A credit card is a great help in accessing instant credit in a time of crisis. But if the user doesn’t use it responsibly then it can bring a financial crisis in their life. Due to the current situation, the world economy is suffering very badly due to which several people lost their jobs and the process is going on. At this uncertain time, credit card users must use their credit cards very sincerely by following these 16 steps to keep their credit card Covid relief effective.
Let’s talk about how to use credit card properly?
Apply for Right Credit Card:
Most of the people make mistakes on the first step while taking the card, as in most of the cases mostly the bank or their sales officers contact their potential customers to offer a card, which is not customized as per the customers need.
So if you are going to apply for a new card or you are someone who thinks that your existing card is not best suitable for your needs then you must take a new card which can offer you the best possible benefit on your maximum spending.
Let’s say if you are using your card mainly for online shopping then it’s better to opt for a credit card that can offer you the best possible benefits on online shopping, like the axis bank flipkart credit card or amazon icici credit card.
Avoid Unnecessary Spending:
In this tough time try to avoid any unnecessary spending, for which you can take a simple step that is if you are willing to buy something apart from the medicine or grocery items, do add the product to your wishlist and after 1 – 2 days you decide whether the product is really necessary or not, if you feel that the product is not necessary for the next 6 months timeframe then don’t buy as there is a high probability that either you don’t need the product at all. Question yourself: how much should you pay on your credit card? And set a monthly budget for yourself.
If you are running out of money or if you are someone who pays all their bills from the card then do remember to utilize it within 30% of the total limit as in the long term it will help you to build a very good credit score. But if you are in a condition where you are bound to spend then at any cost never ever cross more than 90% of the total credit limit. If you think that for you it’s tough to maintain then I’ll suggest you take 2 – 3 cards and make your credit score excellent. This excellent credit score can also help you to get other financial products such as personal loans, home loans, car loans at a far lower rate than the normal customer.
The easiest way to keep your credit utilization lower is to enhance your credit limit. And if you are thinking about how to increase credit card limit? or How credit card limits are calculated? then you should check our article on this subject.
Set Transaction Limit:
If you are a frugal spender or if you want to make your card more secure then you can set a transaction limit which you help you to spend up to a certain amount of money at a time, by applying this you can keep your spending habit within a limit, also in case of any fraudulent transaction, you will lose less money.
IF you are an HDFC credit card user and you want to set an hdfc credit card limit for transactions, then you can visit our HDFC credit card FAQ page.
Avoid cash withdrawal from credit card :
A credit card can be a very good asset if you use it wisely else it’s the worst financial decision for any person. And if you by mistake withdraw any cash using your credit card then the entire outstanding balance will be charged as per the credit card interest rate set by the bank (normally 40- 49% per annum), along with this you have to pay a one-time withdrawal fee, so try to avoid credit card cash withdrawal at any cost because if the credit card debt started to pile up then it will be very tough to get out from that situation also you will end up losing your credit credibility too.
Use Rewards Points:
While shopping, try to pay through the reward points as it will directly help you to reduce your monthly credit card bill. Also, check your accumulated reward point’s details from time to time.
Manage Memberships and Subscriptions:
Most credit card companies offer discounted membership fees for their credit card users. Also, many card providers offer free first-year/month subscriptions for paying through the credit card, so do check all the present active membership plans. If you think that anything is not going to be useful in the next 6 months or more then do cancel it as soon as possible, by managing your membership and subscriptions you can reduce your monthly credit card bill very easily.
Use Limited Card:
Having multiple cards has its advantages and disadvantages. But managing those cards is a bit tough until and unless you are using any digital credit card payment app like cred, which help you to remember the last payment date and the amount, though I’ll suggest not to use more than 4 cards as with those cards you will get most of the benefits of credit card which you are looking out for.
For any of your travel bookings try to use the credit card as it will help you earn the reward points, cash back benefits as well as in case of any cancellation you don’t have to worry about the refund as it will be automatically adjusted in the credit card bill. You can check our top 10 credit card page to find out the best travel credit card available in India.
Prefer Online Transactions:
Enjoy the credit cards’ special reward points or the cashback benefits in their partnered online shopping sites, not only that by opting the online transactions you can tally your transactions easily, but also you can make your family safe from the virus threat too.
IF you want to earn benefits from your online transactions you can go for amazon icici credit card or axis bank flipkart credit card
Make Use of No Cost EMI:
In case of any purchase at first, check whether the No cost EMI facility is present or not, if the No Cost EMI facility is available then I’ll advise you to convert the payment into No Cost emi on credit card although you can pay the full amount of the product or the service. By doing this you can make yourself cash-rich which can be used at times of emergency and also you will get a small credit card loan interest rate from your bank account for that amount too.
