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Credit Cards Tips and Advice

Pay off your credit card balance quickly. For short term borrowing a credit card is convenient and relatively inexpensive when compared to other forms of borrowing. Always pay off the maximum you can afford every month. If your credit card balance is there long term it will rise at any ever increasing rate and it is all too easy to let it spiral out of control. Consider a personal loan for long term borrowing.

If you pay just the minimum every month a £2000 balance could take 25 years to pay off!

If you have an outstanding balance on your card that will take some to clear then consider a balance transfer to a new card with a 0% introductory offer. You should make a note of when this free interest period ends and calculate the monthly payments needed to clear the balance by this date. If you make a balance transfer to a new card then do not make any other transactions on that card. They may be incur quite a high interest. Credit card companies prioritise the transactions on your card. When you pay off some of the balance it will go towards the spending on your card first, before the transferred amount. So always clear the balance transfer before using the card for anything else.

If you miss or are late with a payment the card company will charge you a fee or a penalty. To avoid this you should set up a direct debit on your bank account to pay the minimum amount each month. But always try to pay more than this and clear the balance in full if possible.

Credit cards used wisely can save you money and bring extra benefits, such as cash back, free insurance on certain items, air miles etc.

Store cards should be avoided. They charge a much higher rate of interest and can only be used in the Store who has issued them.

Do not use your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM. This sort of transaction will have a high interest rate and no interest free period.

Be aware of the date of your monthly statement. If you want to get the full free interest period which can be up to 56 days then make the transaction the day after your statement date.

Credit Card Resources

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