Are credit cards really all bad? The fact of the matter is that with a little planning, you can get the most out of your credit cards. View your credit cards as a tool, and you might be surprised at what you can accomplish.
David Rubenstein from Credit Shout joins us to talk about strategies to make the most out of your credit cards. Our panelists also get in on the action by sharing their own tips and tricks for getting more from credit cards.
ANNOUNCER: Welcome to the Money Mastermind Show. Let’s Talk Money.
[0:00:18.7] GC: Welcome to the Money Mastermind Show. Tonight, we have David Rubenstein from Creditshout.com and he is going to help us get the most out of our credit cards. Welcome to the show David.
[0:00:29.0] DR: Thank you for having me.
[0:00:30.4] GC: Absolutely, great to have you here. Eager to hear about how we can make the most out of credit cards. We also have of course the members of the Money Mastermind Show are Kyle Prevost of Youngandthrifty.ca, Miranda Marquit of Planting Money Seeds. Peter Anderson of Bible Money Matters and Tom Drake of the Canadian Finance Blog. I’m Glen Craig of Free From Broke.
So, credit cards. A lot of times we’re going to have people on the show and they talk about how not to use credit cards, to only use cash and then stay away from them as far as possible and on the show here we’ve certainly — we’ve not always embraced that. I think we’re pretty pro credit card use here. So It is nice to have somebody here to help us talk about how best to use them. Why use a credit card in general? I know the quick payments and all that but as mean as far as benefits, why bother even going to that, is it worth it?
[0:01:29.2] DR: I think it’s worth it. My own personal experience from the consumer protection standpoint that credits cards offer. About three years ago, we moved into a new house, my wife spent weeks looking for a new table for the kitchen because the old one didn’t fit, we needed something that was round and smaller. She found this great glass table that I promptly went and broke.
A freak accident but we had some people over for brunch and she was vacuuming and I tried to be helpful, which I guess I should never do, but she’d gotten the vacuum cleaner cord wrapped around the table and I was like, “Oh, I’m just going to flip it over the table.” One in a million shot, I hit this lucite ball hanging from the also new light fixture she had put up.
Knocked it off the fixture down, straight down the table, supposedly tempered glass, that thing shattered into like a thousand pieces and I don’t think it was 10 days old. The best part was, we had purchased it with our AMEX, we sent them a photograph of the broken table, a copy of the receipt and I think within less than a week of the accident, we had a check for the entire amount of the table.
We still have the base and we found this guy who went and actually bought a remnant from a marble slab and made us a new tabletop out of it and there’s enough money left over from that for my wife and I to go out for an expensive steak dinner. So what would have been a total disaster ended up being okay.
[0:03:29.8] GC: That sounds like something like right out of a commercial. I don’t know that you could write that story any better. Although, I would love to see the actual image of that happening. Not that I want you to have to go through that but I could just imagine the series of events as it slows down in your mind as it’s happening.
So one big benefit you’re saying, you initially said consumer protection and I’m thinking just having your money stolen or not but that’s an interesting thought there too. If something is stolen or if it breaks down in a certain amount of time, a lot of cards give you benefits on that. Can you speak to that, as to your specific benefit there?
[0:04:11.5] DR: I think a lot of the really good cards like Discover or AMAX, these Visa signature cards, they’re going to give you accident or purchase protection. If you break, damage or lose something within a certain period of time, usually a couple of months after purchasing it, they’ll cut you a check to replace it. Extend warranties, though usually there’s a dollar and time limit on those.
Price protection where they’ll help you match prices if you find something at a lower advertised price within say 30 to 90 days after you bought the item. What you mentioned, the 0 liability. If my wallet is lost or stolen and I have $15 and three credit cards in there. My biggest hassle is actually replacing my driver’s license but if I had $300, that would be a bad day.
[0:05:17.8] MM: I was just going to say, that goes along with what Glen was saying earlier too. People talk about, “Oh well if I have my debit card stolen and they take the money out of the bank, eventually I’ll get that back.” Yes, eventually you’ll get it back but it might take weeks and in the meantime, that’s your money gone. If somebody takes your credit card and uses it at least it’s somebody else’s money that’s gone, it’s not your money that’s gone, it’s someone else’s money that’s gone.
