It is inconceivable, even to think of a Singaporean, in the world’s mecca of shopping, without a credit card or four. So what is it with credit cards that has us so fascinated? Lets explore the myriad benefits conferred by this “insignificant” bit of plastic:
1. A handy line of credit
Have to pay a bill that will become overdue very soon? Want to take advantage of a shopping opportunity that would let you acquire that die-for gadget at a great price? Strapped for cash in either case? Don’t worry, your credit card, that shining knight in plastic will come to your rescue!
Credit cards provide you with a handy line of credit that can come in very useful both during emergencies and not-so emergencies. Moreover, you are not required to repay your credit card spends immediately but on the due date. Your credit tenor can go up to 45-55 days.
You can even use this to make money for you: spend within your budget, put your cash reserves to work in a time deposit that matures on your credit card due date and is used to repay your credit card bills in full and pocket the interest!
Credit cards are so convenient to carry; they slip in so easily and unnoticeably into a slot in your wallet. Compare this to carrying large wads of cash and you will immediately understand the convenience advantage. They are also much more secure and their built-in security features make them hard to misuse even when stolen, especially if you’ve been following good security habits. If, on the other hand, your wad of cash is stolen, you can most likely kiss it goodbye.
3. Earn rewards points
Almost all, if not all, credit cards reward your spends with rewards points. These rewards points can then be redeemed against a range of gifts.
4. Count your cash
Cashback credit cards return a percentage of your spends (on all categories of spends or on specific categories of spends) in cash. Get ready to count your spoils!
5. Convert spends to miles
Travel credit cards will convert your spends (again on all categories of spends or on specific categories of spends) to air miles which can be redeemed against air travel on affiliated airlines.
6. A range of benefits
Purchase and travel insurance, extended warranties, discounts, deals and offers against a range of shopping and entertainment options – the benefits, offered both by credit card issuers and card brands like Visa and Mastercard, accompanying credit cards are too numerous to list out in detail here.
7. Supplementary Cards – share it with your loved ones
Credit card benefits need not be restricted to you. You can get supplementary cards issued and share these benefits with your family members.
8. Create a record of purchases
Credit card statements are detailed records of your purchases and charges and other amounts due from you. You can use these statements to keep a record of your spends and to help you with your financial management.
9. Improve your credit score
Because a credit card is a loan product, your credit card transactions become a part of your credit history and your credit score. Plan your credit card spends, keep them within your budget and pay them in full before the due date; do this and you can see a positive impact on your credit score.
10. Flaunt your status
And then there are the Platinum, Elite and World credit cards that are meant for high-end clients. These cards come with exclusive benefits that include limousine pickups from the airport, free access to executive lounges and the classiest golf parks and exclusive invites to business and cultural events and of course, higher, in cases, much higher spending limits. Just flash your Platinum card and watch as your associates turn green with envy!