Using Credit Cards to Increase Shopping Savings and Deals
There are a lot of ways to save money today when it comes to shopping. The internet has fueled our ability to save with online deals, discounts, comparison shopping and coupon codes. In addition to those treasures, credit cards can be a huge help for smart spending too. Credit cards have gotten a bit of a bad rap, but if you learn a little about how they work and how they can help you add to your shopping savings, you can see credit can be your friend.
Benefits of Using Credit Cards
When most people think of credit cards, they think about how they can ‘buy now, pay later’, but credit cards really offer so much more than just delayed payments. MSN Money shares additional reasons why using credit cards can be beneficial.
-Peace of mind: If you’re card is lost or stolen the company will help you recuperate losses.
-Expense tracking: Monthly statements help you monitor how you’re spending your money.
-Consumer protection: If you purchase something through the mail that never arrives, or if what you ordered isn’t what you receive then the credit card company will help take care of it.
-Insurance! It protects your purchase.
-Credit history: Using credit cards responsibly does more to help your credit than not using any at all.
Using credit cards isn’t just about purchasing options. There is so much more with consumer protection and the ability to monitor your spending to make sure you’re keeping in-line with your spending goals.
Paying Off Big Ticket Items
These introductory rates can be a blessing if there’s a big ticket item you want to purchase. USA Today points out that as the economy is showing signs of recovery, credit card companies have more faith in people’s ability to pay their credit card bills. As a result, many creditors are offering low introductory rates for cards allowing you to purchase items and pay them off over a year or more with little or no interest. Tim Chen of NerdWallet states, “The economy is definitely coming back and the credit card industry is definitely making a bet on that.”
Because credit cards allow you the opportunity to acquire an item without having to pay for it right away, you can plan to purchase big ticket items and pay them off in a reasonable amount of time, helping with your budgeting and savings shopping goals. Just take whatever the total price tag is and divide it by the number of months of the introductory rate, and you will have a smart payment plan.
Help Getting Out of Debt
Although credit cards get the reputation for getting people into debt, they can also be a tool to get you out of debt. If you have a number of credit cards with balances, find a 0% credit card and do credit card balance transfers from your former cards to a new one to pay everything off without interest. Some smart credit cards to utilize:
1. Citi Simplicity Card.
2. Discover it.
3. Citi Diamond Preferred.
4. Capital One Platinum Prestige.
5. Slate from Chase.
There are a number of cards with 0% introductory offers, but take the time to do your homework and comparison shop. Each card has its own unique offer and you need to make sure it works with your needs. For instance, in an LA Times article about long-term care insurance, an individual asks about using pre-paid credit cards to help control spending and staying debt free, but the author points out that even these cards have their limitations and issues. Check out NerdWallet and credit card comparison sites to help understand and sort through the offers.
By using credit cards along with coupons and discounts, you can save big with little effort!