9 SECRETS Credit Card Issuers Never Want You to Know
Credit card company’s main job is to play with weaknesses of the people. Whether it is a line of credit, rewards points that we think are convenient, or grace period. That’s why we’ve put together the 9 secrets that credit card companies certainly don’t want you to know in order to earn more profit. Frankly, if we all used them, there would no longer be a credit card industry. Because the profits made by banks will reduce to half than they make today. So start using following strategies today to beat the banks and put the odds on your side! 1. Use Automatic Debit Banks hate customers who pay their credit cards bill every month, in full, to the point where they call them “free riders” or “profiteers”. And you should be one of them. One way to stay ahead of banks is to set up a auto debit, which allows you to automatically pay your credit card bill each month from your bank account. You have the choice of paying the minimum payment, the full balance or a fixed amount. If you pay your credit card bill in full, each month, you’ll never pay interest and have any more debts! It is the safest way to own a credit card and the ultimate way to beat the banks. 2. Negotiate your interest rate Believe it or not, credit card issuers are so afraid of default that they are willing to reduce your interest rate if you have a balance. Card issuers regularly cut interest rates by 50%, from 19.99% to 11% or less! Just call them, explain your situation and make your request – go ahead, you might be surprised by receiving a gift in the form of lower interest rate. 3. The bank is responsible for all charges of fraud If there is ever an unauthorized charge on your credit card, your credit card issuer is 100% responsible for the charge – not you. Just call your card issuer, identify the unauthorized charge, and it becomes their responsibility to deal with the merchant and investigate the fraud. That’s why credit cards are great to use online, or when you travel. Even if your card has been stolen, hacked or used by any person, that’s the card issuer’s problem, not yours. Make sure you do not write your PIN on your credit card, otherwise your bank will have the right not to cover you for the fraud. 4. Apply for a maximum on your credit limit It’s weird how banks give you a credit limit, but allow you to increase it, and then charge you a penalty fee of $25 or $30. That is a good example of misleading. To avoid this situation, call your credit card issuer and ask for a “maximum” on your credit limit. This will stop you on your credit limit (a real limit), so you can avoid unnecessary penalties and will also be forced to stick to your budget! 5. Reduce your credit limit We all love the flexibility of a large credit limit. But the truth is that people get into trouble/in a difficult position because they exceed their limit, which is usually more money than they can afford to pay back in one or more months. Don’t be afraid to call your bank and reduce your limit, so it stays in your monthly budget. Of course, make sure you keep a limit sufficient to be able to pay for things like airline tickets for example. But other than that, reduce your limit until you’re comfortable. 6. Transfer your balances at 0% Banks hate when customers “surf on rates”. If you need to keep a credit card balance, it is more advantageous to transfer your balance to a 0% balance transfer credit card. All you have to do is request the balance transfer card, provide the bank name, credit card number and the amount of balance you want to transfer in your application and the bank does the rest! When your promotional rate expires after 6, 10, or 12 months, find another card, and repeat! While banks can charge from 1 to 3% of transfer fees, this remains much better than the high interest rate (11.99% to 29.99%) that most people pay. You could literally save thousands of dollars. 7. Shuffle your credit cards Banks are aggressively seeking new customers. So much so that, many offer free flights, free hotel nights, and cash back to attract new customers. The truth is that it is more advantageous to take benefits of the promotion, whether it is for welcome bonus points or 5% cash back in the first 6 months. Then once the promotion is over, move on to the next promotion. You can usually request a new card every 90 days without any problem, this essential means 4 cards per year. 8. Get your annual fee waived Some of the best credit cards available have annual fees. But did you know that many banks will waive annual fees for their best customers? If you’re not a big spender, you may find this difficult, but if you spend enough, credit card companies will do almost anything to keep doing business with you. Call your credit card company and ask what they can do for you. At worst, they may will deny any such offers. But remember that you miss 100% of the chances you never take! 9. Don’t keep a balance to improve your credit rating There is a misconception that to build a credit history, you must maintain a credit card balance and remain in debt. This is absolutely false. You can easily get an 850 credit score by paying off your monthly credit card balance and you can maintain a small balance. The only difference is that the first choice is much cheaper. Banks have long let this myth grow because it is extremely profitable for them. But don’t be fooled – you are always better off paying your balance sooner than later. In summary, credit card companies have made debt very easy for cardholders. That said, there are many tools to help you beat the temptations and pitfalls set by banks. Unlike casinos, there really are ways to beat banks, so use them when you can!
Hi, I am Nikesh Mehta owner and writer of this site.
I’m an analytics professional and also love writing on finance and related industry. I’ve done online course in Financial Markets and Investment Strategy from Indian School of Business.