Ready to take on this year’s end of financial year (EOFY) sales? Already have your eyes set on some bargains? Discover our top credit card tips and tricks to help make your shopping experience easier than ever. From knowing your credit limit to shopping safely online, you’ll find some handy hints to assist you as you check out the latest deals.
With so many great deals available throughout Australia’s EOFY sales, it can be tempting to go all out to ensure you make the most of the latest offers. While the savings may seem substantial, you still need to ensure that you stick to your credit limit to avoid unwanted fees and charges. If you’re not sure what your current credit limit is, you can view it on your latest monthly statement or in your online account. It typically won’t change unless you submit a request to your bank or credit card company for your limit to be increased or lowered.
The portion of your credit limit that you use, also known as your credit utilisation ratio, can affect your credit score. If your credit utilisation ratio is too high (you’re using a large portion of your credit limit), this may harm your credit score. On the other hand, a lower credit utilisation ratio can be a sign of more sensible credit use. If possible, try to keep your credit utilisation ratio below 30%.
While your credit card may allow you to spend several thousand dollars without a second thought, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. Understanding that you will eventually need to pay off the entire balance and that a larger debt will typically take much longer to pay off should be reason enough for you to think twice about what you are purchasing with your credit card.
If you are wanting to go shopping in-store or online during Australia’s EOFY sales, think about setting yourself a self-imposed spending limit. Knowing what you can afford and what you feel comfortable spending can ensure that you get the things you need and want without making your financial situation more difficult. If your bank or credit card company allows it, look to set up balance alerts on your smartphone to help you keep track of how much you are spending. As you get closer to your maximum balance, you’ll receive updates directly to your smartphone. If possible, you might look to set a balance maximum that’s close to your ideal credit utilisation ratio.
Credit cards are loved for their convenience and ease of use, but these handy additions to your wallet can also be used to accumulate rewards, earn loyalty points, enjoy attractive cashback offers and more. If you’re thinking of spending a decent amount of money during the next EOFY sales, choosing the right credit card could allow you to enjoy some extra perks and savings.
Before settling on a credit card reward program, take the time to weigh up what the potential benefits are and whether they suit your lifestyle. Some may only offer rewards when you shop at certain retailers or when you spend a certain dollar amount, while others may only be available for a limited time. Think about how you typically spend your money and which retailers you’re hoping to buy from during the next EOFY sales to help guide you towards the best option.
Rewards, cashback offers and extra points may tempt you to spend more money than you may have otherwise done but it’s important that you choose not to use your credit card unless you can afford to do so. Weigh up the actual monetary benefits of the rewards, points and cashback offers before committing to spending large sums of money.
If you think a rewards card is right for you, check out youron ClearScore. We show you offers for your , so you can be assured you will be more likely to be approved for the offer you apply for.
If you’re wanting to save a few extra dollars around sale time, consider using a. This feature will allow you to borrow money for a number of days without having to pay interest. The interest-free period typically begins on the very first day of your statement period and concludes on your payment due date. Most interest-free periods are up to 55 days, encompassing any purchases made within a single 55 day period from the start of your statement period.
To be eligible for the interest-free period, you will generally need to repay the full balance of your account by the due date. This will include any purchases made within the 55 day period, even those made just days before the due date. Before deciding to take advantage of the interest-free period, be sure to check whether you will realistically be in a position to pay off your full balance instead of just a standard minimum monthly payment. The interest-free period may also only apply to select purchases as defined by the bank or credit card company. Do your research and ensure that the list of eligible purchases aligns with your lifestyle.
Although it can be easy to get caught up in enticing EOFY sales, it’s important to always take steps to ensure you’re shopping safely online. There are plenty of credit card tips to help keep yourself safe as you shop, including:
Checking the website is secure
Before you start adding to your cart, take a moment to check whether the website is secure or not. You can do this by seeing whether the URL starts with ‘http’ or ‘https’. A URL that starts with ‘https’ is generally more secure, using an encryption system that makes it more difficult for hackers to access your credit card information.
Using a secure internet connection
When you’re out and about, it might be tempting to connect to a free WiFi network offered by a retailer, a shopping centre or a restaurant. Although convenient, these public internet connections are typically less secure than those that you have at home, making it easier for hackers to access your personal information and payment details. If you can, try to use your own mobile internet connection or, if that’s not an option, save your purchases until you’ve made your way home.
Typing in the URL manually
If you already know the URL of the website you’re wanting to visit, consider typing it in manually instead of relying on the results shown in your search engine of choice. A slip of the fingers or a simple misspelling could see you land on a fraudulent website.
Reviewing your transaction history
When you receive your monthly credit card statement, take a few minutes to review each of the transactions recorded. Although it will take a few minutes out of your day, this can be a good method to help you spot any fraudulent transactions. If you do notice a fraudulent transaction, get in touch with your bank or credit card company to have them investigate and dispute it. You should also look to have your credit card cancelled to prevent further fraud from occurring.
Trusting your judgement of the website you’re viewing
Although there isn’t an exact science to it, trusting your judgement of the website you’re looking at can be another good way to keep your credit card details safe. If the website looks poorly maintained and not particularly professional, it might be best to shop elsewhere.