How closely do you look at your credit card statements each month?
Do you check them to be sure the charges are accurate? Are you keeping track of the fees and interest you pay? Do you pay the balance every month or do you run a balance on all your cards?
To find out how long it will take to pay off the balance, check the statement. Buying things on sale, only to add them to your credit debt at a high interest rate, does not save you money. In fact, it could cost you a substantial amount of interest charges.
There is some positive news in your statement. It is your Rewards Points program balance. The program offered by your card carrier may be one reason you chose the cards you use.
Some people are very strategic in how they use their cards. They use the card that gives them the most points for the purchase they are making.
A card from a Hotel Brand may offer 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x, or more point multiples for staying at one of their branded hotels.
Some cards offer cash back if you spend a certain amount within the first x days of having the card.
Certain cards will allow you to redeem points for credit on your bill.
Some cards offer a cash back percentage. I have seen between 1% to 5% offered.
Some cards are $0 fee per year and some are hundreds of dollars per year.
The more you pay per year, the more extensive the rewards. Often there is a low or no interest rate introductory period.
Note, if you have a running balance, you will incur interest on the balance remaining at the time the offer ends.
Other offers on the higher yearly fee cards include:
Credit towards obtaining TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry®
Airline miles bonus points after spending a designated amount within the introductory period.
Airline Loyalty Programs:
Delta Sky Miles
JetBlue TrueBlue Points
Southwest Rapid Rewards®
Hotel Loyalty Programs
The benefits of paid cards become more valuable if you can combine points between cards. This works for family members. Check each of your rewards programs to find out how to use this feature for your cards and loyalty programs.
This article written by the Points Guy gives tremendous insight about how many of these programs work, and what you can do to assure that your loved ones can access and use those hard earned points. Some programs may only offer account credit, others will offer transfer if noted in your will. Check it out and see if these ideas work for your situation. https://thepointsguy.com/guide/points-and-miles-after-you-die/
The bottom line is to investigate the loyalty and points programs that are available to you and be sure you are not missing out on using your points or sharing them with your family.
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