Getting a credit card in your mail is a day of remarkable achievement. After all, it establishes your financial independence and opens the door to a better lifestyle. However, it is only the first step in many ways.
As long as you use them judiciously and follow a few simple rules, credit cards can be a blessing in disguise. Paying your credit card bills is one such factor that you need to be careful about.
Here is a round-up of everything you need to know about paying your credit card bills to enjoy the maximum benefits.
1. Keep a Tab on Your Billing Cycle
Paying your bills before the last date is perhaps the most significant aspect of staying out of financial troubles. Missing your payment date can fetch you an exorbitant interest as high as 30%. Moreover, your credit score will be impacted.
Whether you are a new credit card user or not, it is advisable to regularly check your billing cycle to keep up with changes in your billing cycle. Most of the banks and non-banking financial institutions offer 28 days to clear your bills. It is the period during which you can arrange the required amount to pay your outstanding credit.
2. Pay Your Lowest Bill Balance
Emergencies can come knocking on your door without any warning. If you cannot clear the full amount, try to pay the minimum amount of your credit card bill – it will protect your interests. Moreover, you will also get a few more days to arrange the required amount.
If you have multiple credit cards, clear the one with the highest interest rate first. The higher the interest, the higher your debt. Check out the debt payoff calculator here.
3. Time Your Big Purchases
Do you want to buy an expensive household appliance or want to book your air tickets for your overseas vacation? To make the best use of your credit card at such times, try to spend such hefty amounts at the beginning of your billing cycle.
For instance, if your previous bill payment date was the 10th of December, it means the next billing cycle will begin on the 11th of December. You will be required to pay this bill by 25th of January. If you make your expensive purchases on 12th of December, you get almost 45 days of a zero-cost loan.
However, you cannot enjoy this benefit of an interest-free period if you have outstanding dues from your previous bill or if you withdraw cash using your credit card.
4. Online Modes of Payment
There are several ways to make your credit card payment online. You can either transfer via internet banking, NEFT or through the bill desk.
If you have a history of forgetting your payment deadlines (and don’t want to repeat it), explore the option of auto-deduct. This facility allows you to link the net banking of your savings account to pay your credit card bill automatically. While availing this service, you can either set it to pay a minimum amount or the entire bill amount.
Using the CRED to pay your credit card dues is not only secure and convenient but also grants some extra perks. For instance, you collect points for each payment that are later converted into vouchers.
5. Offline Modes of Payment
If online payments are not your cup of tea, you can choose offline methods to pay your bills. Consider calling customer care to help you with the process or visit your nearest bank branch to draw a check or a demand draft.
A much easier option is to visit your ATM and find the option to “pay your credit card bill.” All these methods are safe and will keep the details of your card confidential.
6. Link Your Credit Card to Your Net-Banking Account
Don’t worry if your credit card and savings account are with different banks. Paying your credit card bills online can still be as smooth as a cakewalk. All you need is to link the credit card to your net-banking savings account.
Please note that this cannot be done if you own a joint account or an NRI.
7. Don’t Worry If You Pay More Than Required
Mistakes happen, but financial errors can pinch you the most. Don’t worry if you misread the bill amount or ended up paying more than you had intended to.
In such scenarios, the excess amount will get adjusted in your future bills. It won’t go to waste, but make a note of it and track the change in your next bill statement. For any discrepancies, you can connect with customer care for easy resolution.
8. Explore the EMI Option
Has your credit card bill blown out of proportion? You can contact your lender and opt for EMIs to repay your credit. The bank may offer you a lower interest rate. It will allow you to divide a large chunk of debt into smaller and affordable amounts.
As you do this, also check with your bank if there any pre-payment or other hidden charges. Such fees can inflate the amount you owe as you try to clear your dues before the end date of your EMI scheme.
9. Make It a Habit to Read Your Bill Statements
Even though the credit card transactions are automated, it is not free from errors. It is recommended to go through your credit card bill statements before you make your payments. You will know if there are incorrect items in the bill.
It will also help you understand if a merchant has paid you back after reversing a purchase.
10. Ensure That Your Bill Is Paid
Finally, always look for confirmation that your bill has been paid. As you make your credit card payment – online or offline – you will either get an SMS or an email confirming the same.
In case the amount has been debited from your savings account, but you haven’t received a confirmatory SMS or email, check with customer care. It will leave no room for dispute later.
Credit cards can be a boon during emergencies when you are short on cash. As long as you clear your dues before the last dates and pay on time, credit cards can help you enjoy the lifestyle of your dreams.
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