Getting a credit card is the best way to manage your finances during a cash church. It enables you to make purchases and expenditures without worrying about not having cash. There are several types of credit cards depending on your needs and preferences. Each credit card comes with benefits such as reward points, special discounts, cashback, etc. You can use your credit card to make all kinds of purchase transactions without paying interest, provided you clear your outstanding dues in full and on time.
If you do not know how to apply for a credit card, the process is simple. You will need to check your credit score, choose a credit card for yourself, and apply online. Your approval for a credit card depends on your monthly income and credit score.
Here are some of the best features of a credit card that you must be mindful of before submitting your application online:
When you apply for a credit card online, your issuing bank assigns a credit limit based on your credit history. The credit limit indicates the maximum balance you can have on your credit card, which includes purchases, balance transfers, cash advances, and finance charges. It is worth noting if you exceed your credit limit, you will have to incur an over-the-limit fee or a higher interest rate.
Your issuing bank may even allow you to spend an amount they believe you can repay within the due date. The amount is determined based on factors like your income, credit history, and your spending habits. Also, your credit limit is subject to change. As you pay your credit card bills on time, your credit limit gradually increases.
Your credit card balance is the total amount you owe to the bank. It includes purchases, interest charges, and other fees. Having a higher credit card balance means you have a lower available credit limit to make additional purchases. Also, having a higher balance means that you have a higher credit utilization ratio, which significantly drops your credit score.
If you wish to check your credit card balance, you can do so through your net banking profile or by calling your issuing bank’s customer service.
The grace period is an interest-free period. It represents the time you have to pay your credit card balances in full before any interest rate is charged. It is a period within which you can pay your credit card bills without worrying about interest charges. If you carry balances from previous months, you will not have a grace period for new purchases. Also, it is worth noting that balance transfers and cash advances do not have a grace period.
Your credit card’s grace period length depends on your credit card application or your credit card agreement. Your credit card statements usually contain the number of days in the grace period.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
The annual percentage rate is the rate of interest applied to your credit card balance that you carry beyond the interest-free period. The annual percentage rate or APR varies across different types of balances, such as balance transfers or purchases. The APR rate for balance transfer and cash advances is higher than the rate for purchases.
Your credit card APR be of two types – fixed APR and variable APR. A fixed APR, as the name suggests, remains constant through the billing cycle. A variable APR is subject to changes to the underlying index rate.
Credit card fees
Depending on the type of transaction, you may have to incur credit card fees. These credit card fees include finance charges, late fees, annual fees, and over-the-limit fees. You can avoid these fees if you use your credit card wisely. For instance, you do not have to pay late payment fees if you ensure to pay your credit card bills on time each month.
Rewards and other benefits
When you apply for a credit card online, you can avail of numerous rewards in the forms of points, cash backs, miles, and discounts on future purchases. You can earn reward points on your purchases and redeem them after accumulating a certain amount.
The benefits of a credit card vary across different types of credit cards you need. For instance, if you are a frequent traveler, your travel credit card may come with travel and trip cancellation insurance, extended warranty, rental car insurance, purchase, and price protection.
If you do not know how to apply for a credit card, you can visit your issuing bank’s bank, choose your credit card based on your needs, and submit an online application. Before applying online, make sure to shop around and choose a credit card that best serves your preferences.
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