my love for credit cards is not a secret. i've posted more than once, about the value, i find, in credit cards. it's my firm belief if you have a good grasp on your finances, don't spend like you never have to pay it back and figure out a way to play the cards, you win.
i have only paid $97.18 in fees, and interest charges since 2005 when i got my first credit card. two annual fees for my southwest airlines credit card, and a $19.18 interest fee once when i forgot about a payment (the only payment i've ever forgotten about). i have taken about 9 free flights on southwest (since october of 2009 when i got my swa card), and gotten hundreds of dollars in rewards from discover over the life of my credit card use. for me, that $97.18 was absolutely, unquestionably, worth it.
so a few months ago i was nerding out about finances with my friend blake. blake is one financially savvy gentleman himself, so i always enjoy chatting with him about what he's doing, his route, his plan, and his reasoning. blake had recently gotten a no interest credit card, which he planned to put the majority of purchases on (while still being wise about money), until he had his student loans paid down. the point was, "borrow" the money at no interest, from the credit card while you pay off an interest baring account, and then pay off the card before it's no interest term expires.
i hadn't thought of this until then. an interesting idea. i was afraid, initially, that getting my hands on a card that had 'no strings' would resurrect my wild non need, pre lockdown spending. however, with more thought and reflection into my new habits and ultimately, new found self control in a consumer way, i could handle this.
i recently put another big fat chunk of cash down on my loan, which has taken me to a balance of only $4290.79!! super exciting. so, i decided, i am likely about three months away from having it completely paid off. pushing me into the idea, why not get the no interest card??
i applied for the discover platinum card, which is offering 15 months no interest. i kept my limit at a reasonable, $3500, as not to do any undo able damage. :) of course, i will have to pay the minimum, on time, each month, to keep the special terms, but that will only be 2% of the total balance.
the plan: put rent for one month, gas and groceries for three months on the card and see where i land. this will free up cash that i would have put toward these things for my additional student loan payments and then, leave me 12 months to pay off the balance at a couple hundred a month.
the benefit: i will pay substantially less interest on the student loan, and then no interest on the card payments. it will also allow me to put more money into savings over the next year.
i'm not, by any means, saying this is the right route for everyone. you have to be really disciplined or this could totally backfire on you. if you spent wildly for the next year you would be up a creek without a paddle and trying to harness $1500/month credit card payments facing a 23% interest rate, when you could have paid the 5% interest on your loans.
i'm interested to see how it goes. like anything you have to have a plan. if you don't it's likely not going to work. if you want to look into a plan like this for yourself, go to creditcards.com to compare cards to get you the most benefit. be sure to keep your eyes on the annual fees too. i refuse to pay annual fees on any card except my southwest airlines card, because i get so much benefit out of it.
good luck and no interest.