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It is amazing how many people are scared of using credit cards and they opt to pay everything either by cash or by debit cards. Obviously some of those folk realise that they do not have the discipline to control their spending, so they don't have credit cards to tempt them to over-spend and thus get themselves into financial trouble. That is fair enough, but unfortunately for them, they miss out on many opportunities to obtain goods for free or at a massive discount and they are probably the sort of people that need all those freebies most of all.

Credit cards are very convenient and if used wisely, they can make life very easy. But they require discipline in their operation, because credit card interest is horrendously high and the banks and card issuers rely on those high interest charges to make them a lot of money at the expense of users. But if users merely exercise discipline in not living outside their means and ensuring that their credit card debts are paid within the interest-free period, then using credit cards becomes a fabulous convenience - and there are rewards attached.


The secret to successful credit card use is to not play the card issuer's game, but play their own game to ensure that they get all the rewards for no penalty or outlay. There is no expense except an annual fee for card users that can be paid with cashback reward cards if they pay the outstanding amounts at the right time to avoid interest charges. Even better, card users should always opt for credit cards that offer rewards, whether they be 'Frequent Flyer' points or reward points for goods and appliances. If card users use their cards to pay for everything and rack up those reward points, they will benefit by being able to get a range of goods for free, such as household appliances, cashback cards, petrol vouchers and all sorts of rewards - for no other reason that they used their cards for all purchases.


There is one good way to get goods cheaper or for free and that is to subscribe to reward points schemes, such as those operated by credit card issuers. For instance, I use a reward point credit card, but never pay interest because I always pay outstanding amounts before the due dates. But I use that card to purchase literally everything, such as fuel, food, travel, hotel accommodation, utilities accounts, house, car and health insurance, council rates - literally everything. I almost never pay for anything in cash. So my credit card rewards just add up and every once in a while, I scan the rewards listings and order something that I will get for free.

So far, I remember getting three expensive cordless phones with multiple handsets, an expensive smartphone, various appliances, petrol credits, cash refunds and all sorts of goodies that did not cost me a single cent. And this was merely for using my credit card for virtually all transactions. The benefit by using my credit card for every payment is that I can see those transactions on my statements and use them for taxation and budgeting purposes and that costs me nothing as well.

My particular credit card even offers me free travel insurance if I merely pay a portion or full amount of my travel fares with my credit card. The card offers rental car excess insurance in Australia and transit accident insurance. This has saved me some thousands of dollars over the years. The card also offers me extended warranties on certain purchases and purchase protection insurance. And all this for just using my credit card, which I would do as a matter of course anyway.

Banks that issue credit cards don't like people like me, because they don't get a cent in those high rates of interest on credit card outstanding amounts because I make sure that my credit card has a slight credit on it on the rollover date. I ensure that I never miss that date, as I have an audible reminder set on my iPhone. So I just log onto my banking app and transfer enough funds to my credit card to take it into credit and that's that.

I strongly advise people to use credit cards with reward schemes and use them wisely. If they don't live outside their means and just ensure that there is a slight credit on the cards on the rollover of the interest-free date, then the benefits are huge and essentially cost-free. Don't play the credit card issuer's game and pay massive interest. Just be wise, pay no interest at all and reap all the goodies for free.