Master Your Card
Bona|April 2017

Your credit card is not a vehicle for testing your limits.

Trevor Crighton

Your credit card can be a useful string to your financial bow – if, as with all things monetary, you manage it properly. Rather than using it as a licence to get into debt, it can help to cover unexpected expenses.

In an online survey conducted by FNB, it was found that 39% of respondents use their credit cards in emergencies, 36% for everything, 17% for online shopping while only 8% use it for big purchases.

On the other hand, the South African Savings Institute’s stance is that buying on credit helps the banks and retailers, but not you. A report on its website savingsinstitute.co.za says: “When you save or invest, interest works on your behalf. You get paid interest on your savings. However, accepting credit makes interest work against you because you are paying the interest to somebody else. Buying on credit also means that you could be living beyond your means. Should you be forced into a credit situation, it is to your advantage to get out at the earliest opportunity.” This shows that management is key.

SWIPE WISELY

Credit card users who swipe for all purchases have the right idea, according to Chris Labuschagne, CEO of FNB Credit Card. “Using your credit card daily can be beneficial, but you need to exercise financial discipline.” This does not mean that you can get rid of your cheque account in the interests of saving fees. You still need a transactional account to receive your salary and run your debit orders. Some banks offer interest on transactional and savings accounts (as opposed to just savings accounts) – a benefit you won’t gain from a credit card.

FREE UP YOUR PERSONAL CASH FLOW

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