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How Credit Cards Can Help You Save Money and Pay Down Debt

It’s no surprise that credit cards sometimes lead to debt. But did you know some smart credit card issuers are trying to turn them into tools for paying it off? Responding to consumer concerns in a troubled economy, banks and other lenders have been redesigning rewards programs to help consumers pay down debts and even save money for retirement.

A quick inventory of rewards programs we did turned up some innovative options:
  • Cash-back credit cards that automatically apply the rebate toward outstanding loan balances
  • Cards that funnel rebates earned on purchases toward retirement accounts
  • Card that offer “529” college savings rewards
Other lenders offer “planners” to calculate the time required to pay down debt balances and project how a major purchase might affect the balance of an account. Still another bank offers a program where consumers can consolidate high interest debt into a fixed-rate personal loan and use the bank’s online budgeting tool to try to spend less. They can put the money they’ve saved toward loan balances and their rewards either go toward paying loan principal or a savings or checking account.

Wondering what’s in for the banks? While it may be true that they stand to lose some of the profit they’d make on interest if consumers pay down their debts, consumers who can’t pay their bills aren’t of much benefit to banks, either. Making customers happy is good business sense no matter what business you’re in.

So if you wish you could put less money toward your debt and more toward savings, do some investigation. With some diligent research, you’re sure to find the right card for your needs.
Now that you know more about using credit cards to save money,
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