Many Filipinos are skeptical, sometimes even downright unwilling to get and use a credit card. However, the credit card horror stories you hear from your friends and family are the exception and not the norm. Indeed, there are a lot of advantages to using a credit card; Philippines-based consumers just need to be smart about it. The idea is to always pay on time and pay in full whenever you can. This way, you can fully enjoy the rewards of using your credit card more often.
That being said, below are just five among the many reasons you should use your credit card more.
Enjoy the Benefits of Going Cashless
Cashless transactions are becoming more and more popular nowadays, especially because of three factors: convenience, safety, and security. The latter two are particularly important, especially during crisis situations. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of physical distancing to help prevent the spread of disease. With a credit card, you can minimize contact not just with other people but also with money (which can harbor pathogens).
Meanwhile, despite some fears about hacking and privacy issues, using a credit card is actually safer than using a debit card. This is because debit cards are essentially your savings or checking account in card form. If your information gets stolen, cybercriminals can easily access your account and withdraw your funds. On the other hand, credit card transactions can be disputed in case of fraudulent activity. Do note that you can also dispute suspicious debit card transactions, but it’s easier to track and investigate such cases for a credit card.
Using your credit card more often will earn you more perks and rewards. These include things like rebates or cashback, air miles, and exclusive discounts. There are also banks and credit card companies that allow you to exchange rewards points for gift certificates or actual cash value. You can then use these for shopping or paying your bills so that your credit card’s available balance remains intact for longer.
What’s great about these credit cards rewards points is that, most of the time, they don’t expire. Thus, you can accumulate them for months or even years at a time if you’re saving up for something specific. Credit cards also offer more rewards options, along with unique banking and lifestyle privileges.
Build a Good Credit Standing
As earlier mentioned, the best way to use your credit card is to always pay on time. If you can’t pay in full, then pay more than the minimum amount due and then settle the remaining balance as soon as you can. This will help you build a good credit history. In turn, when you apply for loans, you’ll have an easier time getting approved. In fact, your application may get fast-tracked because the bank knows that you can pay your obligations without any problems. In addition, you might be given lower interest rates because you’re a low-risk customer. Using cash or your debit card for payments doesn’t help you build your credit standing as much as using your credit card does.
Get Higher Credit Limits
Another good thing that comes with your good credit standing is that it’s easier to apply for a higher credit limit. If you don’t use your credit card as much, the bank or credit card company won’t have a clear idea if you actually have the paying capacity. Thus, you might have a more difficult time getting your spending limit increased.
If you regularly use your credit card and always pay your bills on time, however, it will be easier to request a higher credit limit. Your transaction history will prove that you use your money responsibly and that giving you a bigger spending power will not cause any problems. Having a high credit limit is especially beneficial in cases of emergencies.
Learn How to Manage Your Finances
Using your credit card more often can help you learn better money management. For one, it’s easy to keep track of your outstanding balance and current transactions through online or mobile banking. This can help you monitor your expenses more closely and determine where you spend most of your money. If you’re planning a big purchase, such as a new refrigerator, using your credit card can teach you proper budget allocation. After all, you have to be able to pay your bill without disrupting your fixed expenses.
It’s time to let go of the notion that credit cards are debt traps. Indeed, with reasonable and responsible usage, you’ll appreciate your credit card even more. The trick is to not think that having a credit card means having license to spend as often and as much as you want. That way of thinking can and will result in debts. Instead, think of your credit card as a tool that improves your spending capacity and rewards you for wise usage.