: LeeMen Cheong

A lot of us know that credit card use may lead you to bankruptcy, but how to turn this wealth destroyer into a wealth tool is something worth investing time and effort to learn and practice. So you can leverage on this plastic card and turn it into a wealth tool.

Here are some powerful tips to turn this little plastic a powerful wealth tool for you:

1. Choose Your Best Credit Card

Not all credit cards are created equal. There is a particular credit card that will suit your needs. So when you apply for credit card(s), make sure you ask for their features such as the interest rate (APR), annual fee and reward system. So you can fully make good use of their benefits and avoid the penalty.

Getting a credit card will provide you the particular features with rewards, services, redeemed points and interest rates that will suit your needs. For instance, if you want convenient shopping but can't afford to go the extra mile in shopping expenses, it is best to get a credit card that can offer you with reasonable credit limits.

In this way, you will not be tempted to max out your card and accumulate debts you simply can't afford to pay.

Some credits cards offer you automatic installment plan, so whenever you make a purchase over a certain amount, then the credit card institution will bill you by installment, with 0% interest. Hence, you do not have to pay it in lump sum, so you can use this type of credit card when you need an interest free installment plan for some purchase.

2. Go For The Lowest Interest Rate

If you think you can't pay your credit card bills on time but are willing to pay your balances in another period, it is best to get a credit card with lower interest rates.

Consumers may not be aware of this, but one of the reasons why debts are getting higher is based on the interest rates. The actual balances are made worse through interest rate charges.

3. Choose The Reward Credit Cards That Suits Your Lifestyle

Each purchase you make on your credit card(s) will earn you bonus point, which you can use to redeem free product and services like extra-miles, retails and dining vouchers, saving you even more money.

Don't get a credit card just because it can provide you with several rewards. Not all rewards are worth your time and money. For instance, a flyer's rewards credit card may not be functional if you aren't a frequent traveler. But if you are, getting a flyer's reward credit card can give you discounts as well as points that can be converted into tickets. This will be savings considering the prices of airline tickets nowadays.

Recently I found that the credit card institutions have raised their required redeemed points for gift. In other words, credit card users are expected to spend more before they can get the gifts. So decide wisely before you redeem your points!

4. Free Money Management Tool

At the end of each month, the credit card company will send you a total amount you swipe for the month, that make you easy to track you total expenditure, and it becomes a free money management tool for you.

5. Pay Off Your Full Outstanding Balances
Monthly

This is a very important rule, if you fail to obey, your failure may lead you to bankruptcy. Never let your balances stay on your credit card bill statements for long and it may create a snowball effect on your debt. This means that if you have accrued balances for the month, pay them immediately.

Before you swipe your card, the first question you need to ask is "can I pay this off when the next bill come? " If your answer is yes, go ahead and swipe it, ask if you can enjoy any interest free automatic installment plan from any credit card(s) you have. If yes, you may go ahead and use the card, if not, perhaps you can call the bank and ask for it, so you can enjoy a 12 month or even 24 month interest free installment plan, without paying any extra money!

If your credit card(s) do not offer such plan, negotiate with the merchant for an easy payment scheme through credit card.

6. Be Wary On Cash Advances

If it isn't an emergency, never take cash advances on your credit card. Financial experts say that cash advances reap higher interest rates immediately and have no grace period at all compared to the ones that you have on your credit card purchases, which is, by nature, soaring as well. In fact, a financial expert told me every time she receive the checks for cash advances, she just tear them off immediately, so she would not even think of using the cash advances facilities.

7. Ask for a lower rate

If you have been an obedient customer and pay your bill on time, it wouldn't hurt you to call your bank or your credit card issuer and ask for a lower rate.

Surveys show that nearly 55% of those who participated in the survey were reported to have trimmed down their interest rates simply by requesting their bank or their credit card companies to act accordingly.

With lower interest rates, you can definitely save more especially if you are the type of credit card holder who doesn't get to pay the balances on time.

All of these things are catered to help you cut back your expenses and save more on your credit cards. These things have been proven effective. It is now up to you if you will heed this advice or not.

Just remember, your actions will always tell you the kind of life you want to live, so better make good choices and start saving now.

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