How to use Credit Cards Effectively
Credit is a part of everyday life and is not something that should be avoided at all costs. When used sensibly, credit is the consumer’s friend as it allows flexibility and can even bring financial benefits. Mention credit cards and many will recoil in horror. However, by not using them, they could well be missing several little tricks that can really make a financial difference.
Taking advantage of card deals
Interest free periods for new customers are just one of the ways in which consumers can reap the rewards of cheap credit to make financing larger purchases more manageable. Holidays, larger DIY projects and items like furniture or white goods for the home can be difficult to pay for in one go. With an interest free card the cost can easily be spread over several months at no cost to the user. With many of these cards you can also transfer a balance from another card at a fixed fee. This means that you can pay off your credit card debt in a far more cost effective way.
Reap the rewards
Some cards offer reward schemes to their customers that can have a real benefit. A consumer who makes their everyday purchases on a credit card and ensures they pay the amount off at the end of every month can rack up some serious rewards. Most schemes work by offering points per pound spent, which can then be converted into various rewards. High street vouchers, days out and even airfares can all be obtained from these schemes.
Cards offered by certain retailers also offer points on items bought in their stores making the rewards worth twice as much. There are also some that offer discounts to the holders of certain cards, so doing some research is certainly advisable.
Credit cards can offer the consumer a great deal of protection that would not necessarily be available to them with purchases made in other ways. Payments made by credit card are covered under laws designed to protect the consumer. Should a company go bust, or the goods purchased never arrive or be faulty or broken, a consumer would be able to claim their money back.
When travelling abroad, credit cards really do come into their own. They can be used at a huge number of outlets preventing the need to carry cash around, which can be dangerous. Many card providers offer rapid response for their customers should they get into difficulties, providing emergency cash withdrawal and replacement cards.
Credit cards can even help consumers who may have had a poor credit history in the past. Some cards on the market are designed to offer low credit limits and give consumers the chance to prove themselves by using them in a responsible way. This will be reflected on their future credit report and give potential lenders a degree of comfort and security that the consumer is a better risk.
Credit cards are available to almost everyone and can make life much easier for consumers when used sensibly and responsibly.
This guest article was produced on behalf of IVA Experts by Francesca, a writer who lives in the UK. She has an interest in personal finance and debt management and hopes that by sharing information around the web, she can help people with their debt and financial worries.