How to Maximize the Way You Use Your Visa Credit Card

Using credit cards poorly has the potential to sink you into debt and rack up enormous interest fees. But used correctly and conscientiously, you can reap the many benefits of spending on a credit card while staying debt-free. These tips will help you maximize the benefits of your Visa credit card and any other cards you have in your wallet.

Freebies

To encourage you to sign up, many credit card companies offer freebies once you’ve spent a specified amount on your card. These perks include such benefits as points toward a free flight or vouchers for online shopping. Use your card for normal spending, but to avoid the interest rates, pay it off in full every month.

Extended Warranties

Many credit card companies offer free one-year extended warranties on electronics and other major purchases. Diligent credit cards comparison will ensure you get the best warranty deals available, potentially saving you a great deal of money on product repairs and replacement.

Consumer Protection

Under the Section 75 law, if you spend a minimum of 100 on a product from a company that disappears soon after, your lender is liable for refunding your money if something goes wrong with the product and you are unable to contact the company from which you purchased the item. Use your card to make major purchases, but only if you have the cash up front to pay off the balance in full to avoid paying interest fees that will add up to much more than the product is worth.

Purchase Protection

Many credit cards offer some sort of protection against items purchased on the card that are lost or stolen within a certain amount of time after purchase. Know which of your credit cards offer this protection, and use those cards for purchasing items that are frequently stolen, such as bicycles or personal electronics.

Boost Your Credit Score

If you have less-than-stellar credit, you can use your credit card to vastly improve your credit rating. Spend only what you can afford to pay back each month, especially if you have very poor credit and an easy-to-get credit card, most of which have astronomical interest rates. Pay your balance in full and on time each month and watch your credit score increase.

Make Money with Your Card

If you are debt-free and have a good credit score, you can potentially make extra money from your credit card. Many credit card companies offer 0% interest cards to new customers for a specified period of time. By making all of your purchases on the card and keeping the cash you would have spent in a high-interest savings account, you can rack up a good amount of money while paying only the minimum amount due on the card each month. But beware: if you miss a payment, you could lose the 0 percent interest. Making money off of your credit card is called “stoozing,” and you should only do it if you’re disciplined enough to make your minimum payments on time every month.