- Pay Your Bill Off Every Month
As a credit card guru who has not only reviewed dozens of cards on the market but also owns a suite of cards, I always recommend paying your monthly bill in full. From a spending perspective, it’s understandably tempting to spend carelessly because credit cards can feel like free money. However, that’s not the case. Interest charges can accumulate on unpaid balances quickly, sending you spiraling off into a debt trap that will add to the $1.08 trillion in credit card debt throughout the United States.
- Set a Budget & Spend Less Than 30% of Your Limit
Don’t get me wrong, owning a credit card with a large credit limit can entice you to live beyond your means. However, spending what you can’t afford is an easy way to get yourself into financial trouble. Instead, set a budget you can afford to repay and aim to spend less than 30% of your credit limit. Doing so will not only keep your statement manageable but also help improve your credit score by maintaining a low credit utilization ratio.
- Take Advantage of Credit Card Rewards
While credit cards can help you access funds you might not have in the bank, they’re also a handy way to earn rewards on everyday transactions. Most cards offer reward structures that incentivize you to use your card, which 79% of cardholders say is the most attractive feature on their favorite cards. Depending on the card, you can earn up to 5%, sometimes even more, on purchases like groceries, gas, US streaming services, and travel expenses.
- Use Interest-free Financing Offers to Your Advantage
Not only do credit cards allow you to access additional capital and earn rewards, but some even entice you with introductory interest-free financing, or 0% annual percentage rate (APR) offers that can reduce the blow to your debt. This means you can float your balances from one billing cycle to another without being charged interest during the introductory period. These 0% APR offers apply to purchases or balance transfers, or both, and can last for up to 21 months.