3 On Your Side

Understanding credit card benefits can save you money

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Credit card companies offer all kinds of different benefits from free airfare to cash back.

The trick, though, is to not let the benefits get you into debt.

To make the most out of your benefits, there are some things you should do.

First, pay off the debt in time. Every month try to pay your balance in full.

Interest can add up quickly, forcing you to go deeper into debt.

Can't pay off the total amount? Pay as much as you can above the minimum.

If you cancel your card, your credit score will take a hit.

But it can still be a smart move, especially if it is significantly contributing to your debt.

And if you have an annual fee, before canceling the card, call the company to see if you can switch to a different card with no annual fee.

Want a new card? Shop around and find the card that works for your lifestyle.

Rewards don't just involve airfare and cash back. Now, cards give back in the form of free Uber rides or deals on Spotify.

Taking a little time to understand your cards could help you save money and even get you free stuff.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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