Do you find yourself spending more ever since you got a credit card? What if we suggested the exact opposite, that you could save more with your credit card instead!
Yes, that’s entirely possible if you use your credit card more judiciously from here on. We’ve shortlisted four simple ways your credit card can turn your ally and save you more money.
Have a mix of credit cards that work for you
It isn’t a bad idea to have more than one credit card in your wallet, especially if you’ve carefully chosen a mix that maximizes your reward-earning potential. For example, you could have an air miles credit card to earn miles on your favorite airline, one that earns you extra cash back at your go-to supermarket, and another one that gets you access to a bunch of free lifestyle perks.
[Related: 5 ways credit cards can save you money]
Cheap movie tickets, free golf… Use the perks
Did you know you could get movie tickets at half the original price with a bunch of credit cards in the UAE? Or enjoy complimentary rounds of golf, free valet parking, free roadside assistance, free travel insurance and more with many others? If you have the perks, make the most of them and you can enjoy significant savings all year round.
Look out for sign up bonuses
We know how long it takes to earn enough loyalty reward points, to actually get to use them. So if there’s a shortcut available, why not take it? If you’re looking for a new credit card, try to find one that offers a sign-up bonus. These bonuses usually come in the form of lump sum reward points or air miles, and are usually subject to a minimum spend criteria for the first few months.
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Take advantage of 0% balance transfer
Various credit card providers run introductory offers that allow you to transfer your current outstanding credit card balance to a new credit card at zero percent interest for a limited period. This interest-free period usually ranges from three to six months, with some banks offering longer tenures of up to 12 months. You will most likely have to pay a one-time processing fee of around 2-3 percent of the amount transferred.
This is a great solution for those who’ve racked up considerable debt on their existing credit cards. If you manage to transfer your debt to such a credit card and pay it off within the interest free period, you can save hundreds, even thousands, in interest charges.
…But there’s one condition: Pay your bills on time
To reap all the benefits of credit cards listed above, you have to pay your outstanding bills in full, on time, every time. Making only the 5 percent minimum payment could land you in debt that multiplies at breakneck speed, thanks to the hefty interest rates on credit cards in the UAE.
And then there is the late payment fee to worry about too. If you miss repayments altogether, you would have to shell out anywhere between AED 200-300 in late payment charges every month. This will only further aggravate your debt situation.
In fact, if you’re considering the balance transfer option to take advantage of promotional rates starting at 0%, be aware that these rates only apply as long as you make at least the minimum payment every month during the duration of the promotional period.