[0:05:41.1] GC: Also I believe if something happens with a debit card and you’re using it just as a pin debit, you’re still on the hook for a certain amount of money before the protections kick in.
[0:05:51.0] MM: Yeah and you are in a credit card too but the limit is actually higher with the debit card than it is with a credit card. You actually have less time, like the window that you have to report that is actually smaller as well with your debit pin than it is…
[0:06:06.8] DR: By law, with the credit cards, your liability is limited to $50, which is why most of the issuers just say, “Oh, 0 liability,” because…
[0:06:15.4] MM: Yeah, I think with debit cards, it’s much higher than that.
[0:06:18.2] DR: It’s bank by bank.
[0:06:23.7] PA: I actually recently had my information stolen, my card number or something and I had somebody spend some money at a strip club in Chicago or something like that.
[0:06:38.8] MM: Oh what are you up to, Pete? Bible Money Matters.
[0:06:40.9] PA: Exactly, yeah.
[0:06:41.9] GC: It’s always the ones you least expect.
[0:06:45.2] PA: But it was a Visa debit card that that happen. Luckily my bank was pretty good about it. I had the money back in my account within the next day. So it was not a big issue but it wasn’t a huge charge or anything like that, but again it’s something to check with your banks when you’re signing up for a checking account or whatever.
[0:07:03.3] DR: Right, but that money was taken from your account, at least temporarily, even if one business day. Whereas with the credit card, it hasn’t actually been taken from you yet and you have plenty of time to call them and tell them to reverse the charge.
[0:07:20.1] MM: Well yeah, and that’s the thing. Once it’s out of your debit account, you have to wait for it to get put back, it’s like having one of those awful holds or something.
[0:07:28.3] GC: If you have bills that are outstanding or that’s automatically paid, it could turn into a giant snowball of a mess.
[0:07:34.8] DR: That’s exactly right. I know a lot of people who transfer money in just to make sure they can make their monthly bill payments. So if a couple of hundred dollars went out and in a opportune time, all of a sudden you have a bunch of insufficient fund charges as well.
[0:07:50.9] GC: Yeah, I know I’ve had a couple of instances. I mean this is over the years, this is not something that happens often where either maybe a restaurant, took an extra tip or somebody got the number somewhere and the credit cards have always been great at just covering everything and taking care of everything and I never have had problems with that money and having to pay it. They just go in there and they go, “Okay, we’ll handle it, no worries.”
For one instance, somebody was trying to somehow use my card to buy like $900 of groceries in another state, which isn’t that crazy because I live in New York so to be in New Jersey and buy something isn’t that out of the question. But they did give me an alert, they knew that I don’t spend money like that at that location. Within the hour, it was taken care of.
[0:08:44.4] DR: That’s great. Yeah, I think a lot of the credit card issuers are actually really good about giving you alerts and stopping the fraud before it even becomes a problem for you.
[0:08:59.3] GC: Now things like the warranties and price protection and stuff like that. Is that something that you find on most of the free cards or do you usually have to pay for those cards? Some cards still have those annual fees to get benefits.
[0:09:13.4] DR: This is definitely offered by all of the American Express cards and all the Discover cards. Now, obviously American Express, some of their cards have fees, some don’t. I think most of the Visa/MasterCards now are offering it but I will say my experience is that the cards that come with annual fees are also offering generally better benefits, better rewards programs and if you’re spending enough money, you’re going to make back the fee easily.
[0:09:48.1] GC: Such a good question. I mean when is it worth paying an annual fee? Because I know a lot of experts out there say, “You know what? Never pay a credit card fee, they’ll give you a credit card for free, why would you pay a fee on it?” And I think way back in the day, it used to be more of a given that you might pay an annual fee but nowadays there’s so many different things out there.
[0:10:05.5] DR: I always go back, the easy example is like the Blue Cash Preferred versus the blue cash every day. The Blue Cash Preferred gives you back 6% of grocery stores and charges $75 annual fee for that. Blue Cash Everyday gives you back 3% at grocery stores. Once you spent $2,500 at the grocery store, in a year, you’ve made back the annual fee. To me, there’s nobody who is not spending $2,500 a year on groceries. Even single guys, right?
