A credit card can be a convenient way to pay for almost anything. That little piece of plastic serves as a safe means to buy online – whether it’s any holiday under the sun or your weekly shop. But Hey! It’s important to remember that a credit card is a type of loan. When you spend on a credit card you are basically borrowing money. If you fail to pay off the credit card balance every month, the amount you pay in interest will quickly cancel out a lot of advantages that credit card offers. But, if you have the discipline to pay off your balance each month, using a credit card makes excellent financial sense.
Not sure of the benefits of using a credit card?
Here are just a few of the many reasons why you should be putting it on this plastic.
Borrow money for free
Some credit cards charge zero interest for a limited period of time. You need to clear your balance before the 0% offer ends though otherwise you’ll be charged interest. Most credit cards come with an interest-free period of about 56 days. In other words, as long as you clear the balance in full, there is no interest to pay.
Boost Your Credit Score
Use your card frequently and pay the balance in full each month and you could build up a good credit score. This means that, whenever you want to get credit in the future – for example, taking out a mortgage or applying for a loan – your chances of being accepted improve. With a high credit score, you pay comparatively low interest rates on loans; which can mean a lot of savings over the life of the loan.
Some credit cards may offer a purchase protection plan from damage or theft when the entire purchase is made on your credit card. If a merchant won’t take back a defective product, you can check with your credit card company for refund. So the next time you purchase your mobile phone, laptop, or TV, check to see what benefits are built-in to your credit card. Your card may include purchase protection that can offer additional value (thus giving you a greater peace of mind when you’re buying a big budget item!)
For those who are not good at keeping track of their expenses, a credit card gives you a detailed summary of your spending each month without the effort of recording every purchase as you would have to do if you paid in cash. Some cards even provide year-end summaries that really help out at the time of tax.
Special offers and deals
A lot of credit card companies collaborate with other companies to develop exclusive deals and programs for people who own a particular bank’s credit card. From frequent flier miles to discounts on automobiles, there is a program out there for everyone. Depending on your card, you can earn a variety of rewards as well as cash backs on everyday purchases.
No Fear of Loss or Theft
If you are travelling and you lose your cash or are robbed, you’ve lost all that money forever. But, if your credit card is lost or stolen you can report it immediately. You won’t have to bear the loss. You will be out a maximum of a very small percentage as fee (and most companies will waive even that fee).
The simplest reason
It can be quite cumbersome to carry cash around. You might not have cash with you at all points of time and you might not have a source to withdraw money from. In such cases, credit cards can act as a wonderful replacement.
Hence, as long as you have a ceiling and you are spending within it, it would be wiser to use your credit card more than your debit card or cash. You would find better offers in store. Because as they say, stores are never nice to people, they are nice to credit cards!