28 June 2017

The dollarydo’s and don’ts of credit cards

When most people decide to get a new credit card, it’s with the best of intentions. You’ll often hear the words “emergencies only” while signing up, but sometimes this is followed months later by “there’s a sale on flights to Europe!”

It’s always a good idea to know your intentions when using your credit card. You should have a plan for how you want to use it, and things you want to avoid. To help, here are a few common do’s and don’ts to look out for to best control the ‘want’ versus the ‘need’ spending.

Dollarydo

Recurring monthly payments – Monthly memberships, subscriptions and bills are a way of life these days. Whether it’s your gym membership, public transport top-up (Opal card, Go card or Myki card) or your mobile phone bill, using your credit card enables you to keep track of these expenses. By setting up automatic payments with your credit card, you’ll generally pay on time, every time.

Pay more than your minimum – Paying more than the minimum repayment is an ultra-handy way to reduce your balance faster. Orange One has a 10% minimum payment per month, which helps you pay off your balance faster than some cards. This helps build good credit and will save money on interest in the long run.

Payment plans – If you have any large purchases coming up, you can manage these by putting them on your credit card and then pay in instalments over a set period of time. Orange One instalment plans are available for purchases $250 and above. But remember, you can always pay more to clear them off sooner and avoid unnecessary interest.

Pay your debt in full – It’s always best to be ahead of the game when it comes to credit card management. When you can, you should always prioritise paying your credit card bill in full each month. Set up and stick to a clear budget so you’re always prepared.

Dollarydon’t

Cash advances – While getting cash out from your credit card may be necessary in an emergency, you are better off withdrawing cash from your regular account. Cash advances can be expensive and the interest can quickly add up, as you are charged from the moment you withdraw the cash from the ATM. With most credit cards, you’ll incur a fee for withdrawal or account transfers and on top of that, interest on the amount is usually higher than normal and calculated daily from the first day. This will leave you with no grace period and less wiggle room to pay it off.

Don’t expect to ‘max’ your credit card – You’ve probably heard the term ‘maxed’ in regards to credit cards from somewhere and you could take a guess that it’s not a great thing. Maxing your credit limit isn’t something that should be considered an option, and you should check your balance often and always keep an eye on your spending habits through your credit card statement.  Set an alert on your Orange One so you’ll be notified when you’re approaching your limit.

Don’t spend more than you can afford – Having a financial plan is a great way to ensure you never spend more than you can allow. Keep close to your budget so you can always cover your repayments and financial obligations while growing towards your goals.

Don’t be flippant with fraud – Just like you would keep your debit card safe, protect your credit card in the same way. Ensure you know where your card is at all times, never lend it or tell someone your pin, and keep an eye on your balance in case of any suspicious transactions. You can read more about security and how to protect yourself here.

The information is current as at publication. Any advice on this website does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Deposit products, savings products, credit card and home loan products are issued by ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. ING Living Super (which is part of the ING Superannuation Fund ABN 13 355 603 448) is issued by Diversa Trustees Limited ABN 49 006 421 638, AFSL 235153 RSE L0000635. The insurance cover offered by ING Living Super is provided by Metlife Insurance Limited ABN 75 004 274 882, AFSL 238096. ING Home and Contents Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (AGIC) ABN 42 111 586 353 AFSL Licence No 285571 as insurer. It is distributed by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd (AGS) ABN 61 003 617 909 AFSL 241411 and by ING as an Authorised Representative AR 1247634 of AGS. All applications for credit are subject to ING's credit approval criteria, and fees and charges apply. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Terms and Conditions, Fees and Limits Schedule, Financial Services Guide, Key Facts Sheet and Credit Guide available at ing.com.au when deciding whether to acquire, or to continue to hold, a product. Before interacting with us via our social media platforms, please take a minute to familiarise yourself with our Social Media User Terms https://www.ing.com.au/pdf/Social_Media_User_Terms.pdf.

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