Credit cards are a convenient mode of payment that can help you shop or pay bills anytime, anywhere. They also help you earn reward points and cashback on your card spending.
So, it is always better to choose your credit card wisely. Knowing a credit card’s terms and conditions is crucial before applying. Choose the best credit card that meets your needs to avoid high-interest rates and fees.
For example, a regular traveller may choose a travel rewards credit card over a credit card that gives cashback benefits.
Before apply for a credit card, assess your spending habits and pick one that fits. This can prevent costly mistakes and maximise credit card benefits.
The best part is they help you build your credit score, provided you pay your bills on time and avoid keeping a balance on your card. Those who use credit cards wisely don’t have to pay interest rates on their transactions. However, first-time users make mistakes while using their new credit cards.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the mistakes to avoid while using your new credit card.
1. Missing Bill Repayments
It’s easy to lose track of bills and repayments amidst our busy lives, but missing a payment can severely affect your finances. Late payments can negatively impact our credit score and make obtaining loans or a new credit card difficult.
Most payments have a standard due date; setting a reminder or marking it on a calendar is helpful. To ensure you don’t miss a payment, consider setting up an autopay function to pay the minimum monthly amount. However, ensure you have sufficient balance in your bank account to avoid overdraft fees.
2. Not Paying The Minimum Balance
Many people often make the mistake of not paying their credit card dues in full each month. However, not paying the total bill can lead to heavy interest charges. Therefore, paying off your bills on time and in full is essential to avoid any extra charges.
If you cannot pay the total amount, make sure you pay the minimum amount due or as much as possible. Carrying a balance can get risky and land you in debt, so it’s always recommended to pay back all that you owe promptly.
3. Not Maintaining Credit Utilisation Ratio
Using your credit card to the max limit may be tempting, but it can hurt your credit score.
The credit utilisation ratio, or the amount of credit used versus the available credit limit, should be maintained at 30% or below.
Using more than that can signal to lenders that you are at high risk and decrease your score. Keep at least 20% of your credit limit free, and consider paying in cash for subsequent expenditures if you’re close to your limit.
Requesting an increase in your limit or getting an additional card can also increase your total credit limit and lower your utilisation ratio.
4. Not Reviewing Your Statements Regularly
Another common credit card mistake people make is not reviewing their statements regularly. With growing credit card fraud, checking your statements for unauthorised charges or fees is crucial.
By doing so, you can catch any fraudulent activity and protect yourself from unauthorised card usage. Plus, reviewing statements helps you keep track of your spending and saves you money by spotting mistakes and resolving disputes promptly.
Also, neglecting to review your statements can affect your credit score if you miss a payment or let a charge go unchallenged. Stay vigilant and stay in control by regularly checking your credit card statements.
5. Withdrawing Money From A Credit Card
Finally, a big mistake you can make when using a credit card is withdrawing cash.
Unlike regular purchases, cash advances attract more interest than ongoing rates and usually do not carry a grace period. On top of this, a fee is charged on the amount withdrawn.
Therefore, it’s wise to avoid getting cash from credit card unless it is an emergency. Planning and using cash advances as a last resort is always best.
Using a credit card may seem daunting, but it’s not complicated as long as you avoid common mistakes. A credit card can help build your credit score and provide financial support when needed.
With a wide range of credit cards in the market, choose the one that best suits your needs. You can enjoy benefits such as cashback and discounts by getting a credit card. Just remember to use it wisely and avoid the mistakes mentioned in this article.