Credit & Debt, Credit Cards

How To Stick It To Your Credit Card Company

Credit card companies are notorious for their exorbitant profits, hidden fees, and “gotcha” tactics for making money. Many consumers think their credit card company takes advantage of them with outrageous interest rates and they feel stuck in a never-ending cycle of debt. After all, credit card companies make most of their money off interest on consumers who carry a balance. But as a consumer, you have the power to stick it to your credit card company and take charge. Here’s how:

Pay off your balance every month

Credit card companies make the bulk of their profits from high interest payments cardholders have to make on unpaid balances. If fact, credit card companies make you attractive offers to get their cards in hope that you actually DON’T pay your balance in full every month. One of the best ways to stick it to your credit card company is to make sure you pay your full balance so they don’t profit from you like they hoped they would.

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Pay on time

Credit card companies often tack-on extra fees for late payments. Why put extra money in the credit card company’s pocket by paying your statement a few days late? If you can afford to pay your statement, always pay it on time. And never skip a payment!

Consolidate your debt with Peer-2-Peer Lending

If you are carrying a balance on your credit card, then the credit card company is making a killing off you. One of the best ways to get back at them is to consolidate your debt into a lower rate through another service so the credit card company no longer profits from your misfortune.

There is a new form of debt consolidation called peer-2-peer (p2p) lending that is available to borrowers with credit scores over 640. P2P websites allow you to borrow money from regular people (peers) to pay off your credit cards. You can often get a lower rate through these services, which can save you hundreds, if not thousands, in interest payments.

The largest P2P service is called Prosper Marketplace, where you can borrow between $2,000 and $35,000 at rates as low as 6.73% with payback terms of 3 or 5 years. You can get your free rate quote here.

Pay with cash

Many consumers don’t realize that in addition to making money off of you, credit card companies also charge business to accept credit cards. Most credit card companies charge 2% of a transaction plus 25 cents every time a business runs your credit card. So if you pay for a $25 purchase on your credit card, about 75 cents of that goes to the credit card company instead of the merchant.

When you pay for your purchases with cash then the credit card company makes nothing off of that transaction and all of the proceeds go to the business. This is especially helpful for small local businesses. It also means you don’t have to worry about carrying a balance on your card.

Don’t pay an annual fee

Many cards offer rewards that consumers love, but also charge you a yearly fee to get those rewards. Make sure you do the math to be sure that your rewards are actually covering the fee you are paying for them. If not, be sure to switch to a no-fee credit card right away.

Conclusion

For some people, credit cards are a necessity. But just because you have a card does not mean you need to pour money into the credit card company’s pockets. Be sure watch out for sneaky introductory “low-rates” that could jump and get you in a lot of trouble. And always read everything so you fully understand what you are paying.

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18 Comments

  1. 1
  2. 7

    Max out the cards and leave no assets and die I have it set up that upon my death all my assets are transferred and I am reported dead the next day Insolvent estate !!!!

    • 8

      Someone took you for some money selling you that line.

      All law enforcement, officers of the court, doctors, medical examiners, coroners are required by law to report your death immediately and list time of death based on body core temperature on their report. Included in this report is your social security number which is flagged to financial institutions.

      Your strategy will not work.

  3. 10

    Also pay around 20 cents more than they bill you and then don’t use the card for 3 months, use another one. They’ll pay more sending you a refund check and your monthly statememnts.

  4. 11

    I have two of those rewards cards that give you back 1%, 2% or some as high as 5% for certain purchases. Every time I use my credit card, I deduct it from my checkbook. That way I have the cash in reserve to pay the balance in full each month, plus I get a nice little $100+ bonus every two or three months. I am not rich by any stretch of that definition, but I am fortunate to be in a position take advantage of the rewards without paying credit card. I realize that a lot of other folks are not.

  5. 12

    The REAL dirty truth is that Credit Card debt is unsecured debt. Get all the credit cards that you can, run them all the way to their limits, then inform the credit card companies that they are welcome to all of the collateral you put up for their “loan”. Since there was no collateral, they have nothing to take. The only thing they can do is stop giving you credit cards, but even then they will give them to you again in about seven years. You do not need to file bankruptcy, just don’t pay them. If everyone in America would do this just once, we could end credit card companies forever and make these cards again what they were originally intended to be, a bookkeeping tool.

    • 13

      Agree with creditkiller… depending on the state you live in, consumers may be able to fight the credit card companies and collection agencies who quite often over step and aggressively pursue illegal methods to obtain payment. I was able to negotiate discharging over $30k in credit card debt when I challenged several collection agencies who legally never entered into a contract with me and had no right to claim any payment.

  6. 14

    Absolutely stupid headline. The internet has pulled journalism to a new low. That being said, the advice is sound and common sense. Don’t blame the credit card companies if you can’t manage your finances. People in that category should cut up their credit cards.

  7. 15

    Yeah guys, you could just max out all of your cards, declare bankruptcy, such awesome ideas!

    Or you could, you know – live within your fucking MEANS and pay your bills on time, and at least pretend you have your shit together.

    • 16

      It’s the people that get credit cards…spend money like crazy…max out credit cards…then default on payments…that’s made the interest rates, fees, etc. so high…!!!! Really ticks me off that the honest people in the world..have to pay the price for all you dishonest, selfish, stealing $ from Credit Card Companies….we have a generation of **Entitlement** for whatever they want…!!! I agree, get a job, live on cash, budget your money, teach your kids honesty, integrity…!!!

  8. 17

    You know what. If you owe the credit card companies a lot of money. Declare Chapter 7/Bankruptcy.
    Seven years will fly by. These are the same banks that your Tax Dollars made whole during the Bush Meltdown of our economy. For example $5 Hundred Billion to Citibank. And did Citibank give their customers
    any kind of break ? NO. Chapter 7/Bankruptcy will send a message to these banksters. It is such a relief.
    And it really is painless.

  9. 18

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