top tips and good habits for managing your credit card
05 November 2010
There are no special secrets to getting the best from your credit card. Common sense, careful planning and controlled spending mean you'll get the most from your credit card. Here are seven successful habits of good credit card management:
1. Use your credit card carefully
Working out whether you need that extra pair of shoes, the overseas holiday, or a new iPad comes down to one question - can you afford it? If you use your credit card wisely you will find it can make your life easier - it is a secure way to shop, cards are widely accepted and there is no need to carry large amounts of cash with you. But doing the sums before you leave home, and controlling your spending is essential.
2. Make your monthly minimum payments on time
This will save you money by avoiding late fees. If you can pay your outstanding balance off each month then do so. This will save you interest. If you only pay the monthly minimum it could take you years to pay off the outstanding balance of the credit card.
3. Shop around for the best interest rate for you
The credit card market in Australia is very competitive and there are many different types of credit cards available. Check out the great deals available on balance transfers, reward programs and low interest rates.
4. Check your statement carefully
Always look to see that the charges and interest rates are correct. Make a note of the due date, the amounts owed and the outstanding balance. If you have any concerns about charges or interest rates contact your bank immediately.
5. Limit your cash advances on your credit card
The interest rate is always higher for cash advances than it is for purchases.
6. Make the most of the 55-day interest free period on purchases, use your rewards and discounts, and check out what other benefits and perks you can receive as a result of being a Bankwest credit cardholder.
Some of our cards offer automatic international travel and accident insurance and purchase protection, and extended warranty on top of that offered by the manufacturer.
7. Watch your credit card limit
If you are tempted by a higher credit card limit ask yourself if you really need it. If you are finding your current credit limit difficult then ask for it to be lowered to one that you can manage.