Budget Tips: Coupons & Avoiding Credit Card Fees

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If you’re at this website and looking at what the right credit card is for you then you’re probably interested in making your dollars go the furthest they can and making sure you get the most value out of things. We’ve got two of our favourite ways to do this below!

Save Money with Coupons

Did you know that there are coupons out there for almost everything? And we’re not just talking about the ones that you clip out of the newspaper and bring into the local grocery store, there are a lot of coupons out there: from Orbitz car rentals to Amazon’s Alexa speaker. Have you ever noticed the little box on the checkout page of an online shopping cart that says something like ‘Have a promo code‘ or ‘Enter coupon code here’. All you have to do is a quick Google search, and you’ll come up with tons of coupon websites. Some are more reputable than others, and some will list expired coupon codes. But try a few of them, it doesn’t hurt! One we definitely recommend is dealfly.org. Their main focus is travel, but they have tons of different coupons.

Use Buying Guides

One way to make sure that you are getting the most value for your money is to do your homework, and really research any purchases. There are tons of buying guides online that will compare and contrast different models available, so you can see if the more expensive item is really worth spending your extra money on or if a less expensive one will do just fine. For example, here is a guide on mid-range headphone that breaks down the cost, features, and pros and cons of several different models.

7 Credit Card Fees To Watch Out For

Credit cards can be wonderful: they allow you to have more control over your cash by letting you make purchases and pay them off at a later date. If done correctly, you can even use them to improve your credit rating. And in the process you can often earn rewards and cash back for making purchases you normally make. However, like most wonderful things, credit cards have the potential for causing problems if they are used improperly or without the right knowledge. Fees are one of the most common frustrating aspects of credit cards. Knowing how credit card fees work can go a long way toward helping you avoid them. Here are some common credit card fees and how you can avoid them:

Annual fee:

Many cards have an annual fee. Sometimes cards have a fee because they offer you more services or better rewards, and in some cases if you spend enough money on the card and maximize the rewards associated with the card, it can more than offset the fee. This is highly dependent on what you purchase and how much you tend to spend, so many people prefer to pick cards with no annual fee.

Cash advance fee:

If your card offers cash advances, they often charge a fee, typically 2 percent to 5 percent of the cash advance amount.

Late payment fee:

If you miss your payment date, even by a single day, most cards will charge a late payment fee, usually under $35. If you have a good history of paying on time, you may be able to call your credit card company and have this fee waived. However, try not to make a habit of paying late, because credit card companies won’t waive the fee if you are late too often, and paying late can hurt your credit score.

Application fee:

Many credit cards for individuals with poor credit charge an application fee. You may be able to have this fee waived if you ask.

Over-the-limit fee:

If your balance goes above your credit limit, you will be charged a fee. You can avoid this by opting out of over-the-limit fees, but be aware that this will mean that your card will be declined for transactions that will take you over your limit.

Balance transfer fee:

Some cards charge a fee when you transfer a balance from another card. It can still make sense to transfer a balance, even if you are charged a fee, if you plan on carrying the balance for a number of months and the interest rate on the new card is sufficiently lower than the rate on the card you are transferring from.

Foreign transaction fee:

Some cards charge a fee for all transactions processed by merchants outside of the U.S., typically 1 to 3 percent of the purchase amount.

Credit cards can be a powerful tool in your financial arsenal. As powerful as they can be, the fees you can incur can be frustrating and costly. Be sure to read through your cardholder statement thoroughly and watch out for these seven common credit card fees.