[0:10:47.1]GC: I guess it depends also on what they consider groceries too. Right? Aren’t there’s some stipulations on what type of stores they cover and who actually marks certain charges as what?
[0:10:58.4] DR: Right. Grocery stores in this stores in this case is going to be your typical grocery store, your Kroger, Safe Way, your New York Pathmark is the big one, still giant and will not include trips to Costco, or Target, or Walmart.
[0:11:17.8] GC: So like your traditional big name grocery stores will be the case there? So it’s really like if you’re looking at a card, you have to kind of see how you’re going to spend it, you may have to look at your past spending and say is it worth it, am I going to hit that threshold, is it worth it for me?
[0:11:35.4] DR: That is definitely true but you could see, that’s just an example of a card where, yeah there’s a fee but the benefit it offers over the no fee version, for most people it’s easy to make.
[0:11:53.0] KP: Hey David, have you been successful in negotiating down any of these fees at all? I personally haven’t had much luck with it up here in Canada, but I know some people that have or they call in, they get the fee reduced year by year or something like that?
[0:12:07.6] DR: I’ve never even tried. I have heard that people have done it, I’ve not tried and to be honest, right now I don’t even have any cards with a fee.
[0:12:19.7] MM: I’ve done it. Where you get the card and they’re like, “One year your fees waived for the first year,” and then the next year they said the thing, they’re going to charge you a fee and this was a few years ago and I just tweeted at them, I was super disappointed I’m going to have to start paying this fee from whatever.
They sent me a DM and because any time before I tweet any company, the first thing I do is follow them and then I tweet at them. They sent me a direct message and they said, “Send us your phone number, direct message, privately and we’ll call you and we’ll take care of this.” To this day, it’s a card that I should be paying a fee on but I don’t have to call every year or anything, it just automatically is taken care of.
[0:13:18.3] TD: Interesting.
[0:13:21.5] DR: That’s awesome. I didn’t know they deal with that way.
[0:13:22.3] KP: You didn’t even have to do the threaten to leave or anything. That’s the loyalty management tree and I’ve got to go see my manager’s, manager’s boss and you just…
[0:13:35.9] GC: You pull that whole like parenting like, “I’m really disappointed.”
[0:13:39.5] MM: Pretty much, I was just like, “I’m really disappointed, I’m going to have to pay this fee.” Within two hours, it was like taken care off all over now. I didn’t even have to call and sit on hold, they were just like, “Send us your phone number, we’ll call you and take care of this problem.”
[0:13:58.2] TD: I had a time to cancel the card and it wasn’t as a threat, I was legitimately trying to cancel the card but they ended up reducing the annual fee and through enough extra air miles as kind of a second year perk, that covered the rest of the fee I was paying anyways. I kept the card. The next year, I actually did cancel it. And I said, I didn’t call it as a threat of leaving, I actually did want to cut that card but it’s certainly worth calling in and maybe pushing it at that direction and then seeing what you can get.
[0:14:35.0] GC: There’s a question, there’s so many different types of rewards, there’s points, there’s cash back, there’s airline miles, there’s hotel miles, all sorts of different things, how do you know what’s best? A lot of things, the value is different, depending on what you’re doing.
[0:14:54.0] DR: I personally always go for just cash back rewards and I just try to — anything I try to translate into some sort of dollar value, with a lot of the points rewards, it gets difficult because what you can redeem it for will vary. If you have 10,000 points and you go to your Amex gold card and you go to their market place, sometimes each point is going to be worth a penny but there could be some items where they’ve juiced it and it’s worth like one and a half cent and you get a real bonus for redeeming through that.
Personally I just like to get the cash back right into our account, I don’t have to store it to save, to buy something down the line. If you’re trying to build up points for a plane flight, you might be spending for over a year to get all of those points to save on your three or $400 ticket. Whereas if I’m just getting the cash back, I have that immediately to utilize maybe just to spend down the price of the ticket when I’m ready to buy it.
[0:16:15.0] MM: it’s way less fun you know?
