Finance >> Credit Cards

Credit Cards

Looking for a smart credit card? We can make your decision much simpler. Financemate makes it easier for you to find the best Credit Card which suits yours individual needs and circumstances. Be it getting rid of bad credit or selecting a credit card, we have all the answers to your questions.

No longer you have to setback yourself from purchasing something valuable. Be it, the most stunning designer outfit or the glittering diamond necklace or the latest gizmos. All you have to do is just swipe the card and it’s yours. It looks quite an easy task as portrayed by most of the mediums. But, hold on! There are few things you ought to know about credit cards before you get yourself into a big trouble. And here, we provide you with all the information on how to use your Credit Cards in the best possible way.

Today, credit card has become the most convenient mode of clearing the bills. As, it is easy to operate and simple to carry. And no doubt, many banks are offering the credit cards for absolutely free of charge. Also, it is not a surprise to know that even people with low credit ratings have the credit cards. But why do banks or credit companies offer? The answer is quite simple! For the hefty interest rates levied on these cards.

Firstly, you have to ask yourself whether you really want a Credit Card. And if yes! Then, why and what for? As it is an easy mode of transaction or want an instalment period to clear the amount or just because your friend has one.

Credit Cards are used for paying the bills without using physical cash. Also, you get the grace period of 20-50 days for paying the amount to the card issuer after using the card. It is known as the interest free period, when no interest is charged if the total balance is paid within the specified time. And remember that even if a small amount of the total balance is overdue, interest would be levied on that amount from the date of purchase until the payment.

Choose the right card for yourself, so that you can avail all the benefits associated with a particular card. Basically, four Types of Credit Cards are available in the market depending upon the luxury i.e., the credit limit and the cost associated with each. They are categorized as the regular, silver, gold and platinum. Each card offers some benefits such as discounts on airfares, retail shopping, cash back offers, and so on. But, always try to opt for the cards which offer you the highest free credit period.

The most important! Try to clear your bills before the due date. And, if you are unable to do so, you can go for the transfer balance facility. In the transfer benefit facility the balance amount on your bill is transferred to another credit card. Thus, you can save on the interest.

Unless it is really necessary, never go for withdrawing the cash against your card. As it can cost you interest up to 25-30 percent per annum. Also, keep yourself updated about the billing cycles to get the maximum free credit days.

Credit Cards relive the user from the snag of carrying cash and ensure safety. And if used properly, it can save your pockets to a great extent. It is like a passport to “safety, convenience, prestige and credit”.

Three Stage Guide to Credit Cards

An expedient means to lend money is through credit cards. They offer an array of advantages for card holders and are very accommodating. Through this three stage guide about credit cards, you can find out the product most appropriate for you. It also reveals to you the way to prevent unpleasant shocks.

Stage 1 – Selection of Appropriate Card

For getting the maximum benefit from your credit card, the most significant thing to do is determine if it will benefit the reason for which this card is being purchased.

Hoards of people utilise credit cards in a way that does not match their repayment or splurging habits. Consequently, they have to make more payments than is really necessary when they take advantage of this facility. All Credit Cards are convenient and helpful, except that if you choose the most appropriate card that matches your lifestyle and is ideal for your situations, it will be so much better. Spotting the most apt card for your requirements will enable you to lessen the interest amount you have to pay and augment all the benefits you’ll get, including loyalty benefits.

Now a days there are many alternatives for you to choose from, as the credit card providers keep on competing among themselves for business. As a result, it is much easier to identify the best deal and benefit from the various choices that will be presented to you.

Few of the major benefits of utilizing Credit Card include:
  • Availability of short term credit without any charge, providing you settle all the balance completely within the due date specified on your statement
  • Secure and expedient approach to make payments for products/services in UK and also in overseas, specifically if buying process is through the Web, mail order or by phone
  • Accountability for bought goods – For defective goods, combined accountability is assumed under “Section 75 of the 1974 Consumer Credit Act” by both retailers, as well as card issuers. When the credit card is used for payment from £100 to £30,000 and the bought goods are damaged or if the company has gone kaput and you are unable to receive goods, then from your card provider you are liable for a refund on staking a claim. This cover is not available for credit card cheques, since it can be allocated to anyone and not only to the suppliers chosen to receive your credit card. If the card is utilised to extract cash for buying goods, then the credit card company will not be a part of such accountability
  • Defence against swindle: In case of you being the prey of some scam and is blameless, you are not required to make payments for the amount incurred from the swindle. But you are needed to convey your qualms at the most earliest to the card providers
  • You will be getting inducements like payments for maintaining altruistic activities, get cash back or win loyalty points
  • Since credit card can be utilised for various financial transactions, all over the world, it is a real global currency
While considering the pros and cons of procuring Credit Card and selecting the most appropriate card from the various available choices, ensure that you go through the small print very carefully, so as to not be taken aback later by some unseen charges/fees.

