5 ways to make money using your credit card

Credit card bonuses and rewards are just one piece of the puzzle. (iStock)

When used responsibly, credit cards can provide a lot of value to consumers. If you don’t have one, or if you don’t use yours regularly, you may be leaving money on the table.

Here are five ways you can make some extra money from your credit card:

  1. Earn credit card bonuses
  2. Use your card every day
  3. Use a balance transfer credit card to pay down debt
  4. Use your card to shop online
  5. Use a 0% APR card 

Read on to learn more about how utilizing these methods can improve your cash flow.

1. Earn credit card bonuses

Many rewards credit cards offer sign-up bonuses after you open a new card and meet certain requirements. For example, many cash-back credit cards will give you a couple hundred dollars in the form of cash back, points or miles if you spend $500 or $1,000 in the first few months.

Some credit card issuers also offer ongoing credit card bonuses that you can take advantage of in the long term. For example, some may give you a points or miles rebate every time you redeem your rewards. Or you may receive an annual rewards bonus based on your spending—or just because.

Explore and compare credit card offers using Credible — just remember to consider the requirements and annual fees associated with the card, along with the other card features.

HOW DO REWARDS CREDIT CARDS WORK?

2. Use your card every day 

In addition to credit card bonuses, rewards cards also offer ongoing rewards on your everyday purchases. The more you use your card, the more you’ll earn. Some credit cards offer bonus rewards on certain spending categories, such as groceries, gas or restaurants.

As you consider the right card for you, consider your spending habits and pick the card that will reward you the most based on your budget. In some cases, it may be worth it to use multiple credit cards to maximize your rewards.

Credible provides an overview of a variety of credit cards. Browse Credible’s online tools to see offers from different lenders and decide which option best fits your financial needs.

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3. Use your card to shop online

If you use your credit card to shop online, you may be able to earn even more rewards on top of what you earn with your card.

Cash-back websites like Rakuten and Topcashback will reward you when you shop at certain retailers. Start by visiting the cash back website and search for the retailer you’re planning to shop with, then click through to that retailer’s website and make your purchase like you normally would. These websites use cookies to track your shopping experience and reward you based on how much you spend.

You can use websites like Cashback Monitor to compare these shopping portals to ensure you’re always getting the best rewards rate on your online purchases.

Cash back credit cards can also help put money back in your pocket. To earn while you shop, check out the several cash back cards listed on Credible.

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4. Use a balance transfer credit card to pay down debt

If you’re working on paying down credit card debt, consider using a balance transfer credit card to save money on interest, allowing you to hold onto more of your cash.

Balance transfer cards offer introductory 0% APR promotions for a period, typically between six and 20 months. When you apply, you can transfer your balance from another card and pay off your credit card debt during the promotional period interest-free.

These cards often come with a balance transfer fee, which typically ranges from 3 to 5% of the transferred balance. But depending on the size of the balance and your other card’s interest rate, the savings can still far outweigh that cost. Also, some cards don’t charge a balance transfer fee at all. Check Credible to see what balance transfer cards have to offer.

PROS AND CONS OF BALANCE TRANSFER CARDS

5. Use a 0% APR card 

If you’re thinking of making a large purchase or are experiencing a financial emergency, a 0% APR credit card can provide you with a trio of money-making opportunities. These cards function similarly to balance transfer cards but offer zero percent interest rates for a set period on new purchases.

Many of these cards also offer sign-up bonuses and everyday rewards, which can provide even more value on your purchase. Credible can help find the right credit card for you. Choose zero percent credit cards and get a breakdown of the annual fee, welcome offers, credit needed and more.

GET 0% APR CREDIT CARDS TO SAVE MONEY — HERE’S HOW

How to determine if an annual fee is worth it

As you look for credit cards that can help you make money, you’ll likely see many that charge annual fees. While annual fees can eat into the value you gain from a credit card, they’re not always bad.

Take a look at the card’s rewards program and other perks it provides to determine how much value you can get from it on an annual basis. With mileage rewards cards, for instance, you can get perks like free checked bags and in-flight discounts that help neutralize the cost of an annual fee.

WHAT APR MEANS ON YOUR CREDIT CARDS

Once you’ve determined the value a card provides versus its annual fee, compare that with the value you can get from a card with no annual fee. Depending on your spending habits and how you plan to use the card, an annual-fee option may be worth it.

Whatever you do, create and budget and stick to it to avoid overspending, and always pay your monthly bill on time and in full to avoid interest charges. Using your card responsibly can also help build your credit history and credit score, which can provide more options to save and make money in the future.

— to www.foxbusiness.com

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