Credit cards are sometimes maligned within personal finance discussions, but they can be excellent tools when used for the right purposes. One way to ensure you use your credit cards as the great tools they are is to give them a job. By assigning each card a purpose, you manage and control it while enjoying the benefits they bring. Here are five jobs you might assign to your cards.
1. A Debt Payoff Card. Special offers on credit cards often include very low — or no — interest rates for a period of time. By taking advantage of what is essentially a free loan, you can pay off higher interest debt much faster and more easily. Dedicate one card to this task so you don't use it for anything else while focusing on the debt payoff.
2. A Daily Use Card. Rewards cards offer benefits for using them on a regular basis. Common rewards include cashback or credit applied toward your balance, travel points, points toward special purchases, or access to special events. Maximize rewards by giving one credit card the job of managing your daily and monthly expenses. Pay it off each month to use the rewards at a minimal cost.
3. A Credit Building Card. Help build or keep your good credit with the strategic use of one or more credit cards. How? First, open credit cards in good standing increase your available credit compared to what you're using. Timely payments on a low balance offer an ongoing solid credit history. Careful management of a low-use card with a high credit limit will improve your credit score.
4. An Emergency Card. One of the best uses of credit cards is to handle unexpected emergencies that call for quick cash. Your emergency card isn't a regular use card, but it should have a sufficiently high credit limit to fulfill its purpose. Emergencies that this card should manage include things like sudden medical expenses, home repairs, vehicle repairs, or family emergencies.
5. A Family Use Card. Should you make one of your credit cards available for family needs? Make children or other family members into authorized users and have them issued a card you can give them for school trips, traveling, or emergencies while away from home. Use it to help younger family members start their own credit, or keep it at home to hand out when a family need arises.
Which of these jobs could your cards help with? Whether you want to better manage your debt, prepare for emergencies, build credit, or protect your family, a credit card with a job could be just what you need. Try it today to see what works for you.
For more information reach out to a company like FCCU - First Community Credit Union.Share