Used the right way, a credit card can be an effective tool to help you manage your finances. Proper management of your card can not only help you keep your money secure, but also potentially save you money.
Know your interest-free period
Most credit cards come with an interest-free period on purchases. This is a period of time in which no interest is charged on new purchases, provided the total amount owing on your current statement is paid by the due date, and you also paid off your previous month’s balance in full by its due date.
Most CommBank credit cards offer up to 55 days interest free on purchases – this is the maximum time you may have from when you make a purchase until you have to pay the full balance on your next statement to avoid interest. The actual interest free period for any purchase depends on when you make the purchase. With a bit of forward planning you can make sure you never have to pay any interest on purchases.
Make your repayments on time
If you miss your minimum monthly repayments you may be charged a late payment fee. Making sure you make your repayments on time is key to managing your credit card effectively. Pay back your balance in full each month where possible so you can avoid interest on your purchases.
You can use our repayment calculator to assess what your repayments may be and also figure out how long it will take you to clear your balance if you’re making repayments at a certain rate.
If you hold a CommBank credit card you can set up and use AutoPay to make sure you never miss a payment. Through AutoPay you can choose to have the full closing balance, minimum amount due or a set amount (assuming it’s more than the minimum amount due and less than the full closing balance) directly debited from a CommBank transaction account.
Keep track of your statements
With online and mobile banking it’s never been easier to keep close tabs on your finances – receiving online statements is both secure and paper-free. Regularly check your statements closely to make sure you’re aware of any unauthorised activity on your account as soon as possible. This will also help you examine your spending to see if there are any areas where you could cut back and save more money.
If you prefer, you may be able to set up alerts so that you’re notified about activity related to your account. For example with CommBank you can switch to online bills so that we can automatically tell you when certain bills are due. On a CommBank credit card you’ll also be alerted either through text or a phone call if we detect any suspicious activity.
See what services are on offer
Depending on your credit card provider, your card can come with different services. CommBank credit cards have features such as Lock, Block Limit® and Spending Cap, which help you make sure you’re in control at all times. There’s also a budgeting tool called My Spend to let you keep track of your expenses so you can assess how much you’re spending in certain areas like groceries or retail.
Enjoy the credit card’s benefits
Credit cards that allow you to earn Awards points reward you for your spending. There are also a range of other benefits that come with credit cards, such as included travel insurance and extended warranties on products. Familiarise yourself with all the benefits of your card so you can be sure you’re maximising them.