[0:16:19.4] DR: I guess so, I’m sorry.
[0:16:25.3] MM: Just my personal — I mean everybody has their own style of personal finances and their own style of how they manage their credit cards when they do manage their credit cards. I love the points because to me, it’s like, “Oh yay, a $50 statement credit.” But being able to, like I did just not too long ago, my son and I are going to have to fly home from our summer vacation and I didn’t have to pay for that and it was this wonderful feeling to be like, “Yeah, I don’t have to pay for that.”
[0:17:01.7] PA: Really, when you think about, that can be kind of a danger with a lot of this reward programs is they do set it up almost like a game, it’s almost like, “Hey, I’m playing for points and I have to rack up my score in order to get this prize.” What it ends up being is you’re spending all of this money to get these mythical points that you can spend towards something. If you’re not careful you can be spending way more money than you meant to in the first place.
So it’s just something to keep in mind. If you have a goal of something you’re trying to buy or a trip you’re trying to go on and you can work towards that goal using your points or whatever, that’s fine but just using the rewards for the rewards sake, without having any goal in mind or anything like that can be kind of dangerous I think.
[0:17:47.4] DR: I look at it this way, banks are in the business of getting a float. One of the ways is instead of you collecting your rewards back every month, you let them sit and build for a year. You just gave the bank basically a free float on your rewards. That’s why I like the cash back immediately.
[0:18:14.8] GC: Yeah, I mean that’s a good point, if something expires like a lot of times the miles will expire or something like that, they’re kind of off the hook at that point.
[0:18:23.0] PA: I was just reading one study it said, “More than 41% of rewards card holders either rarely or never even bother to use their rewards.” So right there, it’s mind boggling. People are getting all these rewards but 41% of rewards card holders are never even using those.
[0:18:42.6] DR: There used to be markets where you could buy and sell rewards points but the card insurers have shut those down. So I guess that’s unfortunate because knowing that there’s this untapped resource out there that you could maybe buy for 50 cents on the dollar, resell for 75 or 80 cents.
[0:19:07.4] MM: Nice, yeah, if only.
[0:19:08.4] KP: That’s interesting, the free floating utility of rewards cards point. Sounds like a super geeky thesis.
[0:19:16.8] DR: Or a show on ANA.
[0:19:19.7] MM: I was just going to say, “Get on that Glen. You’re an economist, do that thing.” I think one of the things that we kind of touched on with not getting carried away with your credit card rewards is part of it too, not just having a plan for your rewards but having a plan for your spending. So I put everything on my credit card as we all know, that’s what I do.
My rent, my charitable contributions, it’s all on my credit card and that usually does pretty well for me, gets me a few plane tickets a year but part of it is because it’s part of my regular spending, I’m not running out and saying, “Oh I’m going to buy this because I get the points.” I’m putting all of my regular spending on this credit card, this is all spending that’s in my plan and I think that’s an important part of it.
[0:20:14.4] DR: That’s true, then you could aim even to use the card that’s going to get you the most points everywhere you shop. Looking right now, the new Costco Visa that’s coming out in June, that’s going to give you 4% back at gas stations and 3% back on dining and travel. That’s great and so if you could pair that card then with like the American Express Blue Cash card when you’re at the normal grocery store and then even like a one and a half or 2% cash back card for all your other spending. You could use all your cash back or other rewards just from your spending, you might as well — these rewards are out there and you could juggle between two or three different cards, you might as well take advantage of it.
[0:21:11.4] GC: So you’d advise having different cards for different purposes and depending on what you’re buying, use that specific card?
[0:21:19.6] DR: I do it, and some people don’t like to keep track of all that or want all that stuff in their wallet. I’ve actually been thinking that one of the things about like Apple Pay or these mobile apps is you could almost have like an unlimited number of cards now and use each one to pay at the right situation and I kind of envision, I think we’re going to move in this direction where you have a lot more stores issue their own branded in store cards.
Like the Target card where you get 5% off when you use the Target Red Card at Target, right there at the register. The reason I say this, because the fees for processing credit card and debit card payments are so high, it’s going to be beneficial especially to big retailers for you to use their own branded card. They would actually improve their bottom line and be able to offer you bigger discounts. Because it’s going to be so much easier to juggle all those different cards, because it’s just stored on your phone, it doesn’t have to take any extra space in your wallet. We could see a move like that.
