As 2019 comes to a close, a lot of people are taking the time to reflect on decisions they’ve made throughout the year. While most of this reflection usually pertains to health and fitness, finances should also be at the top of your mind at the beginning of the year. To help you get your finances squared away in 2020, we’re digging into 4 financial lessons you can learn from 2019. Keep reading to see our financial takeaways from 2019.

You’re wasting money on credit card interest

The national average credit card interest rate is about 17%, according to our friends at means if you’re carrying any credit card balance, you’re throwing away money on interest. So what can do you to avoid credit card interest? Balance transfer credit cards can help! These cards offer long 0% intro APRs on balance transfers. This gives you the opportunity to transfer the balance from your current card to a new card and pay no interest for an extended period of time (up to 21 months with the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card (a NextAdvisor advertiser), which is detailed below). While balance transfer credit cards often come with balance transfer fees that often range from 3% to 5% of the total transfer, this one-time fee is usually worth paying since it’s often a lot cheaper than the amount you’d pay in interest with your current card. To help you find the right card for your needs, we’re detailing two of our favorite balance transfer credit cards. See which one is best for you.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

If you’re looking for a balance transfer credit card, the Citi Diamond Preferred Card is your best bet. That’s because it offers a whopping 21-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers made in the first 4 months (after that, it’s 15.24% - 25.24% (Variable))! There’s a 5% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum), but the long 0% intro APR more than makes up for it. On top of that, there’s a 12-month 0% intro APR on purchases (after that, it’s 15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)) and no annual fee. Citi also offers a handful of added perks to cardholders, including access to your FICO® Score online.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is another one of our favorites. It combines 0% intro APR opportunities with cash back rewards. Kicking things off is a 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with a 3% balance transfer fee). Next, you’ll earn a $150 bonus when you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months and an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Rounding out the card are no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee.

Credit cards rewards get better and better

Credit card offers are constantly changing and in the past year, we’ve seen credit card rewards get even more appealing. Some cards, like the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (a NextAdvsior advertiser) are offering up to 6% cash back on select purchases while others, like the Discover it® Cash Back card noted below, will match all of the cash back you earn in the first year! Since rewards are getting better and better, consumers are doing themselves a disservice if they aren’t using a credit card for all of their purchases. That’s because with responsible credit card use, you can earn some serious rewards on your purchases and avoid carrying a credit card balance. So which cards offer some of the best rewards? Here are some of our favorites:

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it Cash Back earns 5% cash back on rotating categories every quarter you activate (up to the quarterly maximum, currently $1,500, then it’s 1%) and 1% cash back on other purchases. On top of that, Discover will match all of the cash back you earn in the first year. This means if you earn $250 back in the first year, Discover will match that and give you a total of $500 back! The Discover it Cash Back card also has a 14-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with a 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% on future transfers (see terms) — after the 0% intro APR expires, the rate is 13.49% - 24.49% Variable.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

If travel rewards are more your style, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is for you. This card kicks things off with a 60,000-point bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months — that’s worth $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Next, you’ll earn an unlimited 2X points on travel and dining and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. Plus, when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises, you’ll get 25% more value for your points. The card has a $95 annual fee, but we think the rewards potential make it worthwhile.

There’s a credit card for everyone

Whether you want to earn rewards, get a long 0% intro APR, there’s a card out there for everyone. As noted above, credit cards are constantly changing. Add to that the fact that there are hundreds and hundreds of credit cards on the market, and you can understand why we say there’s a credit card for everyone. In fact, we’ve seen that the issue most consumers have is that they can’t find the right card for their needs or they get overwhelmed with the seemingly endless options. That’s where we come in. We have a handful of guides and comparison charts to help you find the perfect card. For example, if you’re looking for our favorite cards, our best credit cards page is where you’ll want to head. On the other hand, if you know you want a cash back credit card or a balance transfer credit card, you’ll want to visit our best cash back credit card reviews or our best balance transfer reviews. Whatever type of card you’re looking for, we can help you find it.

Understanding your credit reports is key

Credit reports impact many aspects of life these days. From your ability to get housing to a new loan or access to utilities, credit touches more than you expect. That’s why it’s essential for you to gain an understanding of your credit reports, what they mean and how your everyday credit decisions impact your reports. This is especially true in the modern day of hackings, data breaches and identity theft. Consumers don’t have to know the complete ins and outs of their credit reports, but they should at least have a general understanding of the basics. For a start, you should know that you have 1 credit report from each of the 3 major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). All 3 credit reports are not always the same because not every credit issuer, utility service or landlord report to all 3 bureaus. This means you’ll have to check all 3 credit reports to completely get a full view of your credit. How can you do that? You can do that through for free once every 12 months.

While checking your credit once per year is better than never checking it, being in the know all the time is ideal. That’s where a credit monitoring service comes in. These services monitor your credit reports and alert you of changes made to them. Our top-rated services also provide you with copies of your credit reports and scores upon signup. Visit our credit monitoring reviews to find the right service for your needs.

Setting and working toward goals is the key to financial success. By learning from financial lessons from 2019, you can be on the right track to maximizing your wallet.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.