As Credit Card Usage Declines, Rewards & Bonus Points Go Up

Consolidated Credit Offers Tips for Managing Personal Finances

With the holiday season at its peak, and a major decline in consumer credit card usage over the past year, credit card companies are aggressively pushing out additional rewards, points, and incentives with the hope of convincing consumers to swipe their credit cards.

More than 8 million people have stopped using credit cards over the past year, making debit cards the preferred method of payment. Because of this massive change within the credit card industry, major retailers and credit card companies are reacting by offering consumers gift cards, triple bonus points and air miles, and broadening the once tight restrictions that were required to be followed in order to receive bonus points.

Consolidated Credit warns consumers to be cautious when taking advantage of these offers. After reading all of the fine print and talking with the card issuer about details related to the bonus points and incentives and then, if you have the money to pay-off the purchases before the bill is due, is it OK to utilize your card to get additional rewards.

Let’s say you sign up for a Target card which offers .05% off every purchase. If you don’t pay your balance due within 30 days of your purchase, that .05% becomes nonexistent when the 25% interest rate is added onto your balance. It is important to know all aspects of your credit card contract and act wisely.

Due to the attempts to gain new credit card users, Consolidated Credit wants to caution consumers to be smart when trying to get the most of credit card offers and rewards.

Tips from Consolidated Credit for Managing Credit Card This Holiday Season:

  1. Read the fine print about new rewards/bonus points/incentives before swiping your credit card. You can’t follow rules and guidelines if you don’t know they exist.
  2. Only swipe what you can pay back within a reasonable amount of time – choose to pay bills with your card – this way you know you have budgeted for these purchases.
  3. Know your interest rates and credit balance before you swipe.
  4. Seek out cards with the best rewards – Find a credit card that offers double or triple points.
  5. Pay your credit card bill on time every month.