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5 Ways to Enjoy Credit Card Benefits and Keep More of Your Money

If you’re worried about the recent interest rate hikes and soaring inflation, now is the time to evaluate your expenses and get a head start on reducing your high-interest debt payments. The easiest place to start is your credit card.

Have you noticed more credit card advertisements in the mail lately? It’s because Americans have racked up a significant amount of credit card debt since April due to inflation, and credit card companies are jumping on the opportunity to earn more.

According to a recent write-up in The Washington Post, credit card balances increased by $46 billion in the second quarter of 2022 from the previous year. New credit card accounts jumped 13 percent, making it the most significant jump in more than 20 years.

So, how does this affect you? If you’re currently carrying a balance on your credit card, now is the time to consider a balance transfer offering a low Annual Percentage Rate (APR) that you can count on to cut unnecessary high-interest expenses.

Here’s a list of the features you’ll want to look for as you explore credit cards:

Low APR

Look for a low rate APR, so you keep more of your money by never overpaying on high-interest rates. Even a one percent difference can save you hundreds of dollars throughout the year.

No Balance Transfer Fee

You can quickly and easily consolidate and simplify your payments from other high-interest credit cards by transferring your balances to a low-interest credit card. Before you do, ensure there’s no balance transfer fee. This is another way for a credit card company to make money on your debt.

No Annual Fee

Don’t waste money on additional fees for just having access to a credit card. Instead, use your money where it counts for purchases.

No Penalty APR

You’re human, and mistakes happen. Find a credit card issuer that won’t penalize you long-term by raising your APR because of late payment. You might have to make a one-time late fee payment or pay the minimum balance, but you’ll be able to get back on track quickly.

Free Card Benefits

Look for a credit card that offers rewards points or cash back on purchases you already make every day. Some cards may also come with car rental, travel, cell phone, or credit fraud coverage at no extra cost to the cardholder. Beware, some credit card companies will offer “free” perks but charge an annual fee. Many credit unions offer excellent credit card perks without fees or additional costs.

Finding a low-rate credit card with banks might be challenging because they’re in the business of earning money from their customers. However, credit unions are comprised of members where profits are returned to the membership in many ways, including low-interest credit card accounts that help you keep more of your money.