Keep it safe:
Keeping your credit card safe is very much important as in case of any fraudulent transactions the dispute settlement will take more time in comparison with the normal procedure as now due to the limited mobility many staffs are not present in the office and across the globe the fraudulent transactions has been increased a lot during the pandemic time. So, better to set a credit card limit for transactions, secure your card with a strong pin, sharing or storing your card details in the trusted website or apps only.
Pay Credit Card Bills Online:
Despite paying your bill over the bank counter, try to pay it online as it is quick and more convenient. You can use a credit card payment app like Cred, MobiKwik, etc.
If you use an online bill payment app like Cred, or if you make your credit card payment through google pay, you can bag some exclusive credit card bill payment offer
Pay Your Bill On Time:
Pay your bill on time to avoid any unnecessary charges, if you are going to use any third-party application for the payment then try to pay it 7 days before as in many cases if the payment fails due to an error you will only have to pay the price, so in case if you are willing to pay from your bank account directly for hdfc credit card payment then set the auto-debit feature as it will make you tension free, don’t forget to maintain the sufficient balance in the account.
Pay Minimum Due When Necessary:
If you are running out of money then also try to pay the minimum amount due in credit card bill, else you will be penalized heavily along with a very bad credit score.
If you are a new credit card user, and you don’t know what is the minimum due in credit card bills, then visit our Credit Card FAQs page to know more about it.
Avail The Moratorium:
In case of any financial hardship, try to use the moratorium if you have the option as it will save you from any bad credit ratings along with the overcharge.
If you are an SBI credit card user then you can find more information about sbi credit card moratorium by clicking here.
The above-mentioned tips will help you to make smart and responsible use of credit cards. But there are also some factors you need to be careful about. A fraudulent or unauthorized transaction can happen anytime and it is wiser to secure your credit card account before anything wrong happens. There are some tips given below that will help you to keep your credit card account secure.
- Choose a strong password – When you set your net banking password or credit card PIN. Try to make it unique and very hard to guess. Never set your name, date of birth, or mobile number as a password. Try to make your password long, at least 8 characters. Use uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols in your password.
Also, sign on the back of your new credit card and turn on the suspicious activity alert of your account.
- Never share your credit card information with anyone – Try to cover your credit card number and CVV number when you use your card in public. Think twice before sharing your account information with anyone. Avoid physical credit card statements and subscribe for the e-statement.
- Keep your contact details updated – Always keep your credit card provider updated about your contact details (phone number, email, residential address) so that if something suspicious happens to your account, they can inform you as soon as possible.
- Check your credit card account regularly – Credit card users should check their credit card account regularly. It has two benefits – 1) you can track your spending and maintain a budget. 2) If any fraudulent transactions happen to your account, you can notice it early and take the necessary steps.
- Secure your devices – Never save your credit card number or your net banking password in your internet browser. Also, turn off the auto-fill option on every browser you have in your system.
You can also link your credit card to a digital wallet and use it. This is because digital wallets are secured with encryption, authentication, and tokenization and it is much safer to use them instead of a regular credit card. If you use digital wallets as a payment medium then you must secure your Smartphone with a password.
- Practice online safely – While using your card for online shopping look for the “https” in the web address. Avoid those sites that don’t have the “https” with them. Also make sure the web address has the correct spelling of the company’s name, if the spelling is incorrect or the company’s name is missing, never ever use your card on this site.
Disable the auto-fill option on your web browser, and never allow any website to store your credit card information.
Link your credit card with a trusted online payment app and pay with it. In this way, you can hide your card number from the merchants. And by chance, if a merchant gets hacked, your card number will not get exposed.
Never ever use public Wi-Fi to make online transactions or even to check your credit card account. Because the hackers can use those public networks to steal your information.
- Report your problems right away – If you have lost your card or if you notice something suspicious in your credit card account, report it to your card provider as soon as possible. It will minimize your losses.
How to deal with a lost or stolen card?
You can consider your credit card your best friend, it is always there to help you. But what if it gets lost or stolen?
Suppose you are an SBI credit card user and your credit card is missing. Now you should take action right away before it gets into the wrong hands. There are some steps you should take immediately after your credit card gets stolen.
- Call sbi credit card customer care no (1800 120 1290) immediately from your registered mobile number and report the theft or loss of your missing credit card. They will You can find sbi bank credit card customer care number on your credit card statement or from the internet. Also, make sure the number is genuine. You can find your card provider’s contact details from our sbi credit card customer care page.
You can also block your card from your net banking/mobile banking account or just by calling the sbi credit card customer care. Always remember if you can report within 24 hours, your liability will be limited to a certain amount.
Now if you are an SBI credit card user and you are thinking how to block sbi credit card then you must check our SBI credit card FAQs page.
- After reporting the loss to the credit card provider, you should keep following up. You can send a letter or email to your card provider mentioning all the details such as your sbi credit card number, the date of reporting, how you have reported the loss, etc.
You should also check your credit card account regularly, and if there is something suspicious, call sbi credit card customer care immediately.