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Having a credit card is nothing short of magic - a source of free credit that can fund your dreams faster than anything else. But along with its many benefits comes the bane of overspending, a habit that can quickly spiral into a financial dilemma. The good news is that a disciplined approach to swiping your credit card can steer you away from hurting your credit score or forcing you into debt. Follow these mantras to get a better grip over your credit card spends:
One credit card may offer cashback on fuel purchases, while another may extend airport lounge privileges. But too many credit cards together can give you nightmares from time to time, since keeping track of your expenses gets tougher. Therefore, ideally, you should stick to one credit card that offers you the most benefits for the types of expense you usually make. Even if you use more than one card, keep a primary card for all regular purchases and limit the use of the other card(s) to specific purposes.
Not to be mistaken with the photography thumb rule, it is recommended that only a third of the available credit limit should be utilised on an average. Exceeding 40% of the credit limit can adversely affect your credit score. You can combine the use of a debit card to keep this percentage within the 30-40% range.
The best way to keep the credit utilisation ratio and interest charges low is to pay the credit card bills timely. This will ensure that your credit card dues remain within manageable levels. Paying only the minimum due can lead to the accumulation of the dues, thus adding to your repayment woes.
Setting spending alerts gives a real-time response to your spending pattern. You can set a threshold on credit limits or on the transaction value to ensure that you don’t exceed the spending limits you envision. Most credit cards also have security alerts that detect and highlight potentially fraudulent spending patterns, which you can activate for your card.
If you are sad or feeling low, it is best to hold back your shopping till you feel better. The reason being, that negative emotions often lead to liberal shopping decisions. So next time you are feeling low, it is best to not indulge in retail therapy.
Using credit cards may seem like spending someone else’s money for the moment, but you do need to pay back the amount at some point. If you buy something just because you have the credit limit to do so, it will come back to haunt you in 45-60 days. Therefore, you should use a credit card to purchase things that you were planning to spend on anyway, irrespective of payment mode.
Overspending is a sure-shot way to lead you astray from your financial goals. To avoid letting a moment alter weeks of hard work, you must align your spending decisions with your future plans. Simply asking yourself if your buying choices will make it harder to reach your goals can go on a long way to keep a tab on impulse purchases.
Most credit cards offer various benefits that can help you save money. Find out which of your card provides more points on grocery shopping, which card has a better frequent flyer miles scheme and which one has more cashbacks on the expenses you typically make. By doing so, you can end up using credit cards to your advantage.
To keep your credit card expense to the bare minimum, the best thing to do would be to choose a credit card that eliminates your expenses. IDFC FIRST Bank credit card is lifetime free and allows interest-free cash withdrawals. Besides, it doesn’t charge any over-limit fee as well. The Millennia Card, for instance, offers 10X reward points on spends above Rs 20,000 and extends 6X reward points on online spends and 3X on offline spends at the time of your birthday. Thus, IDFC First Bank cards can be your perfect partner in keeping your credit dues and spends within your desired limits while enjoying unmatched card benefits.
The contents of this article/infographic/picture/video are meant solely for information purposes. The contents are generic in nature and for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for specific advice in your own circumstances. The information is subject to updation, completion, revision, verification and amendment and the same may change materially. The information is not intended for distribution or use by any person in any jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation or would subject IDFC FIRST Bank or its affiliates to any licensing or registration requirements. IDFC FIRST Bank shall not be responsible for any direct/indirect loss or liability incurred by the reader for taking any financial decisions based on the contents and information mentioned. Please consult your financial advisor before making any financial decision.