Credit cards can be an immense boon when your hit a rough patch financially. It will not only give you the much needed breather, but also provide you with the means to get back on your own two feet without relying on anybody else, according to www.hdfcbank.com.
No doubt, when you own your first credit card, it can be exciting, tempting and intimidating. You can reap plenty of benefits, with each expenditure you make. Moreover, it opens the window to various other financial offering.
But be warned, credit cards can become the proverbial double edged sword. Not only will it protect you, but it can also harm you, if not utilised wisely.
To ensure that you make the most of your first credit card, here are some rules you must remember before you start the process to own one.
Consider and compare the fees, interest rates and benefits
All credit cards come with different fees, interest rate and several benefits. The ideal credit card you would want to choose should have the lowest fees, lowest interest rates and benefits that match your financial needs. While there may not be a single credit card option that will offer you the best of all of these three features, you can consider and compare the available options that will match your usage and needs.
A credit card is a big responsibility
Credit cards work very simple. The issuing company will lend you money on each expense you make on your card. After a certain duration or even an expenditure limit, you will be responsible to pay off the borrowed funds within a given time frame. If you fail to do so, you will attract high interest rates on the payment delay.
Stick to one credit card
When you apply for a credit card, there are chances that you will receive many offers for different credit card types. However, this does not mean that you have to sign up for each offer you receive. As a first time owner, it is best to opt for a single card. You can choose the right credit card, based on several features that match your needs. Remember, the more the number of cards you own, the higher are the chances you increase your debt.
Opt for a low credit limit
Spending on your credit card can be tempting as it offers you a high expenditure. However, high expenditures equals to high repayments, which you may not afford. This is where your credit limit can help you. Depending on your credit limit, you can calculate the estimated amount you can afford to spend without going over your repayment limit. It also helps you cultivate healthy expenditure habits.
Pay off your entire credit card balance before the end of your billing cycle
You need to pay off your card balance within the given credit card cycle, or else you will earn late charges. First time credit card holders normally get an interest free grace period to pay off their balance. Once this grace period is over, the longer you delay paying off your balance, the higher will be the late charges. Paying off your balance within the given period will not only help you earn a good credit report, but also help you inculcate good payment habits in the long run.
Use your Credit Card wisely and regularly
You may have bought a credit card for emergency purposes. However, if you don’t use your credit card continuously for a certain period of time, it incurs additional charges. To avoid this, use your credit card for small purchases every couple of months. Do ensure that your pay off the balance before any interest it due.
Know the card usage and safety
You can use your credit card at any store be it offline or online. In certain emergencies, you can also use it to withdraw cash from the ATM’s. However, this will attract certain transaction fees.
Moreover, to ensure that your usage and card details are well protected, most of the cards come with security features. The features are the standard security feature for all credit cards. The embedded chip encrypts all your data on your card, which prevents your credit card data from either being duplicated or tampered with. The PIN, which is known only to the user, helps in authenticating any transaction made on the card.
Together, no matter where or when you are using your credit card, your data and transactions are all kept safe.
As you can see, owning a credit card offers you plenty of benefits in the long run. You can easily own your very own first credit card in no time too. Visit your bank to know if your qualify for one.