When it comes to budgeting, we think of every way to cut corners and reduce any frivolous expenses. What many people do not realize is that credit cards can actually help you reduce your budget.
Can Credit Cards Really Save You Money?
Well, this will only work if you are the sort that pays your bills in full every month. If you do, then there mainly two types of cards that will help you to save money.
The first type of money saving credit cards are cash back credit cards. These cards allow you to earn cash rebates for every dollar you spend on your card. That is literally like earning a small perpetual discount on everything that you buy.
A typical rebate would be 1% for every dollar that you spend on the card. Better cards like the American Express Blue Cash pay 5% cash rebates on gasoline, supermarket and drugstore purchases.
Another good example is the American Express Costco Card which pays 3% on gasoline and restaurant expenses and 2% rebates on travel expenses!
If you use these cards, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars in a year.
What’s the best way to save money with cash back credit cards?
- Always carry a card that pays between 1 and 5% cash back
- Combine coupons, clearance items, and store sales for maximum discounts in-store
- When you shop online always look for discount codes or free shipping codes before checking out.
Combining these tactics with the automatic cash back from your credit card will save you the most amount of money over time.
The best thing about cash back credit cards is that you save money without working at it. Even when you purchase something that is not on sale, you still get an automatic discount. Does it get any better than that?
Airfare Is Expensive:
If you fly frequently you already know how expensive airfare is. The best way to protect your budget and earn rewards at the same time is to do some quick research into airline credit cards.
Airline credit cards offer tons of advantages:
- You will earn miles or points that you can exchange for free flights. This is a great way to save up for a vacation – trade in those miles and spend your vacation money on something happier!
- Some airline cards offer free miles as a sign-up bonus, so you literally start out ahead of the game before you ever use the card.
- If you regularly fly with several different airlines instead of just one, the are cards out there that let you transfer your bonus miles to any airline they are partnered with.
What’s the best way to save money with an airline card?
- Sign on with a credit card that gives you a nice amount of “starting” points or miles.
- Make sure you earn points with the airlines you travel on frequently.
- Shop for the lowest price on the flight you need.
- Use the card to book your tickets, sit back and collect the rewards.
- Pay your bill on time every month so that you avoid interest charges, and enjoy the free flights you earn.
If you are savvy enough, you can use air miles to get all kinds of free airline tickets when you bring your family on vacations. Alternatively, travel rewards credit cards can also help you earn miles to get free airline tickets or hotel stays.
Do You Shop Online? Amazon Doesn’t Always Have The Best Deal!
Another way to save money is to get a credit card that gives you cash rebates for shopping online. For example, the Discover More Card has a program called shopdiscover.com, which has over 100 online retail partners. If you shop online at these stores through shopdiscover.com, you can earn anywhere from 5% to 20% rebates (which is equivalent to getting a 5% to 20% discount).
Never pay high interest rates:
If you are paying a high interest rate on your credit cards, then you could save money on your interest cost (at least for a period of time) by getting a 0% balance transfer credit cards
These cards typically offer a teaser 0% on your APR for any balance that you transfer from another credit card. You do have to be aware that they charge a fee for transferring a balance (typically 3% of the amount transferred). You also have to pay your bills on time to avoid getting your 0% rates jacked up. But, this is one good way to save interest and also to help you to reduce your credit card debt.
So while you are doing and updating your budget, do not forget to look at the credit cards you are carrying. Getting the right card for yourself may actually save you quite a bundle over the course of the year and help in your budgeting efforts.