[0:22:32.4] GC: That’s an interesting thought with all these electronic storage of it that you don’t have to have a thick wallet full of cards in order to carry different cards. But retail cards though, the general warning on those is that they tend to have very high interest rates.
[0:22:49.3] DR: Right. Well I think once you’re not paying your bill in full and having to get any interest rate as part of the deal, you’re wiping out the benefit of any rewards. So I always would say that the best bet is to curtail your spending and pay your bills in full. There’s no benefit to any rewards once you start paying credit card interest, it’s all so high.
[0:23:19.2] GC: That’s a great point. Like you said, if you’re paying the interest and you’re losing the game, the game is on the credit card then. They’re the ones begging the benefit.
[0:23:29.0] DR: Yeah, then it’s like an enticement to get you to spend more. Really, no benefit to you at the end of the day.
[0:23:37.0]GC: I’ve always tried to put everything on one card to try to get the most benefit from that card than try to get it thinned out, because it’s just too much to think about when I’m buying gas, okay, but then I need to get groceries here and I’m doing travel there. To me that’s just like, “Let me just get one card that’s going to give me everything.”
You brought up an interesting point with Costco. I’ve always been an Amex guy, and at least lately, now I’ve got to start thinking about well, I want to keep shopping, I’m going to have to find a Visa card. Do I get their card? Do I try to find another card to carry and then if I do, do I still use the Amex card sometimes, because I do like using the card? I want to get the maximum benefit of that card too. Now I’m at closer, “Jeez, what do I got to do?” It’s not too much longer before I go back there and I got to make that decision.
[0:24:27.2] DR: Only like 30 more days. I think that their new Visa card that they’re issuing has great rewards but there’s no sign up bonus. If you want to go out and find one of those sign up offers where if you spend $500 in the first three months, they’ll send you — they’ll give you an extra hundred or $150, that’s not going to be the card for you.
[0:24:49.7] GC: With Costco, it’s any visa card now?
[0:24:52.5] DR: It will be any visa card.
[0:24:57.0] TD: We had a similar change with Costco at least a year ago I think where they left Amex as well but here we went with the MasterCard. The bank that issues this MasterCard is really not the best card to use at Costco even though it’s the Costco card. So I did kind of like Glen saying with the Visa, I started shopping around looking at the different MasterCards and I found one that I think it’s 2% on everything including Costco is not a category card for just grocery stores and like that. That plus my executive 2% I’m basically getting 4% off on my Costco shopping.
[0:25:37.4] DR: And you’re saving because they charge like such a thin margins. It’s the best place to buy. You’re like me obviously, you have room in your basement to store all the stuff that you’re buying at Costco.
[0:25:55.2] GC: Here’s another topic that I know a lot of people, I mean there’s whole websites that are on this, the idea of turning cards. Getting cards just for the benefit, like you said, you could get a signup bonus, sometimes you get like 100,000 miles if you sign up and spend a thousand dollars or something like that. Basically you sign up for a card and you already get a plane ticket if you play it right.
But there’s people who almost play a game where they’re getting a new card like every three months or whatever it is, is that something that you would advise for, is that something that you’ve done yourself? What do you think about that?
[0:26:32.8] DR: I don’t do it. Now I have signed up for cards and used the sign up bonus and then pretty much saw my use curtail and eventually canceled it but I don’t go in and out of cards that frequently. iIn fact, most of the cards, the three cards we use are the same three cards we’ve been using for four years now. But the issuers have gotten wise to this game as well and has started enacting a lot of anti-churning rules. Chase has their new rule that just went into effect if you taken out five or more cards in the last 24 months, they won’t approve you for a new card.
[0:27:18.4] GC: That’s still a lot of cards in two years for one company.
[0:27:22.3] DR: Yeah, American Express if you take out a card and cancel, if you take it out again, they won’t give you the sign up bonus the second time. Discover has the same rule. Citibank won’t give you a sign up bonus. they’ll do a 24 month look back and if you’ve had one of their cards in the last 24 months, they won’t give you a signup bonus.
