Store cards offer numerous advantages, but it’s crucial to utilise them wisely and responsibly while maintaining financial discipline.
Store cards provide a convenient way to purchase items when needed, possibly with no interest, as well as additional benefits like access to affiliated stores, loyalty club memberships, and exclusive offers that are not available to the general public.
Some of these benefits include:
Ease of use: Applications are typically straightforward, and making purchases with your card is as simple as swiping it.
Exclusive Rewards: Discounts, early access to sales, and special events for cardholders can be beneficial if the items purchased are needed.
Credit score improvement: Timely payments and low balances can enhance your credit score over time, leading to better interest rates when borrowing in the future.
Unique financing options: Some store cards may provide 0% interest for a specific duration on purchases made with the card.
Access to numerous stores: If the issuing store has affiliations with other stores, your credit account might be valid at these locations as well. For instance, a Truworths card grants access to various Truworths brands and affiliated stores.
Using your store cards smartly: Before applying for a store card, it’s essential to understand the terms and conditions and evaluate the benefits against potential costs. Mismanaging a store card can lead to a troublesome debt cycle.
Here are 10 strategies for optimal store card management and overall credit usage:
-Monitor your spending: Create a list of necessary items and budget accordingly. Aim to spend less than 30% of your credit limit.
-Choose an interest-free payment period: Many store accounts offer interest-free payment plans and interest-bearing options. Deciding on an interest-free plan can help you to avoid high store card interest rates.
-Avoid late payment fees: Interest and fees accumulate if an account is overdue, leading to additional charges and a reduced credit limit, impacting your credit score.
-Refrain from raising your credit limit: Store card providers assign credit limits based on factors like income, expenses, and credit score. Avoid increasing your limit to prevent overspending.
-Select a suitable payment date: When using debit orders, you can often choose your preferred processing date. Make sure to align your store card payment with your salary deposit.
-Don’t miss a payment: If you cannot fully pay off your store account, make at least the minimum payment. Missed payments harm your credit history and future credit eligibility.
-Steer clear of multiple store cards: Managing several cards can lead to unmanageable debt and difficulty tracking expenditures.
-Don’t share your store card: Store card usage is non-transferable; only you are allowed to use your card. Sharing your card with others may result in overspending.
-Regularly review your credit report: A strong credit score is necessary for obtaining loans or other credit forms. Monitor your credit report frequently and take action to improve it as needed.
-Seek expert assistance if debt becomes overwhelming: If repayment management becomes challenging, consider options like debt counselling to consolidate multiple debts into a single, affordable monthly payment.
Using your store card solely for necessities and adhering to a budget can prevent impulsive spending that could jeopardise your ability to pay off your store card and other debts.
The facts and content in this article are based on an original article published by Bellan Media. While every reasonable effort is taken to ensure the accuracy and soundness of the contents of this publication, neither writers nor the publisher will bear any responsibility for the consequences of any actions based on information or recommendations contained herein. Our material is for informational purposes and should not be construed as financial advice.