Whether you’re looking for free travel, low rates or awesome benefits, there’s a credit card hack for you. However, with so many credit cards tips and tricks to choose from, we wanted to zero in on the 6 with the biggest impact.
With increasing competition, credit card companies are constantly improving their credit card offers to attract new customers. Don’t hesitate to exploit their offerings to your advantage. Go with the card that gives you the most.
With that said, here are our 6 all-time favorite credit card hacks:
1. Fly-Free Sign-Up Bonus Churning
Credit card companies offer more value to lure you in the door, than at any other time. Take advantage. Why spend $40,000 on your credit card to earn 40,000 points, when you can earn 40,000 points simply for applying for a new one?
In fact, we recommend churning as many credit cards as you can, to earn the most amount of points in the shortest period of time. Churning is simply the practice of opening a new credit card, qualifying for the welcome bonus, using the points, canceling the card and doing the same process over and over again.
2. 0% Balance Surfing
Paying interest on your credit cards is a choice. With a little effort, you can easily find a promotional 0% interest rate for 12 months or more!
If you currently have high-interest credit card debt, find a balance transfer credit card with a 0% rate. Then transfer your high-interest credit card debt to your low-interest balance transfer card. Before the expiry of your 0% promotional rate, find another credit card offer with a 0% rate and do the same thing all over again. Surfing from one low rate to another is a time-tested hack.
3. Annual Companion Airfare Vouchers
Imagine if you could use your welcome bonus points to fly free, and then use a companion voucher to fly your spouse on the exact same itinerary as you, for $120!
Some cards offer an annual flight companion voucher, just for keeping your card open. Every year you keep your card, you get a voucher, mo minimum spend required. You can then use the voucher, usually for around $120, to fly your companion round-trip to anywhere in North America, saving you hundreds of dollars in airfare.
4. Free Baggage
Ten years ago, we never thought about our bags. Now airlines are charging us every which way but Sunday in an endless stream of add-on pricing. Bags are no exception, costing us as much as $35 each way to check-in our bags. If you have a family of four, you could easily spend $280 ($140 each way) on baggage fees alone each trip!
Many credit cards now offer free first checked bags. However, some even offer free checked bags for the primary cardholder and up to 8 traveling companions. Just make sure that when you see a credit card offer free checked bags, you understand whether it’s on any of the airline’s flights, or only on those you redeemed miles for.
5. Cheap Foreign Exchange
Foreign exchange can be really expensive when traveling out of the country. Exchanging your money at an airport, hotel or touristy currency exchange booth is out of the question – it can easily cost you upwards of 10%.
Credit cards can actually offer some of the most competitive exchange rates available. If you get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees, you’ll typically pay less than 1% to exchange your money – a lot better than what you’ll get from your bank if you exchanged your money in the branch.
6. Never Be Late Again
Late payments not only ruin your credit score, they can cost you $30 or more each and every time. Even though most of us have the money to pay our credit cards on time, many of us are late simply because we’re forgetful. Here’s a tip to guarantee on-time payments.
Simply pre-authorize payments to your credit card from your bank. You can choose to automatically pay your minimum payment due, or the entire balance. Obviously, we would recommend you choose to pay your entire balance, to avoid accumulating any debt whatsoever.