Family Money Saving Tips

10 Credit Card Tricks That Will Save You Money

10 Credit Card Tricks That Will Save You Money
Written by Irina Vasilescu

Are you scared of having credit card debt? You should be, because outstanding balances cost you every month. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use your credit card at all. Here are some credit card tricks that will actually save you money.

1. Get the right rewards

Even if you already have a credit card, you should shop around to ensure that you’re maximizing your rewards all the way. The rewards also have to match your lifestyle. Free miles for air travel are great if you’re a frequent flier, but not if you’re a homebody. Compare cash-back plans and see what you can use points for, choosing the rewards that will be most useful to you.

2. Max out your rewards, but not your card

Go cashless for all but the smallest transactions. Every time you use your card, you’re getting some of those carefully selected rewards that you wanted when you went in choosing a card in a clever way. Check your balance frequently and remain within the same budget that you worked with when you were using cash, so that when you pay off your card, your balance is back at zero.

3. Pay everything before the due date

You obviously don’t want to incur charges on your normal monthly expenses, if you do, they’re actually costing you more rather than less which is the whole point of this exercise. If you are able, zero your balance every month before the due date. If not, ensure that you factored your longer-term repayments into your budget.

10 Credit Card Tricks That Will Save You Money

4. Get 0% APR perks and use them wisely

Consolidate debts you can pay off fast onto a card with a 0% APR. Some credit card providers are offering introductory deals that allow you to get 0% APR for a full 12 month period. The thinking behind this is relatively simple. If you are paying interest on accounts that you can pay off within 12 months, you shift them to your card and save on all that interest. A word of warning: find out if there are transfer costs when you do this.

Be sure that you will cope with repayments before taking the plunge, because credit card debt is expensive, and as soon as your grace period expires, a high APR will kick in. If the card doesn’t offer competitive benefits once you’ve used it to get a head start on paying off debt, cancel it and get one with better rewards.

5. If you already have credit card debt pay it off fast

No matter how tight your budget is, implementing a few money saving strategies around the house will help you to pay more than the absolute minimum your provider expects. Although the amount you add on to your repayments may look like small change, it’s small change that saves you compound interest.

Paying just a little more than you need to every month amounts to significant savings that you can enjoy later on. If you have a lump sum or windfall, put the bulk of it straight into your credit card debt. It will save you more interest than it will make you if deposited in a bank.

6. Cancel some or all of your store account cards

The more store accounts you have, the more marketing material tempting you with the latest products you’ll receive, and the greater the chance that you’ll overspend simply because you happen to have the card. Unless a store account offers fantastic perks, cancel the account formally, ensuring that it is closed before getting rid of the card itself.

10 Credit Card Tricks That Will Save You Money

7. Get customer satisfaction

If you’re paying by cash or check, any problem you have with goods is between you and the retailer. If the retailer won’t refund you for shoddy or damaged products, you just have to give up and walk away or else resign yourself to a lengthy and expensive legal battle.

Credit cards offer a lot of consumer protection. If you’re double charged, or are returning goods because you are not satisfied with them, your credit card is your best weapon. Your provider is legally required to help you and has a lot more bargaining power than you ever will. There are even deals that arrange refunds if goods are lost or stolen after purchase.

8. Get extended warranties

This perk is offered by many credit card providers. If you’re planning big purchases such as home appliances, the extended warranty option can get you up to a year longer guarantee. But do bear in mind that this is a relatively minor perk and rate other benefits you can be sure of saving on more highly when choosing a card.

9. Get free insurance when you rent a car

If you regularly use rented vehicles, choose a card that offers free insurance on rentals. Insurance charged by car rental companies is quite an expensive item, but if you pay with your credit card, you can do away with that expense altogether.

10. Understand your spending habits

Now that you’re doing most of your shopping using a credit card, you can see all your expenditure on a single statement. If you’re looking to reduce cost, create a budget, or check how real spending compares to a budget you already formulated, checking your account will help you in developing your strategies to save.

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Credit Cards Tricks That Will Save You Money

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About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our money-saving and DIY expert and also the editor-in-chief as she's always on the lookout for the latest online deals.


  • These are some interesting tips. I use to have a Rewards Visa but found it took long or something to get points. I currently have no credit cards though to avoid uneasy spending. I collect points quicker using my store points card which isn’t a credit card but still great.

  • I am great with my credit card. It’s a rewards card and I get a point for every £4 I spend, so I use it for all of my spending, but then pay it off as soon as I get the bill, meaning that I never have to pay any interest on it at all. I save up the vouchers for Christmas, and last year I got £100 worth, which was brilliant as I was able to pay for a lot of the essentials with it, so it was nowhere near as much of a stretch as it might have been in the past!

  • These are some great credit card tips. Indeed its really important to make a budget and spend your money wisely, it will really pay off in the long run. I knew a few people that was struggling with this issue for years. If I get in contact with them, I will definitely share these tips with them.

  • Thanks for the awesome tips! I’m really scared of accumulating so much debt with high interest using credit cards and your post helped me be enlightened. Truly the foremost step to better maximize the use of credit card is understanding our spending behavior and find the best deal among the providers that caters our individual need.

  • I have Horrible credit and it has become basically impossible for me to get even a $300.00 credit limit.. Funny part is, I wasn’t even the one who ruined my credit…. What to do?????

  • I only have one credit card now, and one store card. I learned my lesson! One of each pillows me to control my spending while still giving me a safety net. I don’t have a huge credit limit on my credit card (£3000) but it’s enough to give me a cushion in case of any emergencies that may crop up that I don’t have cash to deal with.

  • Hey Gemma, which bank or company do you use for your credit card? I love the idea of points for every single purchase – often I find the rewards deals are only good for the store the card is from, or stores the provider is affiliated with.

    I use a regular bank for my credit – the deal is horrendous. I’m thinking of getting a balance transfer – some of them look amazing – but I worry that once I see I have a larger line of credit again, I’ll just start spending on it!

    • DangerSuit – I am from the UK, and the company that I have my credit card with is Tesco. You can get vouchers to be spent in Tesco itself, but the great news is that around Christmas there is always something to spend your money on, whether it’s food or gifts, as they have such a huge range. But also, you can trade in your vouchers for other offers, which include days out in the local area, or meal gift cards for restaurants. It really is worth doing! My family went on a day out to a safari park last year using the vouchers, and we spent £20 of vouchers for 6 tickets including the safari park, a tour round a stately home and entry into the fairground (which we didn’t use because we didn’t have children, but it would have been excellent value if we had).

  • I’ve always been scared to get a credit card because of all the dreadful tales about debt and deep-in-red books, but these tips make them look much easier to manage, especially the one about customer protection (I have a lot of friends who experienced trouble with their credit card agency because of various mistakes with different purchases). However, in the end, it’s all about self-control and good expenses managament.

  • Pay all I can with my credit card. I always stick to my budget and pay in full when the bill is due. It is like an interest free loan.

  • These are all great. Late fees and finance charges are killers. I pay everything I can with my credit card and pay the bill in full. When I can’t afford it I save up. Still buy it on credit but am then able to pay the bill in full.

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