5 practical credit card tips you should know about

Banks are constantly trying to tempt us into buying more. If you have a bank account (as opposed to stashing cash under a pillow) it is likely you have received numerous letters from the bank. These letters will have tempted you to sign up for a credit card. These credit card tips will get you thinking outside the square and set you on the path to finding true wealth within.

Beautiful credit card offers from the bank

These letters are beautiful. They scream luxury, style and well – frankly, what feels like the offer of ‘free’ money. Right? They are intriguing too, with their fabulous gold facades and those beautifully embossed personalised numbers that glisten in the sun like an eternal shining light. The path to greater happiness is clear in a letter of offer for a credit card from a bank.

These letters from the bank make a person feel very special indeed. They are particularly effective if the day is rainy and a little dull or if it is Monday and a person receives the mail after returning from a day at work. Such a letter makes a person feel instantly richer and happy somehow. Why? Because, unlike other offers of money (say like from a boss), these credit card offers, lure you with ‘free’ money, which you don’t seem to have to work for, and in the rain while you are standing at the letterbox – this offer can look like a neatly-folded crinkle-free ticket to happiness.

You are so loved – NOT

According to the bank, you are such a well-loved and premium customer – that only you and you alone today will be in this ‘elite’ credit card club and you too, can be the proud owner of one of these superior and gold-embossed treasures – that will make life as wonderful as well – a Mustang.

Credit card tips
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Right? Wrong!

Don’t sign up to ‘Debt Club’

If you do sign up, you’ll be in a special club all right. You’ll also be in an even more special club if you don’t pay up on time. The club is called the Debt Club and you’ll have a lot of other friends in this club who signed up for this too-good-to-be-true, for-your-eyes-only deal today.

Ain’t temptation grand?

Credit cards are like a great big piece of chocolate cake you can have over and over again. The cake tastes great and in that moment when you are eating the double-chocolate frosted icing – nothing else seems to matter. Except if you keep eating that frosting all the time though, eventually this scoffing down of cake on a regular basis, is going to catch up with you in the form of cellulite, added kilos and it will take its toll on many facets of your life. Credit card spending has a similar detrimental effect. Eventually the debt will catch up with you and frankly, you won’t even be able to afford the cake. See how these scenarios can snowball? Hmm…

So do this

March up to the recycle bin and rip those letters to shreds on the way there. Then immediately put what’s left of the bank’s beautiful offer in that bin. Walk away and don’t look back or think of that offer again. The shining light of luxury is a farce and is now history to you.

Don’t worry – I learned this lesson the hard way

Don’t get me wrong. I learned this lesson the hard way when I was younger when credit was an amazing money-making machine to me. When I was flatting and living on noodles I used credit to buy a couch or pay for a world trip I just had to go on. Back in the day, credit allowed me to live the life I always dreamed of – that is, until I got the bill.

I loved credit for three reasons

  1. I could get things I wanted immediately
  2. I seemed to have money on tap all the time. Credit was great!
  3. If I couldn’t afford it – I could get it anyway. Yippee!

Summary

Life was fantastic with plastic – until I got the bill. And that’s when the trouble started….

Goody-too-shoes me

I’m a bit of a goody-two-shoes now when it comes to credit cards. I am happy to report that I haven’t had a plastic fantastic since 2005 when I officially became debt-free and I cut up my credit card for good.

But in saying all of the above apparently you can:

Have your credit card cake and eat it too with these valuable credit card tips

Recently I did hear that my hubby’s tradie mate took his wife to Hawaii for free using his credit card points. My ears pricked up because I do like a good Penina-colada on an island, so it seems there are some advantages to having a credit card. You just have to be extra vigilant and heed the following tips when using a credit card.


Here are the top 5 practical credit card tips you should know about

  • Set up automatic payment from your every day account to your credit card.
  • Always pay the full amount back every month, so as not to pay interest on the account.
  • Set up free text reminders so you always know when a payment is due.
  • Treat your credit card like a debit card and only spend the money you have.
  • Consolidate your credit cards to reduce the risk of accumulated debt.

Do you have some more credit card tips to share related to your credit card experiences? Please share them below.