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Credit Cards

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How credit cards work

When you apply for a credit card, you apply to borrow money from the card issuer, usually a bank. The issuer will look at your credit history before it accepts your application - and if you have a low credit score you could be refused credit. If you have good credit score and having satisfactory trade records, Banks Generally provides up to 5 times of your monthly Salary.

If all is well, the bank will set a credit limit, which is the maximum amount you can spend on the card. The card company will send you a statement every month, detailing the transactions on the card, plus the amount owing. It should also give the minimum payment and the payment due date.

Increased Spending As per research on the whole, credit card customers spend 2½ time more money than cash-carriers, making larger purchases that are as simple as upsizing their meal at a fast food restaurant.

More Frequent Purchases Because credit cards afford shoppers more flexibility, they go out and buy items as soon as they need them. Conversely, cash-only shoppers buy when their wallets are full — paydays and holidays.

Extraneous Purchases Businesses that receive credit and debit card payments, as opposed to cash-only establishments, reap the benefits of unintended purchases. Because credit card payers are not confined to what they have in their wallets, these buyers frequently purchase items on impulse — like that cute pair of shoes that are on sale.

Additional Credit Perks for Businesses - Knowing how varied payment options affect consumer behaviour, you may wonder how this translates to benefits for your business. Indeed, merchants experience a number of advantages when incorporating credit card payments into their business model.

Unexpected fees - Typically, you'll pay between 2 and 4 percent just to get the cash advance; also cash advances usually carry high interest rates.

Hidden costs - The interest rate is not the only cost of a credit card. A fee will be charged if you are late making your monthly payment, or miss it altogether. You'll also pay a penalty if you exceed your credit limit. So make sure you keep track of your spending and always pay your bill on time.

And don't be tempted to withdraw cash on your credit card. Most card firms charge a fee to withdraw cash from an ATM, typically about 2%. You will also start to rack up interest immediately as there is no interest-free period on cash withdrawals.

General Mistakes of Credit Cards users

Debt isn't something that just happens coincidentally or accidentally as you go about your daily living. There are certain spending habits(mistakes) that lead to debt. Recognizing these habits now could save a lot of money and stress later. If you want to stop creating more debt and pay off the debt you have, you must eliminate these bad habits.

1. Spending more money than you make

The logical part of you thinks it's impossible to spend Rs. 1,200 each month when your available amount is only Rs. 1,000. Spending more than you make is easier than you think. So easy, you might be doing it without necessarily realizing it. Dipping into savings, borrowing from others, and using credit are the primary ways of spending more money than you bring in.

You can get away with doing this for a few weeks or months, but soon or later, your hole-digging spending habits will catch up with you. Before you know it, your savings is depleted, your credit cards are fully used out, and you can't borrow any more money.

Keep your spending within your monthly income so that you're living within your means and not creating debt. Reduce your spending below your income and use the extra to pay down your debt.

2. Spending money when you don't have

Spending more money than you make is enabled by spending money you don't have or money you are yet to earn(Generally Students or New to Job employees at Initial career). You spend money you don't have by using credit cards and taking out loans. When you use these instruments to pay bills and make purchases, you're creating debt. If you can't repay the debt each month, it will continue to grow, which will harm your credit score.

You can resolve this bad habit the same way you stop spending more money than you make - by reducing your expenses and relying only on your income to pay for your wants and needs.

3. Using credit for ordinary purchases.

You should use cash to make everyday purchases like groceries, gas, clothes, and entertainment. The appeal of credit cards is the ability to pay later for items that you buy now. The caveat is that you're less likely to pay your credit card bill for items that you've already consumed, which most "ordinary" purchases are. Using credit instead of cash is a bad habit, especially when you don't pay your credit card bills in full each month.

Some credit cards have reward programs that let you earn cash, miles, or points by charging more on your credit card. If you choose to maximize your reward earnings by charging more, only charge what you would have purchased with cash and pay off the purchase immediately.

4. Using credit when you have cash

Another bad habit that leads to debt is choosing credit over cash when you actually have the cash. You might want to get the goods (or services) without having to pay for them, but the convenience of holding on to the money in your wallet comes at a cost. Chances are, if you don't want to pay for it today, you're not going to want to pay for it tomorrow.

To change this bad habit, you have to be willing to pay for what you want with the money you've earned. Realize that while you can postpone payment by using credit, you'll end up paying more than if you'd just spent your own cash.

