Be Frugally Inspired: Playing The Credit Card Game

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Do you play the credit card game?  If you’re not sure, read below.

Credit cards are something that a lot of us have.  When used correctly, they can help us build our credit.  When the balances get a bit high and/or interest rates increase, so can our stress level.  My husband and I carry credit cards; I can admit that to everyone.  You don’t need to know how many or how high the balances might be to find out what I’m about to tell you next.  But there is a way to make having them a little bit easier.

Playing the Credit Card Game

Sometimes it’s easy to jump at a credit card offer without looking at all of the fine print.  You need the “cash” and so you figure “I’ll just spend it now and pay it off later”, but later never seems to come and you find yourself stuck.  I have had a balance on a card that had a 29.99% interest rate.  I know; it’s terrible, and I shouldn’t have jumped at such an offer over 5 years ago.   My husband has had a card with a 9.41% interest rate that we left sitting with a zero balance after we paid it off.  We hadn’t used that card in a few years.

The light FINALLY shone on me today when I realized that I had been paying all of this extra money in interest in a hopeless attempt to get my extremely high interest rate card balance down with yet another minimum payment.  We had just received our zero balance card statement on the lower interest rate card.  Only, I had forgotten how low that interest rate was until I saw that statement.  I immediately had my husband put in a call to his credit card company.

Very long story short, we saved over $800 by transferring the balance from the high interest rate card to the lower one.  Because we made that transfer, we were also given 0% for 12 months.  I dropped my jaw!  Now we can more easily pay off this lower rate card and put the higher rate one away, in a huge box, in the back of a closet for a while, not to be used for some time.

The lesson learned here?  Don’t be afraid to play the credit card game once in a while; just don’t do this all of the time.


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