A credit card is a payment instrument that you can use to make a plethora of payments and transactions with just a swipe. Depending on the variant of credit card you choose, you can transact within the country or even worldwide.
In very recent times, the usage of credit cards has witnessed a spike. The convenience of being able to swipe your card without having to worry about the balance in the bank is a great relief to many. In fact, between the time period of May 2018 and May 2019, India added some 10.3 million credit cards.
Credit cards are being swiped at the POS, used for online payments and becoming the preferred mode of bill payment in all fields of expenditures. Even as a popular mode of payment, credit cards are not immune to mishandling or misuse. It is imperative that you are using them in the right way, taking all safety precautions and keeping yourself informed and updated on your credit card bills. Here, we list down a few important hacks and tips to follow if you own a credit card:
- First and foremost, the most important precaution for any financial instrument with sensitive information and financial implications is secrecy. As a credit cardholder, be sure not to divulge the details of your credit card, like your PIN or password to anyone. Banks or financial institutions will never ask for those secret details, and especially not your PIN. Even if you receive a call from someone posing to be an executive with the provider of the credit card, do not share details.
- Caution also needs to be exercised while transacting with a credit card on a purchase. A shopping spree is all fun and games until your credit card is hacked into. Only swipe your credit card at a shop if the POS machine is within your area of visibility. Confirm the final amount before entering details. Check the zeroes – you’d be surprised how many people unassumingly fall prey to scams based on these meticulous details. Never share your private details – not at a high-end outlet, not at a petrol pump, not at a regular establishment.
- Make the best use of your credit card privileges. Did you know you can give standing instructions to your bank to pay your credit card bill on a certain date every month? The credit history plays a crucial role in determining your credit limit, so you don’t want to miss out on the credit card bill. That may hurt your credit history. Besides, you have a busy life, and it is only human to forget certain things – make sure your bills aren’t those things by setting your bank to pay the bill in advance of the payment due date.
- If there’s a particular month where you are facing a cash crunch, make sure you at least pay the minimum charges in the bill. This will help you prevent any penalties from being imposed, at least.
- Whether you have given standing instructions to your bank or not, make a note of the reminders that are sent to you with respect to the credit card payments. For one, you will attract penal charges in addition to the interest on the outstanding amount. Secondly, you will hurt your credit history by dishonouring the payments.
- Credit cards can also be used to withdraw cash. While it may sound tempting to use it at an ATM, it is also really expensive. Unless it is an emergency avoid going down the withdrawal route with your credit card. You will end up attracting an enormous interest rate. One way out is through the Bajaj Finserv RBL Bank SuperCard, available on Finserv MARKETS, which allows you to withdraw cash up to a certain amount of your limit at zero interest rate!
- It is very easy to fall prey to recklessness when you have a credit card at your disposal. Try to plan for and control your expenses. Curb the need to go on unplanned shopping spree. Retail therapy sounds good in the moment, but if the credit card bill is going to damage your financials for the next few months, it might not be worth it. Budget responsibly so that you can enjoy your credit card instead. Alternatively, you can look for various EMI payment options. On Finserv MARKETS, you can avail the Bajaj Finserv RBL Bank 4-in-1 SuperCard and can shop at no cost EMI on various partner stores.
- Another way of evening out your expenses is by keeping multiple credit cards. This will help you distribute your expenditures across the cards without exhausting the limit on your card, thereby safeguarding your credit score.
- Make use of the reward points, cashback offers and other schemes that the credit card has to offer.
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