Are you searching for a great top 10 guide highlighting Credit Card money saving tips and tricks? If so, you’ve came to the right place!
In the United Kingdom there’s around 160 million credit cards, so how can consumers make their cash stretch further? At the end of the day, even the best of us can feel a financial pinch at times, it’s important you understand your own personal circumstances to see which method is the best, for your own situation. What may be right for a friend or relative, might not be correct for you, here’s some great tricks and tips to help you along the way:
A mixture of cards – Some people like to keep a mixture of cards in their wallet or purse, this may be a good idea if they have a 0% credit card which can be ideal for maximising new purchases or a balance transfer card.
Direct Debts – Depending on which card provider you’re signed up to, some will have ‘late payment fees’ or can even charge a higher rate of interest should your payment be delayed. It’s a good idea to set up a direct debt so you never miss a payment, thus reduce the change of ever being charged any additional costs.
Know your limits – Sometimes our eyes are bigger than our bellies, if you see an item you love and decide to purchase with a credit card remember your account will have a credit limit. Some companies will charge you money should you exceed the agreed amount. As every card provider is different, you will need to read all of your documents and terms and conditions for further information relating to your own account.
Be realistic – If you’ve had trouble being accepted for a credit card don’t keep applying as it may trash your credit file. People who have a ‘bad’ credit history probably won’t be successful in obtaining a card with a 0% interest free period.
Read the small print – Unfortunately most people don’t read the small print before signing a contract, some providers ‘may’ charge an annual fee as well as any additional costs such as late payments, interest rates and so on. Its up to you to understand how much an annual fee could be and whether that type of card is the right choice for you.
Do you get charged for NOT spending? – Equally as well as spending too much, you may also get charged for spending nothing at all. At the end of the day, credit cards are usually for a ‘short-term’ solution, that’s why we get loans and mortgages for houses, cars and so on. If you’re not regular spending on your credit card, the issuer may charge additional fees. Once again, as each company is different, you will need to read all documentation to see how this applies to you.
Think about the APR – If you’re paying your balance in full at the end of each month, the APR won’t apply to you as you’re not being charged interest. However, if you don’t ‘squash’ the balance each month and pay the debt back over a longer period of time, you need to consider the APR rates more closely. Remember the APR won’t be charged on introductory or interest-free offers, so don’t get complacent during these periods, remember the interest fees will be added once you’re out of this phase.
Credit Cards and Cash Machines – It’s never a good idea to withdraw money from a cash machine, most providers will charge interest immediately, even if you’re in an interest-free period. It’s also worth mentioning that usually withdrawing cash from an ATM machine will be charged at a higher rate of interest than your agreed APR.
Using your card Abroad – If you travel outside the UK on a regular basis and use your credit card, you may get a ‘better deal’ from your card provider or an independent issuer. Sometimes you will find that the fees to use your card abroad can be high (depending on your location), so read all of the small print and documentation before use.
Should you use a store card? – Typically, store cards are one of the most expensive forms of credit, they rely on impulse purchases and can charge high levels of interest. In ‘most’ cases purchasing on your credit card will be lower than opening a store account. Of course, you will need to read the store’s APR and compare it to your own card to see how this relates to your own budget and circumstance.