This may sound odd but tried and true. Yes, you can. Tested in my kitchen.
1. Pay your bills by due date. This is the most obvious and it’s what I’m doing most of the time, except when a large bill like $500 and up comes my way. Lately I was able to finance a couple of these interest-free which helps; you get to pay off $500 in six months, nice. Most of my bills, however, are up to a $100 or $200 max, and these are paid each month by their respective due dates. Up do date I have never paid an interest on any of my credit cards.
2. Watch for your credit card closing date. If you like myself, have a few of them, make sure that the closing dates are about 2 weeks apart. Let’s say, for example, card A has a closing date on the 5th of the month, and card B has a closing date on the 20th. Use the card A after the 5th and up to the 19th. Use the card B after the 20th and up to the 4th. This way, you’re using your grace period to its best. It also plays nicely into your credit score because you spread your spending across a few cards thus having a lighter usage of your line of credit on each one.
3. Make sure that you’re not charged an annual fee. All of my cards come without annual fee.
4. I am a sucker for the special offers such as the following. A couple of months ago, I received an email from the AAA club that said if I open a Bank of America (BOA) credit card, I will get a $50 bonus on my first statement. I went for it.
About a month passed by, and no bonus in sight. With BOA credit card, you can’t email them or have an instant chat like you do with Discover. So I’m calling their Customer Service and inquiring about the $50. CS acts like she has no clue what I’m talking about. Funny how some banks start suffering short term memory losses when it comes to paying a promised bonus.
Then I mentioned the email from the AAA which by the way when I tried to open a month later, came up blank but BOA doesn’t know that. So the next thing out of my mouth is, AAA sent me an email with this offer. She says, hmmm, we have an offer of a $100 bonus. The keyword however is “with a qualifying purchase”. This didn’t sit well with me so I kept insisting on getting a $50 with ANY PURCHASE. Which is what I eventually got. Yay. For this reason, here comes my now free new computer printer that cost close to $50.
BOA will send me a 1099 for this amount, comes the end of the year. For those unfamiliar, 1099 is an equivalent of a W-2 that you receive if you worked and had your payroll taxes deducted from your paychecks. 1099 is mostly for the self-employed who don’t pay taxes with each check.
5. Of course, having less credit cards will do even better for your credit score. None would be an ideal. This however is easier said than done. I for once, can’t live without them. I can live without a Facebook but not without my credit cards.
Here’s what Credit Karma has to say about my Credit Scores: