Try keeping on to your hard earned credit card reward points!
We say this again and again on these pages: Nobody should ever take out a credit card agreement as a means of paying off or “parking” debt. Using a credit card this way is a spectacular waste of money, and anybody who does this has been very poorly advised.
That’s our little rant over, because credit cards are a great way to manage your money if used correctly. If you keep an eye on your balances, and never spend any more than you can afford to pay off immediately, then you’re in a superb position to get the most out of your money.
Credit cards, even if they have what looks like a steep annual fee, can be seen to be free money for all the right reasons. Used properly – and by that, we mean by taking advantage of all the offers, rewards schemes and promotions that come with them – and you should actually emerge at the end of the year with a modest profit.
That’s not a ridiculous claim to make. If you have a premium credit card that offers substantially cheaper fuel for your car at certain filling stations, make sure you actually go to these stations for your fuel. Then make sure you actually use your credit card to pay. Yes, we’ve been there, feeling proper chumps driving away, realising that we’ve used the wrong card to pay for our petrol, and total discount received was absolutely nothing. We felt like we’d actually lost money.
So, the lesson learned from bitter experience is this – make sure you know exactly what offers are available with your card. This is especially vital if you hold more than one account to take advantage of the different and almost overwhelming offers available in Singapore.
If you travel, make sure you’ve got a travel card, and try to use the airlines, car hire companies and hotels that apply to your travel card wherever possible.
If you use a card for shopping, make sure you know which stores offer the points and discounts, and be aware of any limits they have.
And, of course, don’t forget your card’s introductory offers. You’ve paid for it in your membership fee, and it would be almost a crime not to take them up on it.
It’s simple: Use it or lose it.
Article by Jason Taylor – [email protected]