Chris Bridges, Founder and CEO VITAL Card Inc.,
If you are new to the credit card game, you may not realize the best ways to use your credit cards. Some choices could lead you to pay more in interest rates, late fees, etc. Informed choices can earn you points, and cash for credit card use.
Even if you are a skilled or experienced credit card holder, there may be more tips and tricks you could be utilizing to help earn a higher credit score and more.
Take a look at these five expert ways you can avoid paying credit card interest.
The best part is that you still get to use your lines of credit while avoiding excess fees.
Take a look at these smart practices to learn how to earn more today.
The Perks of Having a Credit Card
When newbies hear about the potential dangers of having a credit card, they may be apt to avoid getting them altogether.
However, they shouldn’t be something to be feared, but rather something you can utilize and work in your favor.
Having a credit card can offer you the ability to pay for big items — this is true if you do or don’t have the cash flow.
Not everyone keeps their funds at the ready, while a credit card allows you to spend them now and have the ability to move funds later.
You can also purchase necessary items even when you don’t have the cash. Life’s little emergencies tend to come on when we least expect them.
5 Tips for Avoiding Credit Card Interest
Credit cards can help raise your credit score, teach you responsible money habits, earn you rewards points or dollars, and more.
However, it’s also important to know how to use them correctly.
1. Pay Off Your Credit Card Each Month
One sure-fire way to avoid paying any credit card fees is to pay off each month’s entire balance. In fact, many people do this in order to earn rewards on their regular purchases.
Whether you use the card for additional purchases or those that you would have made anyway (such as grocery store visits, utilities, etc.), paying off the balance will avoid any additional fees.
Interest is due on the leftover funds if you pay a minimum amount. If you pay the bill in full, no interest fees will be added to your account.
In addition, a late payment could come with its own fees, so be sure to make your payment on time.
This is one of the best ways to use a credit card, all while still earning points or funds as a reward along the way.
2. Utilize Zero-Interest Periods
If funds are tight, or if you need to juggle some bills for a few months, there’s an easy way to do this with a new credit card.
Utilize your zero-interest period to help you get things under control. A zero-interest period is an introductory period where your credit card company does not charge interest to new accounts.
It’s often a perk or incentive for new credit card users.
Not all cards issue a zero-interest period. Be sure to check the fine print before you sign up. You should also be aware of when the interest does kick in, so you aren’t met with any surprise fees.
Consider utilizing zero-interest periods on your credit card if you need a way to catch up on expenses or have a big purchase coming up.
3. Don’t Spend More Than You Can Afford
Another way to avoid interest on credit cards is to simply not overspend. Keep your expenses in check, and you can easily pay off the balance.
This is a simple fix, but one that’s often hard to achieve, especially for those who are quick to spend.
You can do this with self-control, keeping your card at home when you go out, or by actually turning your card off so it won’t work.
Sure, you’re the one to turn it back on, but this additional step can give you more time to decide if you’re making a smart purchase or not.
4. Utilize Credit Card Rewards
Another way to avoid paying interest is to utilize those credit card rewards that are so highly sought after.
Every card is different, so pay attention to your card’s particulars and what you’re earning along the way.
Cash back bonuses and other perks
Some credit cards offer cash-back bonuses on every purchase you make. In turn, you can use these dollars to help pay off your credit card balance.
Put it back on the account, or transfer it to your bank account for a quick way to pad your account.
Even if it’s not much, it’s a bonus, earning just for spending money you were already going to spend.
Other cards will provide bonuses like gift cards or travel dollars — you can utilize these for purchases rather than spending out of pocket.
No matter how you look at it, it all evens out to monetary value that can be used in additional locations.
However, remember to pay attention to how much you get back — rewards are far less than any charged interest, so it’s still best to pay off your card as soon as you’re able.
5. Pay Bi-Weekly If Needed
Does a single, big bill at the end of the month seem daunting for you as a new credit card user? The simple solution is to pay more often. Pay a little at a time to help get the balance paid off in full.
Why does bi-weekly payment work?
You can pay twice a month or even once a week — this is especially helpful to line up your payments with your own income. If you get paid once a week, take a portion of that check and put it toward your credit card balance.
This is especially true for those who use their credit card for everyday expenses. You may trick yourself into thinking you have more funds than you do. This could lead to accidental overspending.
This doesn’t have to be a permanent arrangement but can help you get acquainted with using your credit card in the future.
BONUS PRO TIP: Pay More Than the Minimum
During those times when you simply can’t pay your credit card balance off in full, pay more than the minimum amount. Pay as much as you can afford to at the time.
Remember that interest is charged on whatever is left, so the smaller the balance, the less you will be charged in addition to your existing amount.
There are times when you simply can’t keep up with bills. Don’t let it get you down. Instead, pay the minimum balance due to help keep your finances under control.
However, it’s also important to remember that this should be an intermittent fix, not a regular spending state.
If you regularly owe on your credit cards, it’s time to reevaluate your spending habits. Work towards a more attainable budget.
Final Tips To Avoid Credit Card Interest
Many perks can come from using a credit card. People utilize the great benefits that they can earn from credit card use.
By staying ahead of the game and using your lines of credit in a way that’s smart and effective, you can advance yourself and your family from a financial setting.
However, in order to use credit cards for their benefits, it’s best to avoid interest or late fees.
These are additional payments due on top of purchases you’ve already made—and they are the biggest downsides to owning a credit card, in addition to dropping your credit score.
Therefore, paying only on your original purchases is the best way to go. In addition, this move can help you improve your credit score and earn points on your credit card usage rather than lose them.
Smartly utilizing credit cards can be harnessed for good. Simply make smart financial decisions with them for the best possible outcome.
Consider these proven tips on how you can avoid paying additional credit card fees when you open your account.
Follow VITAL for more credit card spending tips.
“Balance Transfer Cards Are a Useful Tool…,” Next Advisor, Time Magazine
“How Many Credit Cards Should You Have?,” Robb Report
“6 Credit Card Tips For Smart Users,” Nationwide