Credit cards are a real help, as long as you know the strict conditions involved.

As an easy-to-pay option for most everyday purchases, credit cards have become an integral part of everyday life, simplifying transactions by eliminating the hassle of carrying cash in our pockets. In India, the number of credit card users reached 52 million in 2019 and is expected to increase at a CAGR of over 25% between 2020 and 2025.

The best thing about credit cards is that they are highly secure and more secure than debit cards because they offer high protection against purchases made online or in physical stores. They also come with a myriad of benefits like worldwide acceptance, cashback points, rewards, cash withdrawals from vending machines like debit cards, easy use in emergencies, etc. .

If you are a plastic user, it is important to understand the credit card statement you get at the end of your billing period. Here are eight things you should check on your card statement:

1) Summary of the account: Every time you get your credit card statement, take a first look at the account summary. Here you will find a correct view of your credit card balance, opening balance, amount of purchases made in the current cycle, interest received since your last billing cycle, fees charged, cash advances and of the statement closing date. Note that payments made after the billing cycle will not be reflected on your current statement. If you want to check your last activity, log into your account with your credentials.

2) Payment due date: This is one of the key points to note in the statement. Banks expect credit card users to pay their dues by this date, although some users misinterpret this term and end up paying their dues on “Payment deadlineWhich ends up resulting in late fees and interest on the unpaid amount. If payment is made by check, it takes approximately 3 days for a bank to clear it. It is advisable to deposit your check one week in advance, in order to avoid paying additional fees in the event of late payment.

3) Minimum amount due: If a credit card user is unable to pay the full amount owed at once, the card company grants customers a minimum amount to pay to avoid paying late fees. Although you have paid the minimum amount due, interest will be charged on the unpaid amount until you have paid in full. The interest rate differs from card to card.

4) Total amount due: Unlike the minimum amount due, the total amount due includes interest on the overdue amount, late fees if applicable, amount carried over from the last billing cycle, service charges, penalties if applicable, and other charges. .

5) Grace period: Each credit card holder has a three-day grace period to pay the total amount owed on the statement. During this period, no interest will be charged on purchases. According to RBI, if a credit card holder does not pay dues after the grace period, their account will be marked as “past due” and will also be charged a late fee. Note that for most card companies, the grace period begins on the day of the billing cycle and ends on the payment due date.

6) Reward points: In general, this is one of the reasons why many customers prefer to use credit cards. When you pay for something with your credit card, like shopping, traveling, or dining out, you will receive reward points as perks from the bank. These range from 1 to 10 and can be converted into cash to buy something.

7) Availability of the credit limit: Many factors determine a credit card limit. If you are a new user, your credit limit will be lower. This limit is determined by the bank and the cardholder cannot spend beyond the predetermined limit. Some vendors allow customers to exceed the limit, subject to terms and conditions. Preferably, it is advisable to respect the limit set by the banks to avoid debt traps.

8) Transaction details: Each cardholder should verify transaction details as they receive the statement. This is a list of transactions made from the start of the cycle until the payment due date. As a credit card user, it is your sole responsibility to take a look at the transactions to make sure there are no errors. Another important reason to review transaction details is to educate yourself on your spending habits and help save money for the future.

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