Canadians have been using credit cards as their go-to buying tool for several years. Though they’re small in size, they are a powerful resource with a significant amount of responsibility that comes with their ownership.
Credit limits can range from a low and manageable to an excess amount of credit — depending on individual finances. Many companies offer perks and bonuses when you apply for your first card and easily persuade consumers to take on more credit than they can handle.
While credit cards can be a helpful spending tool for many Canadians, they also present a level of responsibility that cannot be overlooked. These simple tips can help ensure you’re making wise spending choices and using your card intuitively.
1. Look for Cash-Back Rewards
Most of us rely on credit cards to an extent and are unable to avoid using one altogether. When that’s the case, there are often benefits such as cash-back rewards you earn each time you use your card.
There’s an opportunity here to build a significant return at the end of every year. Suppose you calculate how much money you spend on expenses per month using the 50/30/20 budget tool. In that case, you could potentially use your credit card to pay for those costs — although this is only recommended if you’re able to immediately transfer the funds from your checking account to your outstanding balance.
If that seems too risky for your current situation, even a few purchases every month can make an impact. With the extra money you receive, you have the option of building your savings or using the money for additional expenses.
2. Pay Your Minimum Balance
This is one of the essential pieces of advice when it comes to credit card ownership. Making your monthly payments is necessary in order to maintain a healthy financial standing. After each bill is calculated, you’ll have a monthly balance and a minimum amount, which you’ll need to pay by the given date to avoid interest costs.
There may be times when your balance is too much for you to take on alone. In those cases, a short-term online loan from Flexmoney.ca is an accessible tool for Canadians struggling with periodic cash shortages.
Credit card companies provide a time-frame in which they expect borrowers to make their minimum payment. With this automated and safe lending option, the experience is customizable. This means you can access what you need and not a penny more, helping you get back your financial freedom so you can completely clear your credit card balance.
3. Shop Online Safely
Where you use your credit card matters — mainly when you’re using it to purchase goods virtually, protecting your credit card information is vital to your financial security. If a third-party can access your data, you risk welcoming malware or viruses into your device and procuring charges you did not authorize.
If you’re privy to online shopping, ensure you’re accessing websites you trust. Reputable Canadian retailers will have security features in place to keep your information safe and should have their terms and conditions outlined. When you shop, only use your home device and avoid public wifi — your data is vulnerable on an unsecured network.
After every purchase, you may wish to print out a receipt or confirmation e-mail to track your spending. If you notice suspicious activity within your account, you’ll have the information your bank will need to confirm you did not make those purchases.