While India has largely been a cash-intensive economy, there has been a sharp increase in the usage of payment tools like credit cards in recent times. Present figures indicate that between May 2019 and April 2020, there has been an increase of about 9.4 million credit cards, bringing it to a total of 57.4 million. Also, the total number of point of sale transactions of credit cards recorded in April 2020 stood at 77.1 million.
With such facts and figures, it can be easily understood that customer preference for using a credit card to make purchases is increasing by the day. Apart from the convenience it involves, using the likes of corporate credit cards and other card types includes a range of benefits.
Ways to maximise the benefits of using a credit card
If one uses a credit card, ha/she has an option to dispense with the use of cash at all times. Credit card can be used for a wide range of transactions, from buying an expensive dinner set to refuelling car at a petrol station.
It is, however, important for the cardholder to know how to use a credit card wisely. Here are few of the major credit card benefits.
- Maximise convenience with readily available funds
As mentioned before, to use the likes of corporate credit cards is easier as opposed to carrying cash in pocket. It has also become one of the popular modes of payment all across the world.
While travelling overseas, paying through credit card is convenient compared to going for foreign currency exchange. Some credit cards may also be linked to a digital wallet which enables users to simply scan and make the payment without actually using the card.
- Make the most of available interest-free period
Corporate credit cards and other types of cards come with an interest-free period that allows cardholders to enjoy free credit for those many days between purchase and payment. For instance, Bajaj Finserv RBL Bank SuperCard does not levy any interest within such a period, usually spanning up to 50 days.
Thus, timing your purchases, preferably at the beginning of the billing cycle can help make the most of this period, allowing you to utilise credit without any additional charges. Nevertheless, you must also make sure to pay the bill within the due date.
- Pay recurring expenses with the card
While credit cards can be used to make one-time payments such as lifestyle purchases, they can also be used to meet recurring payments like monthly utility bills by setting up standing instructions.
- Purchase merchandise to earn cashbacks, discounts, and rewards points
You can avail various options for cashback and discounts on credit cards. It may range from a waiver of the fuel surcharge to reward points on travel booking, and other discounts on partner merchandise stores. Different credit card companies offer varying reward points on purchases made from selected online and offline merchants.
The reward points so earned can be subsequently redeemed by the cardholder for attractive vouchers and gifts, helping them save on future purchases.
- Ensure optimum use and timely payment for credit score improvement
Credit cards are particularly beneficial to enhance the credit score of an individual. If credit card dues are cleared in time, and repayments are consistent, it leaves a positive impact on the CIBIL score. With a good credit score, it is easier to secure approval loans and advances in the future, or even negotiate for better terms on the same.
Financial institutions like Bajaj Finserv also offer emergency loans against the available credit limit and provide instant cash at zero interest for up to 90 days.
The entire process of availing advances is also made hassle-free and less time consuming with pre-approved offers from the card issuer. It is available on several financial products such as, credit cards and personal loans. You can check your pre-approved offer by submitting basic information like your name and contact number.
- Track expenses on the go for improved financial management
Credit card statements issued monthly also serve as expense tracker. The statements generated after every billing cycle carry a record of the expenses incurred over the period. Referring to them, you can track your expenditures and curtail any unnecessary spending for efficient management of finances.
Apart from all these credit card benefits, some cardholders may also withdraw cash from ATMs by swiping the credit card at zero charges. It is thus evident that using a credit card can be beneficial for the user in the long run. Further, it would also do well to be familiar with other tips to get the most out of your credit card to maximise its use.