5. Using debt to pay off debt

When you use credit cards to pay off other cards and loans to pay off other loans you're not paying off anything. You're just shuffling your debt around and incurring more debt each time you do so. Balance transfers have transaction fees and most loans have some kind of down payment or origination fee. So when you use debt to pay off debt, you end up worse off than when you began.

Using debt to "pay off" debt might be beneficial if you can transfer a balance from a high interest rate credit card to one with a lower limit. However, you have to be careful that the balance transfer fee doesn't negate the interest savings and that your post-promotional interest rate isn't worse than your previous rate. Transferring a balance once or twice to take advantage of a great rate is different from continually transferring balances to dodge credit card payments.

Credit Card Usage Guidelines

Clearly, there is a lot to know about credit cards, and it is not all bad. Here is a list of do's and don'ts that will help you maintain a good credit experience:

1. Make credit card payments on time::-
It is important to your overall financial health that you make your payments on time, every time. This means making payment on or before the due date and, sometimes, making payment before a specified time on the due date. Late payments will cost you money! Your interest rate will increase and your finance charges will go up. Many lenders have severe penalty pricing policies. If you miss one or more payments in a 6 or 12 month period, your interest rate can go as high as 27% or more.
2. Pay more than the minimum each month: :-
At the very least, you should make the minimum monthly payment indicated on your statement. Paying this amount will allow you to maintain a good credit history, but it will also keep you in debt longer. The minimum payment is usually 2% to 2.5% of the balance. Paying your balance off at this rate could take years, 30+ years in fact, depending on the balance and the interest rate. A good guideline for controlling your credit card debt is to avoid charging items that you cannot pay off in 3 months or less.
3. No Balance Transfer :-
Balance Transfer is a process of borrowing from one lender to pay another with no money actually coming from the cardholder. People frequently do balance transfer when they become overextended financially. They will get a cash advance from one card and use the funds to pay another card. Then, they will do the same thing the following month. Kiting is illegal and is a federal offense.
4. Track Your Spending :-
While credit card statements can be helpful to monitor your spending, it doesn’t mean there will never be mistakes. I always look closely at my credit card statements each month to make sure that I actually approved those charges. I’ve only had one charge that wasn’t supposed to be there in my entire life – but that is one more than I approved. Make sure to be diligent!
5. Pay Attention to Changes in Agreement::-
If you own a credit card, the credit card company will send you updates on the contract that you have with them. They have the right to change the terms of the agreement (within certain limitations) as long as they notify you of the changes.
6. Make Sure Annual Fee (if any) is worth it::-
Some credit cards have annual fees. While I generally avoid these credit cards, there are some that will be worth the fee to some specific people. For example, there are several credit cards with travel perks that have an annual fee. The benefits that these cards have are sometimes worth more than the annual fee. If you do choose to have a credit card with an annual fee, make sure to make sure the perks are worth what you paying in the annual fee.
7. Don’t Go for too many Credit Cards::-
Generally, people tend to apply more credit cards, even though sufficient cards in hand. For getting higher limits applying too many credit cards will disturb your billing cycle and will create confusion on repayment, which leads to affect your credit score. As per Industry Experts, A person suppose to have two cards with the highest card limit is 1.5 times of his monthly salary.
8. Enjoy reward Points::-
If you do use your credit card for every day purchases responsibly, make sure to enjoy the cash rewards. Taking the time to monitor your spending and be intentional with what card to use when takes a lot of work. You deserve to treat yourself for being persistent and using the rewards is a nice way.

Credit Card Do's Offline

  • 1. Sign your card(s) as soon as they arrive.
  • 2. Carry your cards separately from your wallet.
  • 3. Keep an eye on your card during the transaction, and get it back as quickly as possible. It is the only way to prevent "shoulder surfing" at ATMs.
  • 4. Ensure that you get your card back after every purchase.
  • 5. Open bills promptly and reconcile accounts monthly.
  • 6. Keep a record of your credit card(s) and account information together with the card issuer's contact information in a secure place.
  • 7. Check sales vouchers for the correct purchase amount before you sign them, and keep copies of your vouchers and ATM receipts.
  • 8. Check your billing statement and verify the amounts of your purchases at least once a month.
  • 9. Immediately correct all mistakes on your credit reports in writing. Send those letters Return Receipt Requested, and identify the problems item by item with a copy of the credit report and send them back to the credit reporting agency. You should hear from them within 30 days.
  • 10. Order your credit report at least twice a year. Review it carefully. If anything appears fraudulently, immediately place a fraud alert on your reports.
  • 11. Cancel all credit cards that you do not use or have not been used in 6 months. These can be very easily used by thieves.
  • 12. Cancel your stolen/lost credit cards as soon as possible. Get new ones, and use different PIN's from the previous ones.
  • 13. Avoid selecting a common or regular PIN for your credit card such as name , date of birth , telephone number, mother's maiden name, or a combination of all these.
  • 14. Keep a record of your conversations and correspondence.
  • 15. Contact the card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost or stolen.
  • 16. Report suspicious charges to the card issuer as soon as possible.

