It has become inevitable to use Plastic and Virtual money especially after Demonetisation.
Using Credit Cards is a Double Edged Sword. It can cut both ways
Using Credit Card the wrong way is a CURSE indeed but Dr.Kent (Srikanth Matrubai) will here show you the way to how turn this into a Blessing!! Read on...
I have noted down some points using which you can ensure that Credit Cards does not HURT you but actually became a friend to you.
1. Plan your Purchase
Whether you are buying with a Debit Card or a Credit Card always PLAN your buying.
Never ever buy on an impulse. Plan your Purchases beforehand.
If some Mind-Blowing discount does come up, pause for a minute and think whether you really do that product (mobile, Watch, TV, whatever)
If yes... only then go ahead & swipe that card.
SMART TIP :
Pause before buying. Even better have a Purchase Plan in place.
2. Use that card which gives you the Max Benefit
Now, that you have decided to go ahead...you need to check which Credit Card will give you maximum benefit for that purchase.
For example :
With an ICICI BANK Credit Card, you would get 6% EXTRA discount in Big Bazaar
With an HDFC Bank Credit Card, you would get an additional Cash Back of 5% to 10% in Amazon/Flipkart
this will help you maximise the discount.
SMART TIP :
Go for one which gives Maximum Discount NOW rather than giving you Points later.
3. Pay off ON TIME & PAY FULL
Saves huge interest and gives peace of mind
The toughest thing is to part with money. You postponed paying by using credit card but when the credit card bill comes, you cant postpone.
Never make the mistake of paying MINIMUM and carrying balance to next month.
The charges are huge and steep.
Pay off on Time.
Pay off Full. Never make the mistake of paying MINIMUM. The interest charged is in the high 30%s and burns a HUGE hole in your pocket.
If you do not have the money to pay, better take a Personal Loan and clear the Credit Card bill as Personal Loans are cheaper than Credit Card Bills.
SMART TIP : The MAXIMUM payment should go towards Credit Card bill rather than any other as its interest charges are sky high
4. IMPROVE YOUR CIBIL RATING !
Not many know this but using your Credit Card regularly and paying off on time improves your Cibil Rating.
This especially helps those who had a bad history while using Personal Loan or Home loan.
SMART TIP : Use Credit Cards regularly and pay off on TIME to improve your Rating.
5. Check Billing Cycle
Different Credit Cards have different billing cycle.
Using them judiciously helps you get MAXIMUM time to pay off the bill.
lets say Dr.Kent's Billing Cycle starts on 5th of every month and his bill due date is 24th.
Now, if Dr.Kent makes a transaction on 6th of November, then he has time till December 24th to make the payment without paying any interest on his bill. This is what is called INTEREST FREE PERIOD.
Now, if the transaction was done on 4th of November, Dr.Kent would have had to make the payment by 24th of November.
So, keep this mind while swiping your Card.
SMART TIP :
Buying on the day AFTER the Billing Cycle ensures that you get MAXIMUM period to pay off the bill.
6. CONVERT INTO EMI
Almost all credit cards allow you to convert your purchases into EMI.
This helps especially if you bought something expecting to pay off by a foreseeable income but the income did not materalise.
Just call up the Credit Card issuer and lo! your Purchase is converted into EMI allowing to stagger your payment.
SMART TIP : Even EMI is not advisable...hence pause before making that purchase
7. GAIN BY USING CREDIT CARD
How can anyone gain by using Credit Card? Yes you can.
Suppose you want to buy a TV for Rs.1 lakh and you DO HAVE THE CASH.
Instead of paying by cash, swipe the Card and pay on the billing date.
This helps you
a) By earning you INTEREST by investing this money for the differencial period
b) Using that particular card which gives you Reward Points/Cash Back, etc
An average 5% cash back is a normal payback on most cards with a cieling of about Rs.5000-.
So, you can easily gain Rs.5000/- for USING CREDIT CARD!!
SMART TIP : Use Liquid Funds to park your money which is not needed for short periods of time.
8 ) Have limited number of Cards.
I have come across investors who have even 12 cards. That requires lot of discipline and constant monitoring.
Just like how you cant handle more than 2-3 Mobile phones...likewise it makes sense to have limited cards.
a) Preferably use for Emergencies
b) Never go Overboard
c) Wherever possible use Debit Card
d) Never withdraw CASH from your Credit Cards. The charges are sky high. It makes better sense to SWIPE a card than withdraw cash.
The charges start from the DAY you withdraw and you dont have a GRACE PERIOD for this.
Morever, Cash Withdrawals also attract UP-FRONT FEES too.
Finally, if inspite of your best efforts you have fallen in Credit Card, take a Personal Loan and pay off the Credit Card loan