The year 2018 is almost over. Before you know it, 2019 will be here. Therefore, there is no better time than the present to plan for your financial future. Even though it might still be the holidays, that won’t matter when your monthly credit card bill arrives in the mail. If you have not budgeted for travel expenses and gift expenses, that credit card bill could be bigger than you expect. When you receive your paper bill or review your online statement, it can be a very scary thing if you haven’t been budgeting throughout the month. All the happiness you felt during the holidays will be lost. On theCreditWiki, the editor of the site has recommended some tips on how to pick the right credit card to satisfy your individual needs this year.
1) Maintain Honesty with Finances
No one likes keeping a budget of their expenses. You’d rather think about your wants instead of your needs.
If you want to save your finances, you need to seriously consider your spending habits. Then you will understand which credit card will be the most beneficial to your credit. Therefore, be honest with yourself about all your financial spending needs and wants. What are the rewards that you want to use? The better you understand the details on your credit report, the better you will be.
Ask yourself these specific questions prior to picking a credit card:
- Do you regularly eat at restaurants or shop for groceries?
- Do you want a 0% interest credit card?
- Do you make your monthly payments on time?
- Would you prefer a credit card with no late payment fee?
- Do you want cash back rewards on your card? Perhaps some airline reward miles or points?
2) Forget About the Advertisements
When you get that attractive advertisement in the mail from a credit card company, don’t fall for their games. Read the fine print of the letter they sent. Don’t bother looking at their introductory offer. There is always a catch that benefits them instead of you. The fine print will inform you of all the real terms which are not clearly advertised in the big font on top. It will explain how their rewards system really works. For instance, if there are rewards points, do they expire each month? This is important to find out.
3) Utilize the Proper Tools
Don’t trust the material they give you. Do your research outside through an independent source. Fortunately, you don’t need to depend on banking websites to find out about credit cards. There are other third-party websites which analyze a group of different cards from multiple issuers and compare their deals.
4) Find Price Protection Offerings
When you’re planning your next major purchase, you’ll want to consider whether the credit card gives you price protection. For instance, if you buy an item with your credit card and it goes on sale within 2 or 3 months afterward, you can actually receive a refund from your credit card issuer for the difference in price. Not all issuers offer this, so you’ll need to research the ones that do.
5) Warranty Savings
Some credit cards come with warranties that will save you a bundle of money.
Usually, when purchasing appliances or major electronics, an extended warranty or some variation will be offered to you during checkout. This can happen online or in-person. These extended warranties are typically a waste of money and unnecessary. Fortunately, some credit card providers will give you automatically extended warranty production if you purchase certain products with their card. And if the item breaks or is stolen soon afterward, the credit card provider will replace it for free. These kinds of protection plans are available with certain issuers. Just be sure to keep your receipts if you have a card like this.
6) Cancellation Insurance for Trips
If you take a lot of trips, like on cruise ships, you know that canceling your trip won’t usually entitle you to a refund on your ticket. Sometimes people get sick and just don’t feel well enough to travel. As a result, they lose out on the money they paid for the trip. The good news is there are certain types of credit cards which will insure these travel dilemmas for you.
There are certain credit cards which offer travel rewards and others that actually provide trip cancellation insurance. The latter will reimburse you for all the expenses that you paid with your credit card for the trip if you suddenly got sick and couldn’t make it. This insurance will cover almost all travel-related expenses, like rental car insurance, lost luggage, and travel accidents. Make sure that the credit card you choose offers the travel coverage that you need. Often, there are certain coverage limits on various expenses. Call the credit card company and have them go over the exact coverage you are receiving from this card. You don’t want to find out the hard way that you don’t have enough coverage for certain expenses.
7) Credit Card w/ Balance Transfer
If it’s the holidays and you spent a lot more money than normal with your credit card, you might want to transfer the balance that you incurred onto a different card.
You won’t find too many major credit card providers that offer balance transfers on their credit cards and no fees too. The best choice at the moment for something like this is Capital One®. When you sign up, you will receive a $200 line of credit once you pay a security deposit of $200, $49, or $99. This will be based on your current credit history. It does not need to be hard to choose the right credit card for your purchasing needs. It just takes a little bit of math and research. If done correctly, you will save so much money in the long-term. When starting a new year, you should make it a goal of yours to be debt free for as long as possible.