How wonderful the world would be if you could make money from your credit cards. Well, you can. And here is how to do it.
Before we go on remember that if you hold debt on your cards – and you should have already transferred this debt to a card offering 0% on balance transfers – you must proceed with extreme caution. Getting rid of your debt is your prime concern. Do that first.
Also, if you have been undisciplined with your cards in the past you need to change your ways. See cards as an investment. Handle them as you would cash.
First up, you need a bank account that offers the highest possible rate of interest and instant access to your money. You can look for the best current deals by visiting websites and the money sections in the quality Sunday newspapers.
This account is where you will keep your money to pay off your credit card bill. You should look for an account that pays around 5%.
Now get yourself a credit card that offers an introductory rate of 0% on new purchases. The Sainsbury’s credit card is one that does this, offering new customers an interest-free period for 10 months.
The important thing is to ensure you pay the minimum off each month. The easiest way to ensure that you do this is to set up a direct debit from your bank account. (Your minimum payment is usually 2-3% of your balance.)
The beauty is that while your spending is swelling the balance owed on the credit card, your money in the bank is earning interest. This interest is your profit.
At the end of the agreed period of interest-free grace, you pay off the debt and never use the card again. You should destroy the card lest you are tempted to use it.
Or why not go one better and not pay off the debt? Why not simply transfer the debt on maxed-out card to another new card that offers 0% on balance transfers and 0% on purchases and then keep going?
The one problem you might encounter is that your credit rating will only allow you to take on so much debt. To circumvent this, apply for a few cards at the start of the exercise. Experts recommend applying for four in one go.
And so long as you are strict without yourself this master plan will work. Make sure you always have enough cash in your bank account to pay off the debt.