How to compare credit cards in South Africa

Are you looking for a healthy form of credit that can benefit your financial future? You can compare credit card options in South Africa to find the best one for you.

Credit cards are a wonderful financial product, as they offer revolving instant cash. They can also help you build a healthy credit score. Are you keen to get rid of other expensive credit in South Africa?

Do you feel it is time to gain from rewards, discounts, and benefits? The right type of credit could benefit your current lifestyle and needs. Bank cards are often a fast solution to money woes.

Is a credit card the solution for my cash emergencies?

Coping without a line of credit from lenders, such as commercial banks, could be difficult. Life is expensive and there are few individuals and households that don’t use credit cards. They are often the best solution.

You can use your card for everyday banking convenience, including bank transfers, purchasing travel tickets, and internet banking.

Additional cards for multiple users, or a fuel card, are further conveniences available to you. Card insurance is another bonus you can consider. Even though these cards have many benefits, they come with pitfalls, too.

A credit card could become a nasty habit. One should only use a card for out-of-the-ordinary expenses, and not everyday spending. Getting into bad habits with spending and credit could cost you in the long term. If you often max out your card limit, it may become unaffordable.

However, card account holders can also have a very positive banking experience! Monitoring transaction fees and maintaining positive balances will give you peace of mind.

Is having a credit card a good idea?

  1. Carrying cash around could leave you vulnerable to criminals. A credit or debit card would solve this problem. A basic credit card is a handy alternative. You can perform cashless payments for travel purchases, special offers, a gift voucher, gas, online purchases, and more.
  2. Do you struggle to find an ATM for cash withdrawals? You can solve the problem with a credit card. As a South African resident, this is an easy payment method. Pay for everything, from purchases to eating out, without carrying cash.
  3. You might find withdrawing money from an ATM from other institutions incurs unnecessary withdrawal fees. Most South African banks, however, offer unlimited swipes at no cost when making purchases, unlike ATM charges for debit cards.
  4. Remember, credit cards charge interest, but you can avoid it by paying off your card promptly. The interest rates might be more affordable than the interest one needs to pay for a loan.
  5. With most banks, there is an interest-free period to enable affordable banking. It might be a good idea to use this to settle the amount and not pay anything extra.

How to apply for a credit card?

  1. Research Your Options

    You can start by finding a bank offering the best options. You can do this by comparing offers from different banks. One bank might offer excellent financing options for a bond, while another could offer fantastic rates on credit cards. The one with solutions that match your budget and needs is often the best option. When you research your options before choosing, you could find the best interest rates and best offers from a range of credit cards.

  2. Apply Online or In-Person

    Apply at your nearest African Bank Branch or with an easy online application.

What happens after I’ve applied?

Once you apply, banks will scrutinise your financial statements. They will also have a close look at your credit profile. Your credit profile will showcase any lines of credit you already have. If your credit score is good and the report is favourable, this improves your chances of being approved.

The creditors then decide what amount of credit you qualify for. They then load this amount onto a credit card for you for instant access. The limit on your credit card will be calculated once the verification process has been completed. A bank won’t give you access to credit that you wouldn’t be able to handle paying back.

What can I do with my credit card?

You may use this amount in any manner you wish. You could use only a little at a time, or you can use it all in one lump sum. The only prerequisite is that you may not spend more than the credit limit they provide you with.

With the credit you get on your card, you can make any purchases you wish. Some cards include rewards on purchases, such as airline rewards, cash-back rewards using a points system, or kickbacks from partner brands. If you have a certain card, you can get into exclusive airport lounges, also called "complimentary lounge access".

Why should I pay back the minimum amount on my card?

When you use your card often, you will have a minimum amount to pay back on your credit card every month. You might find that paying back the full amount each month is the best option for you. Alternatively, you could pay back the minimum amount.

The bank will require that you pay a minimum amount within the credit period to avoid defaulting on the payment. Paying the outstanding balance in full will mean zero interest, should you pay it back before the next period. If you pay only the minimum monthly payment and less than the full monthly card fees, it will result in interest payable.

Can my credit card become difficult to manage?

Yes, it can if you often use it to pay everything and max it out all the time. A credit card can be seen as being an unsecure line of credit. It comes with a short repayment term determined by a specific period.

It is advisable to steer clear from using your credit card for everything, as this could put you in a precarious position. It could become unaffordable to settle, and you may find it hard to get back to zero once you’re used to the extra credit.

A helpful first step to managing how you use your card would be setting up a budget. If you find yourself drowning in credit card debt, it might be a good idea to discuss the situation with your bank.

Further credit loans are a bad way to cover your credit card payments because they are expensive and have high interest rates. They often only lead you further into debt. It is never a good idea to tally up a poor credit record or bad credit rating with further debt.

What are the benefits of credit cards?

When comparing credit cards in South Africa, you will get the chance to unpack the different benefits, terms, and conditions of each option. Lenders of credit in South Africa offer a wide range of personal loans, benefits, and other personalised credit offerings. Here are a few benefits to consider before choosing the option for you.

  • access to funds in an emergency
  • savings on debt interest (when paid off promptly)
  • contactless payments
  • cash back grocery store benefit
  • airport lounge benefit
  • bonus miles or air miles benefit
  • discount at partner restaurants
  • cashback on movie tickets
  • additional insurance coverage
  • the means to build a good credit record

It is a good idea to get the best deal tailored to your lifestyle needs and to ask many questions before settling on an option. Applying for a short-term loan could be the answer to immediate needs in some circumstances. 

You can now get the credit card that supports your lifestyle.

Banking has never been this easy. Would you like to make an instant impression? You can now do this with your African Bank Credit Card and bank on-the-go. You could do this wherever you are — online or on any mobile device.

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