Financial tips from Forex experts

Choosing the Right Airline Credit Card

A good airline credit card with wide compatibility functions helps to consolidate the benefits of 2 to 3 credit cards into one. The system of operation for these cards is no different from the normal credit cards. Some points to ponder in choosing the right card are:

*Interest rates:

Most of these cards have a high Annual Percentage Rate (APR). Typically, they tend to be 5-6% higher than the normal cards.

*Annual fees:

The annual fee for these cards is a main concern for the cardholders. In many cases, the annual fee paid is not relative to the rewards received. It is better to compare the fee for a number of cards, narrow the choices to the ones with moderate fees, and compare the rewards given on these cards to make the final decision.

*Redemption criteria:

The redemption criterion is a key factor in determining the right card. You should consider the blackout dates that are applicable for redeeming the frequent flyer miles. There could be an upper limit on the number of miles that can be accumulated and their validity. Some cards will let you convert accumulated points to cash. In addition, there can be more restrictions if the balance in not paid in full or if you are late with the payment.

*Balance transfers:

Some airline credit cards will allow balance transfer at a lower interest rate. This shifting of balances could help in increasing the flyer miles on the card. With balance transfer, you can achieve the double benefits of accumulating more flyer miles and debt consolidation.

*Other lucrative services:

There are various other extra travel services offered by these airline credit cards. These include and are not restricted to discount on car rentals, travel insurance on purchases using your card, emergency cash withdrawal from the card while traveling and discounts in certain restaurants and shopping malls.

Airline Miles Credit Card

Another variant to the airline credit card is the airline miles credit card. As the name indicates, these cards accumulate miles per dollar spent. There are varieties of airline miles credit card each offering different terms and conditions on the airline miles per dollar spent. Hence, you need to check for the minimum number of air miles necessary for a free trip and the duration of validity of the accumulated miles.

With increased competition, many airline miles credit cards offer attractive incentives on sign up. These include additional bonus on first purchase, 0% APR for certain introductory period and on balance transfers.

Though these are attractive offers, you need to consider the cost of maintaining these cards after the initial offer period. Airline credit cards, especially airlines miles credit cards are a good buy only for those who are regular flyers, as these cards tend to have high interest rate, annual fees, and other fees.

In conclusion, as with any other card, you can reap good benefits only if you take time to read and research the fine print with the various offers. Careful search should give cards that offer low interest rates, no annual fees, more miles on dollar spent, and freedom to travel on any airline with no blackout dates. The best airline credit card is one that gives good value for money, in terms of accumulated miles and rewards.

Clear credit cards or not

If you do want to clear your credit cards, one of the first things you should do is set up a direct debit or standing order to pay off a certain amount each month. This way you will always pay your bill on time and will not be subject to administrative penalties or fees for late payment. The amount you set for repayment level should be significantly higher than the minimum required repayment. This is because keeping the payment at the minimum will not pay off the credit card balance very quickly at all. In fact, it may just a servicing level that will pay the interest but make no progress at all towards the outstanding balance.

Once you have set a monthly repayment amount and are satisfied that it is high enough to repay the credit card balance in a reasonable time frame, what you should next need to do is stay strong and discipline your spending. This means refraining from using the card, and perhaps waiting until next month when you have cash to buy something you need or want. It is this discipline that will be the difference between clearing the debt and carrying it into the future. If you find it too difficult, consider leaving the card in a safe place at home or even cutting it.

Remember do not just keep to a minimum payment, this is a sure fire way to get further into debt. By paying an extra Ј10 each month your total credit card interest will drop substantially. Credit Card Companies set their minimum payment requirements too low, many at just 2%, and too many consumers fall into the trap of thinking minimum payments are adequate.

By taking heed of our advice you will soon find yourself clear of credit card debt.