NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for January 2020

Jan 3, 2020
NerdWallet's Best Credit Card Tips for January 2020

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Welcome to 2020! It's time to put away the memories of year-end revelry and start fresh in the new decade. If the resolutions you're making involve money, you're in good company.

In a survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of restaurant chain Urban Plates, of those who reported that they planned to make a resolution in 2020, more than half said they hoped to improve their finances.

If you can relate, here are some credit card tips to help you reach that goal.

Knock out holiday-related debt

If the holiday gift-giving season has you saying "ho-ho-holy-cow, look at these credit card bills," try taking advantage of a 0% intro APR on balance transfers. One to consider? The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, which carries an annual fee of $0 and comes with the following offer: Get a 0% Intro on Purchases for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.24%-24.24% Variable APR. Terms apply. Plus, there's no balance transfer fee for transfers requested within 60 days of account opening.

The card also earns rewards, giving you a reason to keep it around even after you've kicked that holiday-related debt to the curb.

Side-hustle smartly

If you're eyeing a side gig this year to supplement your regular income, keep your part-time job expenses separate from your personal ones.

Whether you're fueling up your car for a ridesharing run or paying shipping costs to deliver your wares, using a small-business credit card for your moonlighting money management can make things easier throughout the year, especially at tax time. Not only do your related out-of-pocket costs count as a business expense, but so do annual fees and eligible interest charges on your card — which means you can deduct them.

Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus
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One easy-to-use option is the Capital One Spark Cash Select - $500 Cash Bonus. It's got an annual fee of $0 and earns a flat 1.5% cash back on all your spending. You can redeem your rewards at any time, in any amount, and they never expire.

Trim your social spending

Was your going-out budget flowing freely in 2019? Tame those expenditures by bringing the entertainment to you. There are more streaming services available in 2020 than you can shake an Amazon Fire stick at, so cozy up on the couch and binge to your heart's content.

Skip the overpriced popcorn, and use a card that earns cash-back rewards on streaming — you might even end up scoring enough savings to splurge on pizza delivery.

The $0-annual-fee Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card earns 3X the points on eligible streaming services, as well as on dining out and ordering in. So yes, that pizza can earn you rewards, too.

Declutter, streamline or improve your wallet

Maybe you're overwhelmed with plastic. Perhaps a card you opened in 2010 no longer fits your spending habits in 2020, or the interest rate is too high, or you're simply not using its perks enough to justify the annual fee?

If so, you can consider closing the card outright, sure. But depending on factors including how long you've had it open and what the card's credit limit is, shuttering the account could negatively impact your credit scores.

Instead, you can contact the card's issuer and see what improvements you might be able to negotiate.

In some cases, an issuer may be willing to waive an annual fee for the year, or even lower your card's APR. In others, you may be able to upgrade or downgrade to a different product within the same "family" of credit cards, allowing you to retain your existing account number.

It's possible to improve the plastic already in your wallet without dinging your credit scores.

Information related to the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been provided or reviewed by the issuer of this card.

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