Credit card calculators are excellent tools that can help you minimize interest expenses and maximize your rewards earnings. There are countless numbers of calculators available, but only a few are really useful. Many will simply scare you. Here is an overview of popular credit card calculators and how they can help you.
1.) Minimum Payment Calculators: These are the least useful and most frightening tools around. Available at a number of websites, including the Federal Reserve, the outputs of these calculators show you how expensive and difficult it is to shed credit card debt. If you input a $5,000 balance at a 14% interest rate on the Federal Reserve’s minimum payment calculator, it will tell you that you’ll spend $6,110 in interest over the course of 22 years to get out of debt. As shocking as this is, try plugging in a 29% interest rate. The calculator tells you that you will never get out of debt.
2.) Balance Transfer Calculators: These are great tools that show you how much you can save by transferring your debt to a card that offers a 0% interest rate. If you input $5,000 of debt at a 14% interest rate into a balance transfer calculator, you’ll learn that you can save $750 with a balance transfer in just one year. If you’re unsure about the benefits of balance transfers, using one of these will help you realize how valuable these transactions can be.
3.) Credit Card Rewards Calculators: These are great tools for people who don’t have significant amounts of debt and want to maximize how much they earn in cash back, airline miles, or points. With a rewards calculator, you input how much you spend in specific categories during the course of a year, adjust how much you earn in each category, and then see how you can actually earn a few hundred dollars a year by using your credit card wisely.
The three types of credit card calculators highlighted above are the most popular and can be extremely useful. Learning how much you’ll spend in interest if you make minimum payments is useful if you want to scare yourself. And it does highlight how important it is to make more than the minimum payment whenever possible. But if you want to save money on interest or earn rewards, test out a rewards or balance transfer calculator. The results will surprise you.
To find out how much you can save with a balance transfer, try the balance transfer calculator at CardWisdom.com. To learn how much you can earn with a rewards card, try the credit rewards calculator.