No. of Recommendations: 0
On Fri, 02 May 97 14:48:29 -0600, colnago wrote:

<<On Mon, 07 Apr 97 21:45:19 -0600, bert wrote:

I don't carry a balance, and would like to switch to a card that earns me some useful perks. Any suggestions?>>

I absolutely refuse to carry a balance on credit cards. To me, credit cards should be considered a safety net in case of emergency, ie. your car breaks down, and you need to pay for towing, lodging, repairs, etc.

But, you should always pay your balance in full, if possible. This will result in having free use of their money for 30 days (if you find you have a card that doesn't have a grace period, get rid of it, asap!), which is the same as an interest free loan.

Also, one priority of every Fool is to pay down credit card debt as a major priority. To maintain a balance is a costly waste of money, that could be much better served elsewhere.

But...if you DO have a balance, with so much competition out there, try this challenge. You know how you are always getting those offers that tell you if you accept "their" card, you will get a very low interest rate? Well, I challenge you to call up your present card bank, and tell them you want YOUR interest lowered. If they squawk, just say you were offered a better rate by another card, and either they beat it, or you dump them. I guarantee, they will NOT want to lose you, and you will instantly get a lower rate. You will immediately begin to save money! : )

Now, on to the perks:
For those Foolish enough NOT to carry a balance, you are making a huge mistake not to let these cards work for you. In my case, I charge constantly! Sure, why not? If I'm paying the bill when it comes anyway, I might as well use it instead of a check or cash. I use an American Airlines Visa card which awards me airmiles. For years, I've been able to get at least one free round trip ticket to Aruba each year.

And by the way, Citibank does charge an annual fee of $50 for this card. However, I've been able to call up each year and threaten to drop the card if they insist I pay it. They take a look at the activity I give them, and they always send me a $50 gift certificate, which negates the fee.

And don't feel too guilty about it, either. The credit card companies make plenty of dough, even if you pay your bill in full every month. They get a fee from the store or service provider everytime you charge.

Credit cards: A great tool, as long as you know how to use them!

...but I still am...


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