When the word “credit card” is mentioned, it can be taken in two ways. Some people will take a sharp intake of breath and scald the applicant for even considering using one and others will jump at the delight of getting a great new promotional deal on a credit card and the chance to use it in a smart way to improve financial situations. I’m of the opinion that credit cards can be amazing tools if used in the correct way. Whether you’re looking to get a credit card for a young adult, build on bad credit, or simply looking to access a balance transfer or the finances for a larger purchase, credit cards really can be a smart move.
How to use a credit card wisely
I’ll be the first to admit, I was never a fan of using a credit card in my younger years. I never truly understood how they worked, what I could or couldn’t do without incurring charges, and ultimately what they meant to my credit score. Years on, I’ve come to learn of the benefits of their features and the smart ways they can be used in the hands of the well informed and forward thinkers!
Today I’m writing about the range of HSBC credit cards and the features available to make the user’s life more cost-effective and savvy.
Use the interest-free period wisely
Most credit cards will offer a promotional period. This period is ideal for helping to spread the cost of an item over a short period. As long as you’re going to pay the item off within the period, it can represent an easy option to temporarily increase the affordability of an item or service without the need for loans which often incur larger fees and charges.
If you’re looking to make a larger purchase, say for example a young person using a credit card to pay for a first car or student costs, longer interest-free cards can be applied for. These again will help to spread costs in a smart way and allow the user to work around their income and expenditure each month. Always make sure you set up any credit card account to pay off at least the minimum balance each month in order to avoid fees and possibly losing your promotional offers and features. To make credit cards work well for you pay off a much as you can each month and if it looks like you’ll near the end of a promotional offer before you’ll pay off the balance, look into moving the balance via interest free balance transfer offers as soon as possible.
Use a credit card for smart security and protection on purchases.
The protection offered when paying for goods and services on a credit card is second to none. For example, if you had booked a wedding venue, flights or accommodation prior to the pandemic which was put on hold, the funds you used would be protected if the company went under in the lockdown period. Usually, a call to the credit card company will sort this for you, meaning you don’t need to wait around for the company to agree to refunds. This is similar to the chargeback facility that most banks offer.
Earn freebies, perks and rewards while spreading the load
Who doesn’t like a reward or perk from a service we use. Well, this is one of the other smart ways to use a credit card. Simply looking at the available offers on any credit cards as sign up offers or ongoing rewards can give you insight into how you can make a credit card work harder for you. In a similar way to earning loyalty points at your local supermarket, some credit cards will give you either air miles, shopping vouchers or even cashback as a reward for using them.
These are just a few ways that applicants can make credit cards work for them in a smart way, while simultaneously helping to build historical records of reliable payments on a credit file or credit score. You can read more about the other ways a credit card can work for your needs in the informative infographic below.
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