For making use of credit card, primarily there are three ways: 1) Direct purchases, 2) balance transfer involving shifting of overdue advance from an alternative card and 3) taking out money from the cash machine. Providers are inclined to charge different interest rates for the above three. A hierarchy has been put into practice for payments, where debts of the smallest amount are paid off initially while interest is accumulated on the remaining amount at the most maximum pace.

For instance, if a new credit card has been purchased and you have conveyed £1,000 from a different card, then you buy something for £500 and removed £200 from the ATM. If you do not have the funds for tidying up £1,700 fully at month end, then every month you can pay off £150. Nevertheless, you have to pay 5% interest for this transferred balance instead of the 1%, and 25 % for taking cash out and 16 % for some purchase. The possibility is that the provider utilizes the £150 received every month from you initially to tidy up balance transfer. The final debt, which must be refunded is £200 taken out from cash machine. It is the remainder for which maximum interest is charged.

Since annual fees happen to be atypical, most appropriate approach for steering clear of such procedures is to utilise several Credit Cards – various ones for various purposes. This will help you to extract maximum benefit from each credit at the least cost. (Caution: do not use credit cards for simply taking cash out, as interest rate for withdrawing cash is relatively more than it is for balance transfers and for purchases. Besides, there will not be an interest-free period. You will be accruing interest from the day you take out cash. In spite of paying back the full balance at month end, you will not elude it.)

Evaluating credit cards are now very simple. It has become necessary for providers to recapitulate main product features like fees and interest rates in simple, trouble-free format called “honesty” box or as summary. This will be displayed with all marketing information regarding credit cards.

In spite of this, with the multitude of deals offered, traversing the labyrinth of credit cards can be intimidating. A suitable guide detailing spending, as well as repaying patterns can aid in determining the appropriate card for your specific requirements. For a regular spender’s, transaction, balance is tied up completely every month.

In the case of frequently utilising the card for buying, if balance is cleaned up entirely in all months, it is likely that you can evade payment of interests.

Majority of the cards provide a period of 59 days from the transaction date, free of interest. Moreover, they will aid you in getting some time, prior to the due date of your payment. But beware of some transactions, which give no interest-free period in spite of paying out debt completely every month.

Interest rate is immaterial for people, who at all time clear their Credit Card. As an alternative, identify a deal, which give you incentives for splurging. Many credit cards have schemes, which offer rewards like loyalty points, cash back and donations for charities. A few of the cards are more munificent when compared to others. You must choose the one giving the most excellent return for the spent amount.

In case you have enough funds for tidying up balance completely every month, yet you might overlook or is not on in time in paying, direct debit can be set up. This is a most simple approach in guaranteeing that you will at all time clear every debt timely, thereby evading penalty charge.

Deal 1

For regular spender transactions, every month, your balance is normally tidied up completely. You usually expend using your card and straighten out all payments every month, yet infrequently you pass on some balance. In such circumstances, a card having small interest rate will be the best one for you.

Deal 2

In regular spender transactions, you hardly ever or can in no way pay off your accounts completely every month. If you happen to be in a position of being unable to clear balance entirely every month, then opt for a card giving an offer for preliminary purchase or small standard rate.

You can find numerous deals with grace period for paying cash back without interest. This type of deals is most appropriate for people who are unable to clear their balance every month completely. Nevertheless, once the grace period is over, you will have to pay 12%-20% interest rate. Hence, it is necessary to pay off all debts by then, or else do balance transfer to a different card.

There are a few of them with no appeal for shopping all over in regular intervals of 6-12 months, for locating a latest Credit Card offering lesser interest rate.

On the occasions when you are unable to clear out the balance of your card, take the initiative of transferring it to one having less transfer rate. There are numerous cards giving double deals, where there is lesser preliminary rate for purchasing and also an inexpensive/economical rate for transferring balance (sometimes for both it is nil). Such cards are superb for expending also. This nil preliminary interest rate period duration can vary, hence it might be viable to get two different cards (one is to transfer balance and the other is to make purchases). This is to ensure that you are not trapped in the strategy of payment hierarchy – initially lowest debt is tidied up.

Deal 3

For frustrated borrowers, who want to clear subsisting dues - might find that though it is necessary to accumulate debts on their credit card it is difficult to tidy over the debt. In 2007, it was found in a study that in UK, the average debt of credit holders is around £2,060. If the borrowers do not have enough control over themselves, it can take years to tidy up their dues.

In such cases it is necessary to clear every month, amounts exceeding their least amount. Though the credit providers persist in borrowers clearing their dues, the required monthly payment is very little like about 2% of the unresolved balance or else £5, of which the bigger amount must be paid. By paying such low amounts, it is bound to take Credit Card holders years to pay off the debt as this will only clear off monthly interests. So if you want to tidy up your dues at the earliest, it is necessary to calculate every month, the optimum amount that must be paid.

