Advertising
Advertising

6 All-Time Favourite Credit Card Hacks

6 All-Time Favourite Credit Card Hacks

Whether you’re looking for free travel, low rates or awesome benefits, there’s a credit card hack for you. However, with so many credit cards tips and tricks to choose from, we wanted to zero in on the 6 with the biggest impact.

With increasing competition, credit card companies are constantly improving their credit card offers to attract new customers. Don’t hesitate to exploit their offerings to your advantage. Go with the card that gives you the most.

With that said, here are our 6 all-time favorite credit card hacks:

Advertising

1. Fly-Free Sign-Up Bonus Churning

Credit card companies offer more value to lure you in the door, than at any other time. Take advantage. Why spend $40,000 on your credit card to earn 40,000 points, when you can earn 40,000 points simply for applying for a new one?

In fact, we recommend churning as many credit cards as you can, to earn the most amount of points in the shortest period of time. Churning is simply the practice of opening a new credit card, qualifying for the welcome bonus, using the points, canceling the card and doing the same process over and over again.

2. 0% Balance Surfing

Paying interest on your credit cards is a choice. With a little effort, you can easily find a promotional 0% interest rate for 12 months or more!

Advertising

If you currently have high-interest credit card debt, find a balance transfer credit card with a 0% rate. Then transfer your high-interest credit card debt to your low-interest balance transfer card. Before the expiry of your 0% promotional rate, find another credit card offer with a 0% rate and do the same thing all over again. Surfing from one low rate to another is a time-tested hack.

3. Annual Companion Airfare Vouchers

Imagine if you could use your welcome bonus points to fly free, and then use a companion voucher to fly your spouse on the exact same itinerary as you, for $120!

Some cards offer an annual flight companion voucher, just for keeping your card open. Every year you keep your card, you get a voucher, mo minimum spend required. You can then use the voucher, usually for around $120, to fly your companion round-trip to anywhere in North America, saving you hundreds of dollars in airfare.

Advertising

4. Free Baggage

Ten years ago, we never thought about our bags. Now airlines are charging us every which way but Sunday in an endless stream of add-on pricing. Bags are no exception, costing us as much as $35 each way to check-in our bags. If you have a family of four, you could easily spend $280 ($140 each way) on baggage fees alone each trip!

Many credit cards now offer free first checked bags. However, some even offer free checked bags for the primary cardholder and up to 8 traveling companions. Just make sure that when you see a credit card offer free checked bags, you understand whether it’s on any of the airline’s flights, or only on those you redeemed miles for.

5. Cheap Foreign Exchange

Foreign exchange can be really expensive when traveling out of the country. Exchanging your money at an airport, hotel or touristy currency exchange booth is out of the question – it can easily cost you upwards of 10%.

Advertising

Credit cards can actually offer some of the most competitive exchange rates available. If you get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees, you’ll typically pay less than 1% to exchange your money – a lot better than what you’ll get from your bank if you exchanged your money in the branch.

6. Never Be Late Again

Late payments not only ruin your credit score, they can cost you $30 or more each and every time. Even though most of us have the money to pay our credit cards on time, many of us are late simply because we’re forgetful. Here’s a tip to guarantee on-time payments.

Simply pre-authorize payments to your credit card from your bank. You can choose to automatically pay your minimum payment due, or the entire balance. Obviously, we would recommend you choose to pay your entire balance, to avoid accumulating any debt whatsoever.

More by this author

Marc Felgar

Marc Felgar is an aging, health & senior care expert focused on improving the lives of mature adults.

The Best Way to Sleep to Relieve the 7 Most Common Ailments How to Help Nausea Go Away Fast with These 5 Fixes 7 Natural Memory Boosters That Actually Work for All Ages The Common Causes of Sleep Problems (And How to Fix Them Fast) Getting Fit Over 40: The 7 Best Workout Routines for Beginners

Trending in Money

1 The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind 2 How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements? 3 How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money 4 The Definitive Guide to Get Out of Debt Fast (And Forever) 5 35 Real Ways to Actually Make Money Online

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Published on November 20, 2018

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The Best Ways to Save Money Even Impulsive Spenders Can Get Behind

The truth is, there are many “money saving guides” online, but most don’t cover the root issue for not saving.

Once I’d discovered a few key factors that allowed me to save 10k in one year, I realized why most articles couldn’t help me. The problem is that even with the right strategies you can still fail to save money. You need to have the right systems in place and the right mindset.

In this guide, I’ll cover the best ways to save money — practical yet powerful steps you can take to start saving more. It won’t be easy but with hard work, I’m confident you’ll be able to save more money–even if you’re an impulsive spender.

Why Your Past Prevents You from Saving Money

Are you constantly thinking about your financial mistakes?

If so, these thoughts are holding you back from saving.

I get it, you wish you could go back in time to avoid your financial downfalls. But dwelling over your past will only rob you from your future. Instead, reflect on your mistakes and ask yourself what lessons you can learn from them.

It wasn’t easy for me to accept that I had accumulated thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Once I did, I started heading in the right direction. Embrace your past failures and use them as an opportunity to set new financial goals.

