3 tips for making the most of your first credit card
In a recent article here on the Beyond Bank blog, we looked at the key steps customers need to take when applying for their first credit card. A successful application is only the start however, and once your shiny new card arrives in the mail, you’ll need to decide how best to use it.
While it’s certainly tempting to start putting each and every purchase on the card to make the very most of your new line of credit, this isn’t always the smartest approach over the long term. We’ll be running through three credit card tips in this article, which will give you a few ideas of how to make the credit card really work for you.
- Use your interest-free period
The first and most important rule with any credit card is to make the most of its interest-free period. This typically falls anywhere from one month to two months (as is the case with Beyond Bank’s Low Rate Visa Credit Card) and is the space of time where you’ll be able to spend money and pay it off without accruing any interest. One of the biggest mistakes that first-time credit card users make is not paying enough attention to this period, leading to the accumulation of debt by not paying everything back.
As we discussed in our article on applying for a credit card, one of the best ways to make sure you’re able to pay everything off during the interest-free period is to select a credit limit that you know can be met each month. You may be able to increase this limit once you’re more comfortable with how spending on credit works and what you can do to avoid debt.
- Set up an automatic payment
Even with the best intentions, some first-time credit card users still miss out on the repayments and have to deal with fees or accumulated interest. It can require a bit of a shift in mindset to get used to the concept of paying off debt each month.
One option that can help with avoiding this scenario is to set up scheduled payments in Internet Banking. This is effectively an automatic payment that will cover a set part of your credit card debt each month. This could be the minimum amount owed or the entire balance, but either way there’s no reason not to set this up immediately before you start spending.
- Make the most of the bells and whistles
Finally, making the most of a credit card is about much more than simply staying on top of your payments. As financial tools, modern credit cards offer customers all sorts of different benefits and unique ways to spend, but you’d be surprised how many people fail to take advantage of these bells and whistles.
We’re all familiar with payWave, but if you’ve got a smartphone, you can take convenience to the next level by setting up Google Pay, Android Pay or Apple Pay. This will allow you to make payments without even having to take out your wallet. You can also disable your smartphone remotely if it gets lost, or add extra security features such as fingerprint access.
Ultimately, to get the most out of your credit card you should understand how it works and what it can do for you. For more information, contact Beyond Bank today.