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How to use a credit card

Tips for managing your credit card

These tips will help ensure you’re getting the most out of your credit card and its benefits.

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 you pay your closing balance (also shown as the total amount owing on your statement) in full by the due date each month.

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 off your closing balance in full in your next statement period 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.

Use alerts

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 Capwhich help you make sure you’re in control at all times.

The CommBank app also offers transaction notifications, which gives you an instant notification every time you use your card, and Spend Tracker and Insights, which help you identify, categorise and track your spending.

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.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial advice.