Determine Your Credit Card Style
Life styles are what make people unique. The way we wear our hair, the type of clothing and fashion we prefer, and the selection of decorations within our homes all makes up an individual’s style. The type of credit card we choose, and how we use it is also part of our individual “financial style”.
As people grow from children to adults, they often are seen imitating what they see their parents and close circle of friends doing. Just walk through the halls of any middle school, and listen to how certain groups talk and look- it’s almost as if they have their own mini-cultures! Children often learn how to handle (or not) their finances by watching their parents or caretakers’ deal with finances. If the parents spend money like water, the children will probably grow to do the same. On the other hand, if the parents were careful with their finances, paid every bill on time, discussed money matters with the children, then chances are- the children will become adults who have very few credit cards and do not carry a revolving balance from one month to the next.
Regardless of your personal credit card style and habits, it never hurts to be reminded of the most affordable way to use your credit cards. It is most financially efficient to pay your credit card accounts in full at the end of each month, and there should be little to no balance carried from one month to the next. Of course, most people don’t have that sort of credit card style- as evident by the number of people who have several thousand dollars racked up on a few different cards!
One of the best things you can do with your credit cards if you have cards with balances on them, is to find the 0% transfer balance deals and move your debt from the cards that you are paying interest on to the new card that allows you to make payments without paying interest. This is a “financial style” everyone can appreciate! Most deals give you a specific amount of time to pay on the transferred balances, and as long as you make the monthly payments on time, you will not be charged interest on the balance you transfer. This is a great way to pay down the old debt and not be charged additional money in the process. Just take care to cancel and close out the original credit card(s) that the debt comes from, otherwise you are likely to keep spending on those cards while you are working to pay off the debt you just transferred off of there! This is a recipe for financial disaster!
Another popular credit card style is to cash in on the cash back credit card options, and rewards programs that actually give you something back for using their card. There are many of this style of credit card available, but you need to really understand the credit card terms because sometimes rewards cards have higher interest rates, or annual fees that cost more than what you earn back when using the card. Typically, cash back and rewards credit cards are best for individuals who do their daily spending on a credit card, and pay off the balance at the end of each month. That way, you aren’t carrying a balance and aren’t being charged interest, and you are earning the maximum rewards or cash back by using the card often. If your credit card style is to have a card in your wallet for emergencies only, then chances are you are not going to benefit from a cash back or rewards card.
Taking time to understand your personal credit card style can help you find the best deals when it’s time to get a credit card, or move your debt from one card to another. If you are a frequent flyer, it would be worth the time and effort to compare different credit cards that feature rewards in the way of miles that can be redeemed towards your air travel. If you like to save on gasoline or at a particular store, you can find a card for that as well! A little research goes a long way in finding a credit card that would work the best for you financially, one that your name would be in “style” on.