This content is brought to you by Air Force Federal Credit Union, a not-for-profit financial cooperative owned entirely by its members and operated for the benefit of all who belong. From the time of its inception, the credit union has taken great pride in serving the financial needs of our military and their families.
San Antonio ranked No. 26 out of 150 U.S. cities for the best city to start your career in 2016, according to WalletHub. Although the city might be a great place to find a good paying job, San Antonio is still considered an expensive place to live.
One way to offset the higher cost of living in San Antonio is to use credit card benefits to your advantage. Here are four ways you can save money with a credit card from your local credit union.
1. Low Rates
If you a secure a low-rate credit card, it would be wiser to use that on larger purchases than taking out a personal loan with a higher APR. If you are in the market for some new furniture from one of the Ashley Furniture HomeStores in San Antonio, you might be tempted to put your purchase on their store card in order to receive a discount. However, the Ashley’s Furniture Credit Card comes with a huge APR of 29.99% and users are not able to earn any cash back for their purchase.
Instead, buying your furniture purchase with a credit card that has a low APR will save you money on interest, and many credit cards from credit unions will allow you to earn rewards on your purchases.
2. Overdraft Protection
Even the most financially responsible individuals have fallen prey to expensive overdraft fees. About 67 percent of the biggest banks charge $35 to $38 for an overdraft fee, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts. Even if you only had three overdrafts per year, that is still over $100 in unnecessary fees.
Attaching a credit card to your checking account for overdraft fee protection will prevent you from raking up the costly fees if your bank account dips too low.
3. Fraud Alerts
Using a credit card rather than a debit card offers more protection for your money. When your debit card is used fraudulently, the money in your account disappears instantly. This can cause payments and checks not to clear, and it can take a while for your bank to clean up the mess. However, with many credit cards, you are alerted to fraudulent activity quickly and if your card has Zero Liability Protection, then you will not be held responsible for any unauthorized charges.
Another huge benefit of using credit cards for your daily purchases is that you can earn cash back or rewards. “[Y]our credit card rewards balance provides a potential source of savings,” said April Mann, vice president of remote services at Air Force Federal Credit Union. “You can use your points on airline tickets, hotels reservations, vacation and cruise packages, merchandise and gift cards.”
Air Force FCU, for instance, offers members the chance to earn one point for every dollar spent with the Visa Platinum Card. This card will also have the chance to earn year-round opportunities to earn double and even five times your points.
As long as you pay off your credit card balance each month, you will not have to worry about paying interest on your purchases. Try using a credit card for your daily spending to protect yourself from costly fraud and to earn reward points.