Posted by: jinoe | February 28, 2007

My Road to Riches – Credit Cards

Bad credit can ruin my finances.  Yet, having a credit card has a lot of advantages.  Besides, you can’t avoid those agents calling you up in the office telling you to get the lastest card account they are offering.  And they have such lovely, bewitching voices that just makes me say “Yes”.

So I ended up having 4 credits cards at one time.  I use all of them.  It was hard maintaining each card, checking on all the balances, making sure I met the due dates.  They are part of my monthly activities.  Worst, I have stupid annual dues to consider.  For the annual dues alone, I could spend close to 5,000 Php for the 4 cards I keep.  Not good.

But Im glad Im able to get the most of my credit cards.  I never had paid a single cent for interests, nor paid for a late charge fee.  I make sure I pay my bills.  And I havent paid a single annual fee on any credit card for four years.  Here’s how I maximize those cards to my advantage.

1.  I call to waive the annual fee and they will.  I do this everytime the annual fee is charged in my billing statement.  I first make sure that I dont have any outstanding balance.  This will help me start with a clean slate.  I’d call up the hotline and request my card to be cut.  Once they ask for a reason why, I’d tell them that I don’t want to pay an annual fee and I can live without the card because I have other cards to use.  This is usually enough.  They would tell me to hold on for a while to check some of my records.  Then they’d get back to me saying that since I have a good credit record, they will extend the use of my card for another year and my annual fee is waived.  It’s that easy.

But some have gimmicks like they will ask me to use my card.  I need to charge some amount within a month to my credit card before they will waive the annual fee.  Well, I dont fall into that trap.  I just tell them to cut the card instead.  Then, they’d ask me to hold on the line and I get the same result.

This works for most fees like processing fee, card replacement fee, card loss fee.  The fee can turn into a free with just a phone call.

What if they dont allow me to waive my fees?  Simple.  I drop the phone, call the hotline again and wait for another person to handle my call.  At least one of these agents will be kind enough to waive my fees.

2.  Freebies.  I use the credit cards to my advantage.  They dont get anything from me since I dont pay for stupid fees.  But I gain something from them since I get to have points.  The points allowed me to get bags, mileage, and freebies in thier promos.  Neat.  What’s not neat is the big logo or name of the bank on the bag that I get from them. Makes me look like an employee rather than a customer when I use the bags.

Some even offer great freebies once you get a new card.  They give you a watch, shoes, movie pass, raffle coupons, discount coupons and more.  These are oppurtunities to grab.  Just get the card, and call to cut after a year.

3.  Get more points.  I get points from what I charge to the card.  But the points required to get an item is big.  Way too big.  So what I do is offer for others to use my card.  They give me the cash, then I use the card.  This is useful when having a get together dinner with friends.  It’s a dutch treat but I ask them to give me thier money and I use my card to pay for the meal.  I just sure I keep the cash and resist the urge to spend it on something else.

Final words.  Use wisely.  This is one tip I also find hard to follow.  The credit card gives me a lot of purchasing power.  More than I can afford.  It’s really important for me to check all my spending and not to be carried away.

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Responses

  1. until now, ako ya wala pa ya credit card, everytime i apply for one, wala guid gakatsansa… pero good thing i don’t have one coz im still not so good handling my finances… 🙂

  2. wow!! ur a god saver then not a spender lol!!! i dont have any yet but soon but i will think about it if that a good idea???but my boss advice better not toi have one…
    but good for u !!!!

  3. ur right jin, some thinks credit card is bad since it will be start of unwise spending giving in to the temptations of shopping here and there. but i believe credit card is only bad if one does not know how to control their spending and manage their finances, otherwise, if like us that we dont pay interest nor annual fee, credit card works to our advantage becaue we get all the cash back and/or mileage without spending a cent for credit card maintenance, let not the bank earn from us, instead, let us get something from them :).

  4. hi jin,

    musta?

    just want to add…

    i do the same with regards to using cc…hehehe
    i am so happy because i have the following out of 5 my cards…
    – 2 free PAL flights (mla-bcd-mla) using simply the mabuhay miles
    – 3 free bags (handbags)
    – 1 free meal in sentro-greenbelt
    – 1700+ pesos rebates out of the cash back cards i have

    actually, I forgot to pay once on duedate because I misplaced my billing statement…i incurred a 900+ interest…
    but i think, “lamang” pa din ako…
    based on the rebates i gained…hehehe

    these acts we have in using cards is what they call “earnsumer”…
    we are not simply the regular consumers…
    but we do earn while consuming…di ba…

    we can also earn from advantage cards, other point cards, membership cards, etc…etc…

    GOOD LUCK to our card goals…hahahaha

    regards….


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