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As the prices of pretty much everything rises, it’s even more important to stay on top of your spending & look for ways to help soften the blow of inflation. It’s hard for some to cut expenses even more than they already have, especially those with families. So I want to give you a few strategies to consider.
Inflation fighting credit card strategy #1: Maximize credit card rewards
Most credit card issuers offer nice rewards for collecting points and getting cash back.
(Random side-note: I never understood what cash-back actually was lol I always dismissed people who tried to get me into credit cards until I started to educate myself, and now cash-back is my FAVORITE cc perk 😆)
Anyway, when inflation is high like this, I see more opportunities to maximize the credit card reward points I earn.
According to the May CPI inflation report, food prices increased by 10.1% & gasoline increased by 48.7% from 2022.
So, I look at my credit cards that offer extra points for these categories & other categories where prices have gone up as well.
For example, with my DiscoverIt card, I earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations & when I pay using PayPal. On top of that, I automatically earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
These rewards definitely add up over time & you can accelerate it by taking advantage of the sign-up bonuses & cashing in points asap & running them up again. Some credit cards will have expiration dates for points, but with others, the points you earn won’t expire.
#2: Apply for a credit card that aligns with your spending habits
In an inflationary time like the one we’re in now, you’ll benefit most by choosing a credit card that actually aligns with your spending habits.
For example, if you spend a lot of money on eating out or getting gas, it’s wise to choose a credit card that offers rewards for those categories.
The price of dining and gasoline have definitely increased, so leveraging the right credit card can help soften the blow of inflation.
If you don’t spend a lot of money on popular categories, it could make sense to choose a credit card that provides a consistent rate of cash back on purchases, such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card which offers 1.5-3% cash back on all purchases.
Another thing to pay attention to depending on your situation is choosing a credit card with specific benefits like no foreign transaction or late payment fees.
#3: Leverage credit card benefits
You may not realize how many money-saving benefits are provided by your credit card. For example, Mastercard World Elite credit cards come with the following services for cardholders:
Exclusive discounts with select merchants.
World Elite Concierge.
Complimentary rental car elite status.
Mastercard Luxury Hotel & Resorts Portfolio.
Hotel stay guarantee.
travel accident insurance and multiple other discount programs.
You’re likely paying for some of these services separately without knowing your credit card covers them.
#4: Leverage introductory offers
Since interest rates are rising, it’s more expensive to finance large purchases.
Which is another reason why you might want to consider financing those large expenses with a credit card that has a 0% introductory annual percentage rate.
If you can pay off the balance in the introductory period, you can save money by avoiding any interest charges.
Another thing to take note of, if you have existing high credit card debt you’re trying to pay off, you might want to leverage credit card balance transfers.
When you do this, you’re simply moving debt from one credit card to another, you’re typically moving it to a card with a lower interest rate.
If you move debt to a card that provides an introductory 0% APR, you could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest.
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