For instance, if a credit holder has to pay back £2,000 at an interest of 15.9% and if the borrower only pays the minimum 2% or else £5 monthly, then it will be more than 29 years to tidy over their debt. On the other hand, if borrowers repay £100 every month, then they can tidy up their dues in a period beyond two years.

Another alternative is to lessen the interest to be paid back. You can benefit from numerous deals giving grace period without interest for balance transfers. Even though you have to pay about 2%-3% as transfer fee, it is a better deal as the interest charged is much less.

A pre-eminent transfer is for a minimum period of one year. Try to tidy up your dues by then. In case you are unable to do it, look when preliminary period concludes to transfer your remaining amount to a different deal with no interest to evade interest rates.

In case you don’t like the aggravation of transferring debts or is not quick enough to make card swaps at the end of preliminary period, chose one offering you minimum transfer rate for a lifetime.

Whatever selection you make, for subsequent purchases there will be standard interest rate, mostly paid off after the clearance of debts with endorsement rates. You must make comparisons of the various balance fees for transferring, since this can make vital variation in the amount required for tidying up your dues.

Excessive Credit Danger

It is hard to obtain credit card for people who are self employed or with no preceding credit history or regularly alter addresses. Besides, it is difficult to procure card for people who have history of non-payment of cards/loans or have previous country court judgements.

Still you can find card providers who aid you in such situations, even though you will have to pay unreasonable interest rate. Nonetheless, you can take out such cards, as it will assist you in restoring your lost credit rating.

Foreign Travellers

You must find out the expenses incurred while utilising your credit card in foreign countries. Although credit cards offer you security and are handy in making overseas payments, it can be very expensive. Since majority of card issuers impose fees for using it abroad, it can considerably augment your overseas transaction expenses. According to a study, UK consumers expend around £300m annually, as fees for foreign usage.

Exchange rates for Credit Cards have their source from wholesale rates of MasterCard and Visa and its loading percentage is generally appended by credit card providers. On the basis of credit card it can range between 0%-3%. The pertaining interest charged can vary on the basis of the country you visit. A few of the credit card issuers impose astronomical interests for places beyond Europe.

For frequent travellers, there are prepaid cards, which are comparatively recent in the market. Numerous card issuers are issuing them and they can be utilised like debit/credit card. The distinction from credit cards is the necessity to put money in them, ahead of time and you can only take out the amount you have deposited, as there is no provision for credit.

Prepaid card charges are considerably lesser than the rates of numerous credit cards, making it a viable option.

Hazards of Having Credit Cards
  • It is most essential to purchase credit cards after careful consideration, as otherwise it can cause you to sink to unimagined debt levels
  • You must be cautious of penalty charges as you can incur £12, if you do not pay your monthly dues or if you make delayed payments. If you have not gone beyond the preliminary period, you may end up with having your marketing interest rate revoked. Straight debit payment is an uncomplicated approach for preventing it
  • Frequent debit payments can cause havoc to credit rating of the holder. For retaining the holder’s credit rating, there are tools specially designed for monitoring their credit
  • By repaying only the least amount, you are incurring thousands of additional pounds as interest
  • In case there are unresolved balance in many cards, unite everything into a single card for more efficient Financial management
  • Terminate unused cards, since they may lessen your prospects for getting more potential credit. Providers are looking more and more into your entire credit instead of just your existing debt
Stage 2 - Way to Apply for Credit Cards

There are many sites for putting in an application for your credit card. There is often a table giving information for making comparisons of various credit cards, and you can choose the one most appropriate for your conditions. You must only apply if you have the potential to be acknowledged and received. This is imperative as it will be a strike against you, if you are rejected. There are some online tools for assisting you in locating products for which you have the potential to be received.

Stage 3 - How to Deal with Erroneous Aspects

You must inform your issuer of credit cards on occasions you are not able to make your due payment of the month or are besieged by your overdue balance. If you contact them beforehand, they will show more consideration to you and your circumstances.

On the other hand, you can swap cards so as to select one with smaller interest rates, prior to becoming extremely mired by overdue repayments. If such situations are left unattended for an extended period, and you plan to get another company to provide credit card for you, you may have difficulty in getting cards from them.

In case your Credit Card application is rejected, you can check with the credit reference agency to make queries regarding your personal credit file to get information. It will display your history of previous repayments, failures in payment or CCJs not in favour of you, preceding credit searches and also electoral roll elements. Immediately, you can register complaint if you have discovered slip-ups in your personal credit file, utilising convenient and simple online tools.

Air Mile Credit Card
Cash Back Credit Card
Charity Credit Card
Chase Credit Card
Credit Cards Types
Football Credit Card
Gold Credit Card
Low Interest Credit Card
Marks & Spencer Credit Card
Secured Credit Card
Zero Balance Transfer Credit Card
Zero Percent Credit Card