3 ways to get the most out of your credit card

As embarrassing as it is to say YOLO these days, there’s certainly a great concept behind it.

If you’ve somehow missed this craze (an apt name, if we ever heard one), it stands for ‘You Only Live Once’. It’s been around for a while now, and is a phenomenon recording artist Drake has both claimed and then apologised for. For a classier version, you could also say ‘Carpe Diem’ (seize the day), which is really what we’re getting at.

We’re ‘seizing the day’ in many grand ways – travelling, taking up job opportunities, meeting new people and following our dreams. But why not make the most of every day in little ways too?

Here’s how you can make the most of every day with something as simple and small as your credit card.

If you’re considering a new credit card, review the range available through Virgin Money to see if they are right for you.

1. Don’t live at the maximum

Like keeping the revs in your car over the red patch, staying in the maximum zone of your credit limit isn’t going to last forever.

Staying at the maximum limit and only paying off enough each month to make room for new purchases isn’t the best way to make the most of your card. If a big, necessary and non-negotiable spend (such as a really great deal on flights to New Zealand for a ski weekend) comes up, you’ll obviously need that available credit.

Try to pay off more than the minimum payment so that you have room for any emergency expenses.

2. Make the most of your rewards

Find out how to maximise the rewards program on your card, as different cards may have different benefits attached.

If every spend on your card has the potential to earn rewards points, it seems a shame not to make the most of them. But before you use your card, check whether there is a credit card processing fee – these fees could cancel the value of any points you might earn.

3. Always pay off your debt

A good citizen always pays their IOUs, and what’s a credit card but an electronic IOU?

In this case, when you pay back your debts it means you save on the interest that can accrue, and gives you more space for future purchases. Keeping on top of your finances by minimising your debt maximises the use and value you get from your credit card and will help you get into good spending habits for the future. While it is true that you only live once so should therefore enjoy it, it doesn’t mean there is simply no tomorrow to consider either.

How do you go about getting the most out of your credit card?