Credit cards are indispensable tools that are used by millions to make finances easier and more convenient. They allow us to defer the use of cash for purchases, and this deferment makes for easier living. There’s also the benefit of insured transactions and worldwide acceptance of most credit cards, giving cardholders freedom and confidence.

With as common as credit cards are, you’d think everyone would be in the know about how to best use them. The truth is that there are a few ‘secrets’ about credit cards that the card companies themselves don’t want you to know. Why? Because it would cost them a lot of money, of course!

So, here they are:

Credit Card Secret #1: By paying off your credit cards every month, you can avoid paying a dime in interest charges.

This is probably the first thing that credit card experts learn and use to their advantage. Even with high-limit or no-limit cards like American Express, there aren’t finance charges applied for balances that are paid in full within the billing cycle.

Keep in mind that even if you do pay down your credit cards every month, there still might be annual fees that are assessed. Be sure to inquire if these fees apply to your cards, and budget for them accordingly.

Credit Card Secret #2: There is almost always a better credit card deal for you after you’ve improved your credit rating.

Once you’ve climbed back up the credit ladder to a score of 650 or higher, the credit world becomes your oyster. While you still may incur a credit ding for closing an account and opening a new one, you could still come out on top thanks to lower interest rates or purchase incentives.

Credit Card Secret #3: You can often increase your credit limits with a simple phone call.

Nine times out of ten, if you’ve been making your payments on time and you’re not over your existing limit, the credit card company will agree to a limit increase if you just call and ask for it. This is especially true if you make it sound like you’re willing to jump to another credit card. Credit card companies hate that!

Now that you know a few of the secrets that the credit card pros use, start putting them to use today. Before long, you’ll have more credit than you’ll know what to do with, and that’s a good thing!