A credit card is the most expensive type of consumer lending. If rates on consumer loans vary in the range of 12-19% per annum (sometimes less – refinancing, sometimes more), then on credit cards from 21% per annum.
Yes, in advertising, banks write like this:
- 0% per annum – installment cards;
- from 15% – credit card.
In fact, in each agreement, it is written that “the interest rate is set by the bank in accordance with the loan agreement and the individual proposal”, that is, any, at the discretion and greed of the bank.
A credit card can be a good financial tool, or it can become a gaping hole in your budget.
Mistake number 1 – do not pay attention to the cost of maintenance
Each person with a sober memory and common sense tries to choose a bank that promises minimum interest rates.
The service charge is deducted, as a rule, after activating the card, that is, after the first completed transaction, then it is debited every year, even if you do not use the card and have already forgotten about it. The bank will not forget about its card, it will definitely remind you in a few years. Do you not want to use the card? Block and ask the bank for a certificate on closing a credit card.
Mistake number 2 – do not take into account the duration of the grace period
The grace period allows you to use borrowed funds for free, that is, without interest. And believe me, in some cases it is much more profitable to take a card at a high percentage, but with the longest interest-free period, on some cards, it reaches 100 days, but usually, up to 55 days.
How to count the grace period up to 55 days:
Mistake number 3 – do not take into account the location of ATMs and recharge points
Why do we draw up cards? To use them at any time – at a store, airport, ATM … But exchange terminals of some financial institutions are extremely rare and as a result, we lose the opportunity to fully use them. Hence the conclusion: choose banks whose ATM network or replenishment points are as developed as possible. And it is advisable that several of them be available near your home and place of work.
The replenishment problem can also be solved with a salary card, that is, transfer from card to card, if you really want this particular credit card, and there is nowhere to replenish it.
Mistake 4 – cash withdrawal from credit card
The fact is that banks sell credit cards, with which it is profitable to purchase goods in stores or on the Internet, where interest is not calculated for this action, but it is not profitable to withdraw money from ATMs, since a certain percentage is charged for this, and the preferential period.
The grace period for ordinary credit cards burns out immediately after the cash withdrawal or money transfer operation: even if you strictly maintain the 54-day interest-free period, after the withdrawal/transfer, the grace period expires and the bank automatically recounts ALL previous operations from the beginning of the period. And he will take a commission for withdrawal/transfer.
Disclaimer: there are special cards for cash withdrawals, such as “100 days without%” – this is an exception to the rule, but there are also their own “features” in the tariff plan.
Mistake 5 – trust banks
Paradoxical as it sounds, it is primarily peculiar to financial giants (I will not mention their names, you yourself know very well).
It doesn’t matter where you get a credit card, but it’s extremely important to specify in advance how and when a fee is charged for using it. The thing is that the first interest can be accrued only after the activation of the card, which occurs during the first expenditure transaction. But here some banks charge interest from the client, starting from the day the contract is drawn up.
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The tariff plan is the main document that you need to study with all bias before using a credit card.
Everything that is clear to you in this document is OBLIGED to explain to you by a bank employee, even if there is a displeased queue behind you. Let them stand, nothing. You must understand ALL the risks before you issue any banking product.
And do not forget to ask what paid services are already connected on the card – this question will save you a couple of thousand a month.