Thursday, May 20, 2010

8 Money-Saving Credit Card Hacks

The following guest post was written by Alban, who is a regular writer at Credit Card Finder.

Oftentimes the best credit card hacks are hidden to us because we didn't even know they existed. While some of these perks are clearly stated in the small print of your credit card agreement, a lot of these are only available to those who dare to ask.

1. Can't pay your bill this month? Delay it:
If you have a good existing credit rating with your lender and suddenly find yourself in a situation that won't allow you to pay off your credit card this month, call your lender at once and explain the situation. Then ask for an extension of another 30 days to pay the bill. Chances are that if you have a good standing with your lender, they will agree and give you some slack.

2. Need more credit? Increase your limit:
If you have an upcoming holiday where money and plenty of funds are essential, then why not ask for a credit limit increase. A great sneaky tactic to get your increase approved fast is if you plan on making a larger purchase like buying a TV or renovating your home.

3. Bargain for a lower interest rate:
The easiest way to do this is by telling your lender you're considering a better offer from the competition. Be friendly and not accusing while bargaining. It will get you much further.

4. Paid late? Waive the fee:
Sometimes circumstances are out of your hands. You might lose Internet connection while paying your bill online and suddenly find yourself in a situation where you get charged a late fee because the bill wasn't paid on time. In those moments, you might be able to request a fee being removed from your account because it wasn't your fault.

5. Merchant surcharges removal:
This is more interesting for US consumers as some states prohibit the addition of credit card surcharges. In Australia, this is perfectly legal if the merchant is within reason, e.g. to cover excess costs.

6. Warranty matters:
When you pay for large purchases with your credit card, the lender might match your warranty. This saves you from having to pay for extended warranty periods. Check with your lender to be sure.

7. Consider renting a car?
You might be eligible for free rental car insurance: It is worth checking this with your card provider because you can easily save a few hundred dollars in the process of hiring a car for a longer holiday.

8. Are you missing out on freebies?
You might qualify for free hotel accommodation, free upgrades and the likes with your credit card's rewards program. It pays to check because some of these freebies are worth hundreds of dollars. Join Perkler to search for your loyalty program and find out all the perks and discounts you are eligible for.

Crystal's Note:  I like the fact that my Discover has the optional perk of paying $69.95 for any road side assistance.  I haven't used it, but I like to know I have a backup option.

Do you know of any other credit card hacks? 


  1. Regarding credit card fees, it never hurts to call and ask them to be waived. If you have a good track record with a credit card company, they can be very forgiving. I actually did have a problem where I thought I paid the bill, but I must not have hit 'confirm' or something. I got smacked with late fees and interest, but they waived them all after I called and explained my situation. They knew I always paid my bill in full and had never been late before.

    Also, I always sign up for hotel reward programs. I don't travel a whole lot, but it is always great to maybe get free upgrades and such.

  2. Everyday Tips, that was my favorite tip too! Always ask for the fee to be waived before moving on to the next stop. :-)