Having at least one credit card to help pay for necessities, and luxuries to enhance our life, is something most New Zealand adults take for granted.

If you are new to using credit cards in New Zealand, or even if you’ve had one a while, knowing the basics will make sure you have full control of your credit card and are using it to your advantage. If used wisely credit cards can work brilliantly for you.

How to find the best Credit Card Deal


      1. Shop around for the best rates on Credit Cards. Ensure that you are fully aware of the details. Lower Fees? May mean higher interest. The inverse is also true. Make sure you read the fine print or get some expert financial advice before applying for a credit card in New Zealand.


      1.  Most credit cards in New Zealand give up to 55 days interest free credit. That means that if you use your credit card for purchases and pay off your total balance each month you won’t incur any interest.


      1.  Be aware that interest is charged on cash advances, so it is best to use your credit card for purchases. If you do need to advance some cash on your credit card, pay off the outstanding balance as soon as possible to reduce interest payments.


      1.  Some banks have a Card Control app that allows you to control the amount that you can spend in any one transaction. This Card Control can be turned on and off with your mobile phone.


    1. Creating a monthly budget. By putting aside a set amount of money each week from your income, either into a separate savings account or paying it directly onto your credit card, the amount owing will not be a burden. This amount can be adjusted dependent on the amount spent on the credit card each month.



Dealing with Credit Card Debt

What happens when your credit card debt spirals out of control? Credit card debt can cause huge stress and many people can feel overwhelmed. Be assured you can pay off your credit card debt. It may take time, but perseverance will bring great rewards.

      1. Pay off more than the credit card’s minimum payment each month. Paying the minimum amount due each month is only paying off the interest of the debt incurred. By paying more off each payment cycle you start to pay off the principle as well.


      1. If you have more than one credit card pay off the one with the higher interest first. Set goals to regularly monitor your debts and progress of payments.


      1. Stop using your credit card until the balance is paid off. This may seem extreme but it is a sure fire way to decrease your debt and allow you to pay off both interest and principle.


      1. The B word works wonders. Budget. Create a detailed budget so you are completely aware of your incoming income and your outgoing expenses each month. This will give you a clear picture of how much you can pay toward your credit card debt. Cut back on a few luxuries, such as a daily coffee before work, and put that money directly toward on your credit card. It’s amazing how these small sacrifices can make a big difference.


      1. Talk to your bank. Ask them if there are any ways to reduce your interest. They may be able to offer you a lower interest credit card. If your bank isn’t willing to help then look into transferring your credit card to another bank who are offering low interest rates to credit card transfer customers.



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