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How to manage your credit card this holiday season (and beyond)

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A credit card can be a very useful tool to manage your spending needs and your cash flow. However, without proper management, you may end up incurring more interest and fees than you intended.

Read our top five tips below for how to manage your credit card this Holiday season (and beyond)!

1. Know your interest free period

If your card has an interest free period, it’s important to understand how this works. This can be a bit tricky to understand, but the good news is that from 1 January 2019 we are changing the way we calculate interest for credit cards with interest free periods. It’s becoming a lot simpler and may mean that you’ll pay less interest!

From 1 January 2019, customers who don’t pay the full closing balance by the due date on their statement will only be charged interest on their outstanding balance from the day after the due date, rather than the date the purchase was made (as is currently the case).

2. Make your repayments by the due date

It’s important to try to pay your full closing balance by the due date shown on your statement. This way you’ll ensure that you maintain the benefit of any interest free period that you are entitled to and that you avoid paying any late fees that may apply to your credit card account.

3. Keep track of your statements

It’s really important to keep a close eye on your credit card statements. It’s here that you’ll find your statement due date, your closing balance and other important information about your credit card. It’s also important to watch out for any unauthorised activity on your credit card. If there is, the sooner you report it to your financial institution, the more likely you are to be able to claim that money back. You’ll also be able to track your spending and ensure that you’re not running over your budget.

4. Take advantage of any benefits attached to your credit card

A number of credit cards come with additional benefits, such as free additional cardholders, complimentary overseas travel insurance, discounts on balance transfers and those very important frequent flyer points! Having these extra benefits will often mean that you may have an annual fee, so it is a matter of weighing up how much these benefits mean to you and how likely you are to use them verses the cost of the annual fee.

5. Use alerts and other services

Most credit card providers now have online banking and mobile apps that allow you to receive alerts to better track your spending and other transactions. Other features include the ability to lock or cancel your card after you suspect your card has been compromised without having to wait on hold over the telephone.

Additionally, from 1 January 2019, all credit card providers are required to provide an online means for customers to be able to reduce their credit limit and to cancel their credit card account. It’s important to remember that some credit cards have minimum limits and that you will likely be required to pay down any outstanding balance to the new limit before the request can be processed.

Qudos Bank has a great range of credit cards to meet your needs at the most competitive rates, call us on 1300 747 747 for more information.

 

  Disclaimer

Qudos Mutual Limited trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238 305. Credit cards are subject to approval. Normal lending criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply and are available on request. Before opening a credit card account with us, you should read the relevant terms and conditions as well as our Financial Services Guide.

 

Article published December 2018