So, you've started at your dream job and your first salary was deposited into your bank account. Being a grown-up rock! What's missing? Your credit card!
If used correctly, a credit card can become a powerful tool in your wallet. It allows you to:
- Budget better
- Build your credit profile
- Use cash only when necessary
In this blog post, we'll share a few important points that you should keep in mind when you start using a credit card for the first time.
You have to be responsible
Using your credit card recklessly can lead to debt. Debt is recorded on your credit profile and negatively impacts your credit history. This is why you must use your credit card responsibly. Luckily, developing good spending habits is easy if you're disciplined.
Some easy ways that you can make the most of your credit card and be responsible include:
- Paying your credit card on time
- Keeping your balance low by using your credit card for necessities and not luxuries
- Staying below your credit limit
- Setting up and sticking to a budget
Using your credit card wisely can help you save money
In fact, using your credit card responsibly can save you a lot of money! For instance, when you apply for the African Bank Black Credit Card, you can earn additional interest if you pay on time and maintain a positive balance. Overall, paying your credit card on time saves you from paying interest.
Using a credit card is also a good way to hold yourself accountable for your purchases. By regularly reviewing your statements, which you can download on the African Bank App, you can see exactly where you spent on credit, what you spent it on, and how much. Unfortunately, it's not as easy to keep track of cash payments, and it's easy to forget how you spent your money.
Build your credit score
If you plan on buying a house or a car soon, you're going to need a good credit score. Using a credit card is a really easy way to build your credit score. The trick here is to use your credit card responsibly. Refer to the tips we shared earlier.
Get to grips with interest
It's important to remember that if you don't make prompt payments in full, you will be charged interest. But, if you budget wisely and settle your credit card in full by the due date, you'll pay no interest. At African Bank, you can earn 3% interest per year on a positive balance when you make prompt payments.
Criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated with their scams, and credit cards remain an easy target for accessing your bank account. There are three main types of credit card fraud: stolen cards, counterfeit cards, and card-not-present (CNP) fraud. It's important to adopt safe habits when using your card to swipe or at the ATM. For starters, you should:
- Don’t share your PIN
- Don’t send e-mails that contain your card number
- Make sure that you get your card back after every purchase
- When shopping online, choose reputable and secure websites
Are you ready to apply for your first credit card?
If you're confident enough to use a credit card responsibly, apply for your first credit card online.