Credit Card Dont's Offline

  • 1. Do not lend your credit card(s) to anyone (even for friends).
  • 2. Do not leave cards or receipts lying around.
  • 3. Do not sign a blank receipt. When you sign a receipt, draw a line through any blank spaces above the
  • 4. Do not give out your account number over the phone unless you initiated the call or you're talking to a reputable company.
  • 5. Do not use Social Security number as ID numbers on payrolls or other documents.
  • 6. Do not write your credit card account number outside of envelops or on your checks.
  • 7. Do not write down your PIN or passwords. Memorize them.
  • 8. Do not disclose your PIN to anyone. No one from a financial institution, the police, or a merchant should ask for your PIN.
  • 9. Do not use the same PIN and passwords once you canceled/closed your accounts and want to open new ones.
  • 10. Do not put checks in your home mailbox. Mail theft is very common and your information can be easily compromised.

Credit Card Do's Online

  • 1. Make sure you are purchasing merchandise from genuine and reputable sources.
  • 2. Verify with other websites the person/company you are dealing with. Compare the prices and quality of products with other suppliers if you are offered an unexpected reasonable deal from an unknown salesperson. Check the seller's reputation. Many websites provide the buyers' feedback on sellers' business practice. This can help you find the sellers transaction history.
  • 3. Inquire about returns and warranties.
  • 4. Ensure yourself that the credit card transaction is secure. Watch the address bar at the top of the computer screen. When you are asked to provide financial account information, Social Security number, or other sensitive personal data, the letters at the beginning of the address will change to "https".
  • 5. Purchase merchandise directly from companies that hold the trademark or the official legal right to produce or sell a product.
  • 6. Send emails to the persons/organizations you are dealing with to see if they have an active email address. Pay attention to sellers who use free email services where credit cards aren't required to open the account.
  • 7. Be cautious when responding to profitable offers (especially through unsolicited emails).
  • 8. Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
  • 9. Make sure you know who the company is and where it is physically located. Businesses taking place in cyberspace may be in another part of the country or in another part of the world. Resolving problems with unfamiliar companies can be more complicated in long-distance or cross-border transactions.
  • 10. Use only one credit card to purchase online. Also consider opening a credit card account for use only online in order to minimize the potential access an attacker may have to your credit card information. Keep a minimum credit line on the account to limit the amount of charges an attacker can get.
  • 11. Pay attention to the URL of a web site. Malicious web sites may look identical to legitimate ones, but the URL may use a variation in spelling, a different domain (e.g., .com vs. .net) or an IP address.
  • 12. Use new Personal Identification Numbers (PIN's) and passwords, if you are closing existing accounts and opening new ones.
  • 13. Memorize all your passwords and PIN's.
  • 14. Cancel all credit cards that you do not use or have not been used in 6 months. These can be easily used by thieves.
  • 15. Cancel your lost/stolen credit cards as soon as possible. Get new ones, and use different PIN's from the previous ones.
  • 16. Use anti-virus, firewalls, email filtering or email attachment blocking software.

Credit Card Dont's Online

  • 1. Do not respond to emails requesting for personal or financial information.
  • 2. Do not reveal financial or personal information about yourself in emails.
  • 3. Do not purchase merchandise unless you are certain you deal with reputable sources.
  • 4. Do not buy from sellers who don't hold the trademark or the official right to produce or sell a product.
  • 5. Do not give out your credit card number(s) online unless you are 100% sure you are dealing with a secure and reputable website. Sometimes an icon placed at the bottom of the page symbolizes a higher level of security. Still, this icon is not a guarantee of a secure site, but it might provide you some assurance.
  • 6. Do not trust a site just because it claims to be secure.
  • 7. Do not believe websites that tell you your financial or other sensitive information doesn't have to be encrypted.