If you are looking for ways to pay off credit card debt, one of the first things you should do, when you pay your bills, is to really look at them. Are they correct? It is amazing just how many little mistakes can be on a statement, and because we tend to be too busy to really look at them, they get mixed into the balance and you end up paying for it. This is silly money, and means you are now working at your job, part of the time for free!
CHECK IT - This is so important. Also note what type of card you are using. With many of these points credit cards, many people are using their cards for everyday purchases in order to build up points, which is great.
This means buying things you would normally buy and getting points just for using the charge card. The idea behind this is to save up points for free trips and other items. But the other idea behind this is that they hope you will not notice that points cards tend to carry larger interest rates if not paid in full.
But on top of that issue, is that fact that now you may have a lot of purchases on there, and there could be errors, so you need to check each and every month carefully.Credit: morguefile.com
Was it Worth It? If yours collects points, you now have to decide, if that vacation you are saving all the points for is worth it, if you are now paying high interest because you did not pay this balance off each month. Your 800 dollar trip that you are telling everyone you got for free, may have just cost you 1000 dollars in interest that same year!
So, you really need to make sure when using these points cards that you don't put purchases on there that you can't afford to pay off each month. If you pay it off each month then you will have won the game. Charge companies know we are busy, and they are hoping you don't bother to work these things out. So, if you are carrying huge interest rates and fees, for the sake of a few points, maybe it is time to switch to a plain low interest credit card and save up for your own trip!
This is a big one. How closely do you look at your purchases on the statement? You should look really close. You should also match up your receipts from the purchase to the statement. I have discovered at least 6 errors in mine in the last year, and they were big enough.
The first one was a gas station where the purchase "accidentally" went through twice, that was $45.00 dollars. The second one was for a Magazine subscription where they took it out twice. I called them and they said the first one had not gone through, but it must have, because they got paid twice.
So, take the time, I could have just paid this bill and paid out almost 100 dollars more than I should have. This could be happening to you. Especially if you have a lot of lines on this statement, or a few pages. Look at each and every line and make sure it is right. You could save a lot of money. The company does not notice these things. I had to bring it to their attention.
Don't Work for Free - If this has happened to me 6 times, just how many other people has this been happening to? If you make 10 dollars an hour, and there was 100 dollars of additional purchases or errors that you didn't notice, that would be like working 10 hours for free. I am sure if you look at it that way, you may just look a little closer. Why let others have your hard earned money for free?Credit: morguefile.com
Get rid of these extra charges, also make sure you are not going over your credit limit with purchases. Many companies make even more money now, by letting you go over your limit, then charging you for it with "over the limit fees" and these can get nasty. Even going over by 50 cents can be 25 dollars or higher.
So, take a good look at your statements and all your bills, before you come up with a game plan to pay off credit card debt. Then you can look into the best ways to do this with higher payments or getting the interest rate lowered. Don't pay anymore than you have too. So, if you want to save points, that is a cool way to get free things or a trip, but don't pay any interest or that defeats the points, that is what these card companies are hoping for.
Play the Game Carefully - You can play their game, just stay on top of due dates and don't charge anything you can't pay off for these points, and then you really will get a "free trip" Take the time and really look at your bills. Invest an hour a week even, and you should know where you stand. Consider this an investment in yourself. You should watch your finances carefully, don't let errors, extra fees and higher interest rates take your hard earned money.
The problem is we get busy, and lets face it, paying bills is not that exciting a thing to do, but we need to look closely. Any of these errors, or extra charges, such as "over the limit charge" is going to erode any payment plan. Look at your other bills too, are you paying late fees?, these add up to, create a calendar for due dates and avoid extra fees. Watch out for your own money, no one else will!