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For many people, credit cards are simply a payment method. But savvy users take advantage of the additional benefits and services that only credit cards offer. A credit card may give you cash back, free travel, insurance, and other services worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. Check out some of the most significant ways you can save money by paying with credit cards. (See also: 4 Reasons You Should Always Use Your Credit Card to Pay)
1. Get an Interest-Free Loan for a Large Purchase
If you can’t afford something, it’s always best to either forgo it or save up for it before making the purchase. In some cases, however, you don’t have the option of waiting. Your refrigerator dies just when you need a new transmission, or your dentist orders a root canal, stat. If you are disciplined, you can swing free financing on that fridge or dental work by getting a credit card with a promotional 0% APR on purchases. These cards allow you to make new charges and carry a balance with no interest for an introductory period — in some cases, as long as 21 months. After that, your purchases will be subject to the card’s standard interest rate. As long as you make your payments on time and clear your balance within the intro period, you’ll stay out of debt. (See also: The Difference Between Store Credit Offers and 0% Credit Cards)
2. Get a Break From Interest on Debt
Sometimes bad decisions in the past continue to haunt us. Interest that continues to accrue on current debt makes it even harder to make up for those bad decisions. Once you’ve decided to put your financial life back in order and create a debt repayment plan, one of the best tools you can use to help pay off debt faster is a balance transfer to a card offering an intro 0% APR. These offers allow you to take a break from your interest charges so that you can devote 100%…