So the big issuers are getting hint to this, Capital One, I’m not aware of any anti churning rules that they have but I’m sure they’ll them soon and we recently published an article on what the anti-churning rules are and what we were finding in our research was card issuers were finding that what people were doing was signing up for card one, running up a bill, signing up for card two, using card two to buy a bunch of prepaid debit cards that they would then use to pay off card one and from one set of charges basically get the sign up bonuses on card one and card two.
[0:28:34.0] GC: And sometimes you get extra bonus just for buying a gift card.
[0:28:36.3] DR: Yeah, basically once that the spending was getting them tons of rewards. To be honest I wish I had thought of it, I probably would spend my days just churning if I had but I’m not deviously creative, unfortunately. But you could see why the credit card companies would want to put a stop to that and limit people who just keep on signing up, getting the bonuses, never paying the annual fees and then cancelling the card.
[0:29:13.5] GC: I’d imagine to some extent there’s got to be some hit to your credit score also if you’re opening up all these cards and closing them and what not.
[0:29:21.4] DR: Pretty minor. When you open a new card there’s a small hit to your score when they do the hard credit pull but that goes away after a couple of months and then when you close the card, I mean there could be a hit to your credit score depending if it really affects your utilization ratio by removing a bunch of unused credit but probably not and most of the people doing this, you’re talking about people whose credit scores are probably somewhere between 750 and 850. I mean they’re really taking advantage of their high credit scores to play this game.
[0:30:03.0]GC: Right, because it’s probably very difficult to get the best cards anyway if you don’t have good credit score.
[0:30:07.3] DR: Right. I think you see this a lot with people looking to travel hack. So they’ll use it, they’ll rotate through the city thank you reward card, Chase Sapphire preferred and a couple of others that have some really big signup bonuses and then linked programs with some of the airlines. I know people who rotate through, they get a new card for them, for their wife, for each of their kids and rotate in and out. That’s like a full time job to manage your credit cards.
[0:30:50.6]GC: It does sound like a lot. It reminds me of another perk that a lot of cards are offering nowadays, and one that I like on my card that you can get a copy of your credit score or report through the card. I go on my Amex and it’s like, it just says, “This is your score,” and you just pop right in and I’m like, “All right, I’m good.” There’s no thought, there’s no signing up for anything else, it’s just sitting there that you could check it out every month and make sure everything is up and up.
[0:31:20.4] DR: See? Another great pro consumer benefit of using a credit card.
[0:31:26.3] GC: What it also proves is, with the credit card companies, the competition is so high for the customer that when one company does something that’s favorable that consumers like, the rest of them jump right in and start offering it. So it’s really to consumer’s benefit if they play their cards right, pun intended I guess, and really pay attention to what they’re doing.
David, this has been really informative and I think we could probably sit here for like hours and talk about benefits but our show is only about half hour long or so. What we like to do is at the end of the show we wrap up with a final word, we go around and just kind of sum up what we think about the topic and we’ll start with Tom, what’s your final word on getting the most out of your credit cards?
[0:32:12.1] TD: Just a couple of things David touched on a bit was don’t be afraid of an annual fee. Do the math and see if maybe it works for you. I’ve talked to quite a few people that are just like, “I wouldn’t pay an annual fee because I can get this other card for free,” but not really looking at the map of what you can — what more you can get and the other thing I want to mention was if you already have a decent credit card, actually look at the fine print of what you have. A lot of people don’t realize they have all these warranties, and insurance, and everything. They use their cards for spending and that’s the end of it. They don’t use the rewards.
[0:32:49.2] GC: Peter, what’s your final word?
[0:32:51.7] PA: My final word is just to, if you’re like me and you want to keep things simple, go out there and find a decent cash back rewards card like David mentioned and just use it for your regular spending that you’re going to be doing anyway. Don’t fall prey to the game of trying to rack up points in order to buy things you probably don’t need anyway.
