Playing the Credit Card Game

I just got done doing a little bit of credit card juggling that I thought I would mention on this blog. This just goes to illustrate how you can take advantage of the offers and stretch your dollar further by being smart with your credit cards.

We recently decided to do a complete remodel of our kitchen. This has been major work because we took out the wall separating the kitchen from the dining room and we are completely replacing the cabinets and counters and are adding a substantial amount of cabinetry and counter space to the kitchen.

As you can imagine, this is going to cost us quite a bit of cash, so I did a bit of planning ahead.

We already do have a home equity line of credit that is still open from when we took advantage of the great interest rate they were offering. We haven’t used the equity loan in quite awhile but it is available if we need it. I decided to forego the equity loan and look into playing the credit card game.

I already have one reward card with a 7.9% interest rate, but I felt that we could do better. Besides, the couple of credit cards we had were either completely in my name or joint accounts and we wanted to at least get a card that was just in my significant other’s name. Remember, it is important for both people in a marriage to build their own individual credit history.

So, my spouse applied for a rewards credit card with a 0% APR for the first six months. After the introductory period, the APR is reasonable but not as good as my 7.9% card. I also applied for a new reward card that has an interest rate of 4.9% for the first 15 months. That is not quite as good as 0%, but it is certainly better than 7.9%.

When it came time to purchase the counter and cabinets, I only put as much as I knew we could pay off in six months on my spouse’s card and I put the rest on the other card. That way, I will be able to pay off the higher interest card before that interest rate kicks in. Since the other card has a 4.9% interest rate, I can let that float if I need to.

Of course, you would ideally pay the credit card in full at the end of each month. But, when it comes to major projects such as a complete kitchen overhaul, you will need to either get a loan or save it up all ahead of time. The home improvement store where we made the purchase did offer a special card with a possible rate of 7.99% if your interest is really good, but that still isn’t as good as what I already had in my pocket.

Remember, when making large purchases with a credit card, you can split it up onto multiple cards. Just tell the establishment how much you want to charge on each card and they can make that happen for you. Also, if you have good credit and getting another credit card isn’t going to hurt you, consider applying for one with a great introductory rate before making a big purchase.