(WPRI) – If you're one of the millions of Americans with a credit card, you may be aware of the latest trend: rewards for good behavior.
Many companies are rewarding consumers who pay their bills on time or pay more than the monthly minimum. Perks include cash back or interest rate rebates.
According to Joe Ridout of Consumer Action, these rewards provide incentive to pay off debt.
"If you carry out a balance of even a couple times a year, the interest you're going to pay on a rewards card is always going to be higher," he explained. "That will generally outstrip whatever rewards you're building up."
However, some companies' policies may make it too easy for consumers to fall into dangerous habits.
If you have trouble paying a monthly bill, there are now credit cards that will spare late fees and penalties. This may seem like a good thing for some consumers, but Ridout disagrees and urges consumers to wait no longer than 30 days to pay a bill.
"Unfortunately, a late payment very likely will be reported to the credit bureaus," he said. "It will very likely take down your credit score. "
Experts recommend a couple ways to make the most out of your credit card:
- Evaluate the incentives.
- Pay off your debt before any interest-free period is up.
- Focus on paying your balance in full each month.
While good behavior is rewarded to good consumers at some companies, late fees will still be charged if a bill is not paid within 60 days. If you surpass that time period, your APR could take a serious hit.
Copyright WPRI 12
ALERT: RIDOT is urging drivers to take is easy on the roads Tuesday night after a light snow is causing some slushy road conditions.
Providence has put its development permitting process online in an effort to make it easier to do business with Rhode Island's largest city.
A witness for a child advocacy group challenging Rhode Island's child welfare system says the average foster family in the state needs 72 percent more financial aid than what the state provides.
RI prison officials travel to Washington next week to discuss investigation into hiring practices.
Keep your family safe with this vital information from Cumberland Hill Fire Department.