Credit card issuers proved to us in 2011 that they are once again prepared to compete for the best customers by offering some amazing sign-up bonuses. Based on what we've seen so far this year, I think we can expect to see more of the same throughout 2012, but taking advantage of sign-up bonuses and earning rewards for the money you spend aren't the only ways you can profit from credit cards. Here are 5 ways credit cards can actually help keep more cash in your bank account this year:
1.) Take advantage of discounts or additional cash back offers through your credit issuer's online shopping portal. You could save 10% or more just by shopping through your card issuer's marketplace. ShopDiscover and Citi's Bonus Cash Center are two favorites among consumers.
2.) Waive expensive car rental insurance when you charge rental car expenses on a credit card that provides coverage free of charge. And if you use a card like the Blue Cash Everyday Credit Card from American Express, you'll earn cash back on all your purchases, including gas.
3.) Say no to pricey extended warranties sold by retailers and shop with credit cards that offer extended warranties and purchase protection for free. American Express is a favorite when it comes to providing quick and friendly service on all extended warranty and purchase protection claims.
4.) Use credit cards with no foreign exchange fees when traveling overseas and save 3%. The Capital One Venture(SM) Rewards Credit Card is an excellent travel rewards credit card that not only waves foreign transaction fees but also offers 2 points per dollar spent on all purchases.
5.) Get rid of high-interest debt with 0% interest credit cards that have no balance transfer fees. Check out the Slate from Chase which is currently the only card on the market offering no interest for 15 months in addition to no balance transfer fee. Everyone knows that tremendous value can be found in sign-up bonuses and credit card points, but savvy card users know there's much more to winning the credit card rewards game. Keep these 5 tips in mind as you use your credit cards throughout 2012, and you could save hundreds or even thousands more than the average credit card user. Photo by Andres Rueda
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