Just use those cards for things you’re going to be buying anyway. One tip that I found on David’s site was to even use your credit card for medical bills, that’s something we have a lot of in our house. Instead of using your HSA card, use your credit card and get the rewards points for all of those medical bills and then get reimbursed by your HSA later on, I had to pay off your credit cards. There you go.
[0:33:37.2] GC: I can’t help but think of people who are like hey, I could hurt myself and get some airline miles.
[0:33:42.6] PA: Don’t do that.
[0:33:43.9] MM: I love that Peter mentioned that because I actually applied for a new credit card after I broke my wrist and it’s got the 0% APR for X number of months. So I’m actually using it to get my credit — it’s going to get me my miles bonus, it’s going to get me, I can pay off the credit card bills over the next 18 months which makes it really nice and manageable but since I have such huge credit card bills I’m going to qualify for an itemized deduction on my taxes. So paying it with a credit card, just so many benefits and that will be my final word. So yay!
[0:34:28.3] GC: So time your injuries well.
[0:34:31.9] MM: Part of the reason I applied for it was it showed up in my mail about two days after I had my surgery and I was just like, “Well this is convenient.”
[0:34:43.3] GC: Kyle, what’s your final word on getting the most out of your credit cards?
[0:34:45.8] KP: My final word is super boring and can be found on at least half the personal finance websites, books, et cetera out there and that is, ignore all of this if you have a balance on your card. If you know someone that has a balance on their card, yell at them, beg them, plead with them to pay off their 19.99% interest credit cards. There has to be an alternative way to help them as opposed to carrying your balance on their credit cards. Don’t do that under any circumstances, friends don’t let friends carry balance on their credit cards no matter how good the reward structure is.
[0:35:20.7] GC: Good advice. David, if you would close out our final word?
[0:35:26.1] DR: I’d actually like to say if you do have a balance in your credit card, there are a handful of balance transfer cards out there with no transfer fee. So I’d recommend the Chase Slate, 15 months, zero APR on transfers, no transfer fee and for those with average or fair credit, the Capital One Quicksilver one 0% APR on your transfers till February 2017th, also with no transfer fee and those transfer fees will hit you up normally for 3%, sometimes 5% of your balance. Which then makes it even harder to pay down that debt. So that would be my final word.
[0:36:03.5]GC: Good stuff. Yeah, we didn’t even go into balance transfers and their benefits and pros and cons, that’s like a whole other show I think on its own.
[0:36:09.9] MM: I was going to say, that’s another episode.
[0:36:13.1]GC: There we go, we’ll put that one on the docket there. David, thank you so much. For people out there that aren’t aware of Creditshout.com, can you tell us a little bit about that and what goes on there?
[0:36:25.5] DR: Creditshout.com is a personal finance site like we’ve touched on a lot of it is credit card reviews but we also have resources on how to improve your credit score, dealing with identity theft, have actually information on pricing for wireless service plans even, because those tend to be opaque and so you could figure out how much you’re really paying at the end of the day for your all your data that you're not using. Just hopefully some general advice to help you, a we say, master your finances. Get more out of your spending, spend smarter, save more.
[0:37:11.5]GC: David, thanks so much for coming on the show and livening up our discussion here about credit cards and for sharing your expertise, thank you everybody out there for watching and until next week, be good with your money.
[0:37:22.5] DR: Thank you for having me.
[0:37:24.5] GC: Thanks for coming.
ANNOUNCER: Thanks for joining us on the Money Mastermind Show, get more information at Moneymastermindshow.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes and YouTube and follow us on Google Plus.
Important issues discussed in this episode:
- Are credit cards really evil?
- A look at how credit cards can actually be financial tools.
- Strategies for getting the most out of your credit cards.
- Real life ideas for hacking your credit card rewards for best effect.
- How to use your credit cards without getting in over your head in debt.
- Tips for staying on top of your finances as you get the most out of your credit cards.
Panelists In This Episode:
- Special guest: David Rubenstein | Credit Shout
- Glen Craig | Free From Broke
- Kyle Prevost | Young and Thrifty
- Miranda Marquit | Planting Money Seeds
- Peter Anderson | Bible Money Matters
- Tom Drake | Canadian Finance Blog
For a quick bio of each of our show participants, head on over to our panelist page.
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