For example, after accepting that you’re thousands of dollars in debt create a plan to be debt free in a year or two. This way when you’ll be at peace even when you get negative thoughts about your finances. Now you can focus more time on saving and less on your past financial mistakes.

Advertising

How to Effortlessly Track Your Spending

Stop manually tracking your spending.

Leverage powerful analytic tools such as Personal Capital and these money management apps to do the work for you. This tool has worked for me and has kept me motivated to why I’m saving in the first place. Once you login to your Personal Capital dashboard, you’re able to view your net worth.

When I’d first signed up with Personal Capital, I had a negative net worth, but this motivated me to save more. With this tool, you can also view your spending patterns, expenses, and how much money you’re saving.

Use your net worth as your north star to saving more. Whenever you experience financial setbacks, view how far you’ve come along. Saving money is only half the battle, being consistent is the other half.

The Truth on Why You Keep Failing

Saving money isn’t sexy. If it was, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?

Some people are natural savers, but most are impulsive spenders. Instead of denying that you’re an impulsive spender, embrace it.

Don’t try to save 60 to 70% of your income if this means you’ll live a miserable life. Saving money isn’t a race but a marathon. You’re saving for retirement and for large purchases.

If you’re currently having a hard time saving, start spending more money on nice things. This may sound counterintuitive but hear me out. Wouldn’t it be better to save $200 each month for 12 months instead of $500 for 3 months?

Advertising

Most people run into trouble because they create budgets that set them up for failure. This system won’t work for those who are frugal, but chances are they don’t need help saving. This system is for those who can’t save money and need to be rewarded for their hard work.

Only because you’re buying nice things doesn’t mean that you’ll save less. Here are some rules you should have in place:

  1. Save more than 50% of your available money (after expenses)
  2. Only buy nice things after saving
  3. Automate your savings with automatic bank transfers

These are the same rules that helped me save thousands each year while buying the latest iPhone. Focus only on items that are important to you. Remember, you can afford anything but not everything.

How to Foolproof Yourself out of Debt

Personal finance is a game. On one end, you’re earning money; and on the to other, you’re saving. But what ends up counting in the end isn’t how much you earn but how much you save. Research shows that about 60% of Americans spend more than they save.[1]

So how can you separate yourself from the 60%?

By not accumulating more debt. This way you’ll have more money to save and avoid having more financial obligations. A great way to stop accumulating debt is using cash to pay for all your transactions.

This will be challenging, depending on how reliant you are with your credit card, but it’s worth the effort. Not only will you stop accruing debt, but you’ll also be more conscious with what you buy.

For example, you’ll think twice about purchasing a new $200 headphone despite having the cash to buy them. According to a poll conducted by The CreditCards.com, 5 out of 6 Americans are impulsive spenders.[2]

Advertising

Telling yourself that you’ll have the discipline to not buy things won’t cut it. This is equal to having junk food in your fridge while trying to eat healthy–it’s only a matter of time before you slip. By using cash to make your purchases, you’ll spend less and save more.

A Proven Formula to Skyrocket Your Savings

Having proven systems in place to help you save more is important, but they’re not the best way to save money.

You can search for dozens of ways to save money, but there’ll always be a limit. Instead of spending the majority of your effort saving, look for ways to increase your income. The truth is that once you have the right systems in place, saving is easy.

What’s challenging is earning more money. There are many routes you can take to achieve this. For example, you can work long and hard at your current job to earn a raise. But there’s one problem–you’re depending on someone else to give you a raise.

Your company will have to have the budget, and you’ll have to know how to toot your own horn to get this raise. This isn’t to say that earning a raise is impossible, but things are better when you’re in control right? That’s why building a side-hustle is the best way to increase your income.

Think of your side-hustle as a part-time job doing something you enjoy. You can sell items on eBay for a profit, or design websites for small businesses. Building a side-hustle will be on the hardest things you’ll do, be too stubborn to quit.

During the early stages, you won’t be making money and that’s okay. Since you already have a source of income, you won’t be dependent on your side-hustle to pay for your expenses. Depending on how much time you invest in your side-hustle, it can one day replace your current income.

Whatever route you take, focus more on earning and save as much as possible. You have more control than you give yourself credit for.

Advertising

Transform Yourself into a Saving Money Machine

Saving money isn’t complicated but it’s one of the hardest things you’ll do.

By learning from your mistakes and rewarding yourself after saving you’ll save more. What would you do with an extra $200 or $500 each month? To some, this is life-changing money that can improve the quality of their lives.

The truth is saving money is an art. Save too much and you’ll quit, but save too little and you’ll pay for the consequences in the future. Saving money takes effort and having the right systems in place.

Imagine if you’d started saving an extra $100 this next month? Or, saved $20K in one year? Although it’s hard to imagine, this can be your reality if you follow the principles covered in this guide.

Take a moment to brainstorm which goals you’d be able to reach if you had extra money each month. Use these goals as motivation to help you stay on track on your journey to saving more. If I was able to save thousands of dollars with little guidance, imagine what you’ll be able to do.

What are you waiting for? Go and start saving money, the sky is your limit.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next