If you are someone who has a decent credit score, you can easily apply for a credit card in Singapore. There are numerous banks and financial institutions that will be more than happy to offer you with a card that will be customised to meet your needs.
Getting a credit card is not difficult these days but managing one can certainly be a daunting task. As a credit cardholder, you will need to make sure that you use the card sensibly so that you can pay off its balances without any difficulty and also improve your credit score in the process.
Here are some tips that will help you to effectively manage your credit card.
These tips are both for people who already have a credit card, but have failed to manage it properly, and for those who have not yet used a credit card but are interested in applying for one.
1. Remember that a credit card is money, which is after all provided by the bank and you will need to pay off that money with commissions and interest. Therefore, you should spend only what you can afford to pay.
2. Keep the usage of the card under control and make sure that not too many expenses are paid for with credit cards. Also, ensure that you keep all receipts for what you bought and then compare the same with your statement; this way you can also detect early if there are any incorrect charges reflecting in your account.
On paying your bills
3. Many banks today offer interest-free periods on their credit cards, some as high as up to 51 days. Make sure to fully pay outstanding balances reflected in your monthly statement to enjoy interest-free periods on your credit card.
4. It is much better if you make payments on the credit card before the deadline, as the calculation of interest charged by the bank will be a lower amount and you can avoid being charged late interest. Do the same for your other payments as well.
5. If you make payments by cheque and other bank transfers, ensure that the cheque payment or bank transfer is made early enough, given that the bank takes 72 hours to process such payments and post the same on your credit card account.
6. In order to reduce your credit card debt, pay at least double the minimum required amount every month if possible so that you will be able to pay off your credit card balances in no time and will also be able to improve your credit score in the process.
8. Cultivate the habit of making complete outstanding payments on your statements, it will keep your credit card spends in check. You’ll think twice before splurging because you’ll always think about paying the full outstanding amount the following month. You’ll also enjoy additional perks such as interest-free period on your purchases.
13. Download the banking apps for your credit cards to monitor the bills throughout the month.
On disputes and fraud
7. Apply for transaction alerts and fraud alerts for your credit card. This way, each time your credit card is used, you will get a transaction alert detailing the place, time and the transaction amount that was paid using your credit card. You also have the option of setting transaction limits wherein, every time a transaction amount exceeds your set limit, the bank will verify the transaction with you first. This will help safeguard your credit card from unauthorized or fraudulent use.
9. Examine your statement and make sure that the opening balance matches the previous statement; compare this balance with your receipts or vouchers. Also check if the annual fees, finance charges and other charges reflected in the statement are accurate.
10. Remember that you have 45 calendar days from the closing date of your credit card statement to file a dispute claim. It is also necessary to retain all documents and evidence related to the handling of your card, as you will need to present the same at the time of filing a dispute.
11. It is important to check that there are no transactions that look dubious. Be mindful of credit card hackers.
On rewards, additional services and fees
12. Consider whether you really need the additional services offered by the bank through the card as travel accident insurance, health care coverage etc. as these insurance covers may increase the minimum amount that you need to pay every month. Cancel these services if you don’t need them.
14. Do not neglect the expiry date of the rewards in your card. Redeem them before it expires.
15. Don’t ever pay for the annual fee of a cashback card. It defeats the purpose of using a cashback card, since you already start with a negative balance when you pay your annual fee. There are only a few cards that are worth paying the annual fee for.