Category: Credit Card

How to save with your credit card during the holidays

During 2015, 3 out of every 4 trips (73%) that the Spaniards made were paid with cards, according to the Brain Trust Tourist Barometer, specifically 42% of these payments were made by credit card. This method of payment is a favorite since it allows the possibility of dividing expenses between several months and not having to pay everything in one time. However, it is important to calculate the costs of deferring expenses so as not to end up paying too much.

 

The term, your ally to not overpay

The term, your ally to not overpay

If you decide to defer summer payments by several monthly installments, you must calculate how much you will pay in interest. The key to saving by splitting expenses is to choose a higher monthly fee and shorten the repayment term as much as possible, always within our economic possibilities. Thus the interest generated will be lower.

For example, if we make a purchase of $ 1,000 with our card, with an average interest of 25%, and decide to post it in 3 monthly installments, $ 42 in interest would be generated. If for the same expense we decide to defer the payment in 5 months, the interest generated would be $ 63 and when reimbursed in 10 months would amount to $ 118.

Choosing a short term will not only help you pay as little as possible in interest, but it will also serve as a way of not over-spending. and not over-borrowing.

 

The 3 keys to saving with cards abroad

The 3 keys to saving with cards abroad

In addition to knowing how to divide the expenses you make, there are also some factors that will help us make the most of our credit cards:

1. Use discounts and promotions: returns of up to 5% on all purchases, redeemable points for gifts, discounts at gas stations, … The possibilities are almost endless. Depending on your behavior as a consumer you must choose a card or another to get the most out of it. For example, if you plan to make a trip by car, looking for plastics with discounts at gas stations will help you save. Do not be afraid to request a new card at another entity if you can get a promotion that benefits you.

2. Be aware of commissions outside of Spain: Using credit cards outside the national network is not always cheap. The commission for the disposition of cash on credit, that of the bank of the country where we are, for currency exchange or for purchases outside the Euro Zone are some of the most common costs when using the cards. In these cases it is better to use a debit card that does not have any of these commissions and that, in addition, will allow you to have greater control over the expense.

3. Don’t forget about insurance: virtually all credit cards include free insurance included. The most common are travel coverage that usually covers flight cancellations, lost luggage or accidents outside of Spain. Knowing the coverage we have and having the insurer’s contact information at hand can save us a few headaches.

Although the cards allow you to get extra capital to enjoy your vacation, it is advisable to always make a detailed budget and keep expenses in check to avoid discomfort when you return.

No, credit cards are not bad

The fact that we were staying in an all-inclusive resort also meant that I didn’t have to budget meals either, an additional advantage. The only expenses that remain to be considered are round trip transportation to the resort and money to get tips. Once she took care of that, I looked forward to a week of fun, mojitos and beach time with my best friend.

When the bad weather attacks

When the bad weather attacks

So we left and we didn’t look back. Unfortunately, we did not realize that a giant storm of snow and ice moved right after we left, burying places like Charlotte, North Carolina, the city we were supposed to return to. But we were not worried. Hell, we were having too much fun to worry about the world’s problems. That was, of course, until it was time to leave and we got on the computer to verify our flight.

Cancelled.

What’s even worse is that the same flight was also canceled the next day. And after calling the airline and discovering that all flights were complete or canceled during the next two days, we did what we had to do. We put the money in cash for two more nights at the resort for a sum of $ 520, which was much more than what we paid to start. 

Although it was a bit demoralizing to spend more than planned, I secretly hoped that they would reimburse me for those expenses. How do you ask? I was pretty sure that the Chase Ink Bold card I used to pay for our flights offered free travel insurance as a benefit of owning the card. Then, when I got home, I immediately called Chase and asked him. Then they sent me a claim form that I filled out and mailed along with all the requested documentation. The verdict: they sent me a check for $ 582, completely covering our two additional hotel stays and lunch and dinner on the way home.

The advantages of paying with credit

The advantages of paying with credit

Travel insurance is just one of the often ignored advantages of paying with credit. Some other advantages that are rarely mentioned include things like price guarantees, return protection, free extended warranties, protection against theft, breakage and loss, and roadside assistance. Another big one: protection against fraud. I wrote about being a victim of a scam in motion at the end of last year, and one thing I couldn’t mention at the time (because it hadn’t happened yet) was that the same fraud protection coverage of the Chase card returned the total amount when They charged me more. This left the company and the bank to solve it among them, which was a great relief for me at that time.

Of course, some of the biggest benefits of using credit come in the form of points and miles, something I often talk about as editor of Frugal Travel Guy. It is true that when the credit is used in the right way, it can become a powerful tool to obtain advantages such as national and international travel, gift cards and cash back. But to get there, you have to make the credit work for you and stop making it work against you. This requires a certain level of discipline, but the benefits cannot be underestimated. Just ask anyone who has traveled the world for pennies. They will tell you.

No, credit cards are not bad

No, credit cards are not bad

The use of credit cards is such a controversial issue, and for good reasons. Ask any indebted person and they will tell you how easy it is to load a card without even realizing it or going through a difficult time and resorting to the use of credit for daily expenses. When almost everyone you know has had some kind of problem with an ungovernable credit card debt, it is easy to assume that credit cards are the culprits that should be avoided at all costs. Personal finance gurus like Dave Ramsey perpetuate this belief by making general claims about the use of credit, like this one:

“The responsible use of a credit card does not exist. There is no positive side to using the credit card. You will spend more if you use credit cards. ”

-Dave Ramsey

Although I don’t think that’s true in my personal experience, I think it’s good advice for people who have had problems in the past. But I don’t think the same rules apply to all of us. Obviously, many people use credit responsibly, and do so without damaging the credit or their wallet. How? They make credit work for them.

Become the teacher of your credit card

Become the teacher of your credit card

Fact: Credit cards are not intrinsically good or bad. They are a tool, and it is up to you to decide to master their use for your benefit or to let the credit card debt become your teacher. Your choice, but I personally would choose the first. If you want to get all the benefits of using credit without all the headaches, here are some tips that can help:

  • Use your statement as a budget tool: the fact that you are using a credit can help your monthly budget if you play your cards well. Start by registering to get an account online, then use your statement to track your expenses in individual categories.
  • Avoid credit card rates: in order to get the most benefit possible, it is important to avoid paying unnecessary and expensive fees related to your card. This means paying on time to avoid late payment charges and making sure to weigh the pros and cons of any annual fees you are asked to pay.
  • Never pay interest: no matter what you do, do not pay interest. Be sure to put only your regular expenses on your card and pay them before they are due each month. Remember, paying in cash hurts, and it should hurt. The same rule should apply to the charges you credit.
  • Do not chase points and miles: the fact that you are earning cash or miles for your purchases is a good thing, but do not use it as an excuse to spend in excess. Points and miles should be a benefit of card ownership, but it is not beneficial to buy things that you would not otherwise have bought. Remember, you want to be the master of your credit card, not vice versa, right?