A CREDIT CARD RATING SYSTEM
The responsible use of cash reward credit cards has been very helpful in reducing my monthly expenses. In order to help me decide what new credit card I should apply for at any given time, I have developed a credit card rating system. It guides me in determining which credit card will best meet my needs at the time I apply for it. This blog post series will explain my system in detail to help others decide what cards and card qualities to consider as well.
THE CATEGORIES OF CREDIT CARDS
The categories of credit cards are shown in the illustration below. Note that each serves a different purpose. Cash reward credit cards provide a crucial feature that some of us value most, cash back for a reduction in expenses. To apply the system where it has great value, I will use the cash back or cash rewards cards category as the primary focus of this blog post series, A CREDIT CARD RATING SYSTEM.
CASH BACK AKA CASH REWARDS CREDIT CARDS
With cash back credit cards, one can get reductions in monthly credit card charges. This is crucial for the survival of someone who is a Former Middle-Class Person as well as a senior citizen. In fact, the benefits offered to make life easier with these cards increases almost daily. This is because credit card issuers are becoming increasingly competitive with generous offers to lure new customers to switch credit cards.
ADD TO RATHER THAN SWITCH CARDS
It can be preferable to add a new credit card rather than switch by elimination. On the other hand, there are many details to keep in mind when adding rather than switching. In spite of that, one major benefit of having a bounty of (cash reward) credit cards is a substantial amount of total available credit. This means that if a credit cardholder uses a very small % of his/her total available credit each month, a major factor of one’s credit score remains ‘EXCELLENT’. When it comes to credit scores, most systems use a total of six factors and using a small % of available credit is one of them. But adding new cards definitely has its pluses and minuses. In spite of the challenges, I have found adding cards to be a plus. More about this in the other posts in this series.Here is an article about this from Credit Karma.
HOW TO KEEP MANY CASH BACK CREDIT CARDS ACTIVE AND IN ORDERThere is no way to use every card each month. As a result, I use a rotation/pairing system that allows me to use only several cards each month. The pairing part means that I make available one card in each of my charging categories, if possible. Even though I have developed a system, I still have to be vigilant. That means staying within my spending budget and making all my payments on time. In other words, there needs to be a way that I can keep track of every detail of every card at all times. More about that in the other posts.
MY CREDIT CARD RATING SYSTEM AS IT IS APPLIED TO CASH BACK CREDIT CARDS
The additional posts in this series will focus on how my credit card rating system relates to how I choose cash rewards credit cards. I can and do use it for deciding on all my accounts. The beauty of this system is that it can be used across the board with any cash reward card. In fact, it can be used for deciding on any type of credit card as well.
Here are the links to this five part series about my Credit Card Rating System: Introduction to A Credit Card Rating System
The Rating System Used for Cash Back Credit Cards (Series Part 2 – June 2019)
Excellent Cash Reward Cards (Part 3 – June 2019)
Mixed Cash Reward Credit Card Benefits (Part 4 – June 2019)
Risky Cash Reward Credit Cards (Part 5-June 2019)
Please note: I am not a certified financial planner or professional advisor. These blog posts about the use of credit cards are based on my own experience which I freely share. But I can take no legal or financial responsibility for the results you may have in attempting to follow my system. But I do wish you the best and welcome your comments and questions at the VERY end of this post. You will have reached the end because you can not scroll down any further. As well, you will have reached the comment form.
SOURCES & RESOURCES
To learn more about credit card cash rewards, go to these two earlier published blog posts and other writings:
Credit Card Categories, Sign Up Incentives and Cash Rewards