The COVID-19 pandemic has hugely impacted the income of the working population as companies have either cut jobs or salaries. Even those running their own businesses have been struggling to maintain a stable, regular income due to recurring lockdowns and restrictions. In such a situation, using credit cards can help in meeting current household needs and expenses on medical emergencies or long-term financial goals such as higher education of children and their marriage. Though credit cards can help people tide over immediate financial crunch, they demand careful management as even a small oversight can land users in a big debt. Also, breaching the credit card limit is unwise as it affects the credit profile of users.
For beginners, here are a few tips on how to make the most of a credit card.
Time your purchases
Every credit has a billing cycle. Make yourself aware of the bill generation date to maximise your interest-free period. For example, if a card user makes a purchase right after the credit card bill is generated, he/she can enjoy up to 45 interest-free days, in some cases even more. But to do that, the outstanding amount should be nil.
Pay bill before due date
Paying credit card bill on time improves credit profile with the bank, leading to increased benefits from the credit card provider such as better offers on personal and other loans and increased spending limit.
Follow the rewards
Some credit cards come with additional rewards for spending wisely. Some credit cards give reward points on specific purchases and others give benefits such as free access to airport lounges. These points can also be redeemed depending on the bank's policy. Make the most of these rewards.
Avoid cash withdrawals
Beginners, sometimes, tend to withdraw money from ATMs using these cards. Beware: ATM withdrawals attract heavy charges and from day one. There is no interest-free period for cash withdrawals on credit cards.
Try auto debit from account
Again, the interest on late fee payment is quite high. To avoid incurring charges on delayed payment, go for the auto-payment option from your account. By doing that, you will allow the banker to automatically withdraw the credit card bill from your account on the due date.
Say you are stuck in a financial situation and unable to pay the bill in full, Ask the credit card issuer to convert the outstanding amount into EMIs. This way you can reduce the debt burden on yourself and will be able to repay the bill in easy instalments.