A Good Credit Card for South Africans
26th Sep 2017
How do you choose a good credit card?
- Compare Visa and Mastercard
- Check interest rates on outstanding balances
- Decide if you want a bank-linked card
- Find out what rewards the car offers
- Search Hello Peter for card reviews
Where do I get my credit card?
South Africans have several options available to them when it comes to acquiring good credit cards. There are international vendors like MasterCard, Visa and American Express although these will usually sell their cards through local commercial banks. The banks themselves offer their own credit cards; ABSA Group, The First National Bank, Standard Bank and Nedbank all offer their own credit cards in conjunction with the above international players.
Signs of a good credit card
While good credit cards are the keys to quick acquisition of important assets or daily necessities, they can also suck you into a black hole of debt if one is not careful. It starts with late payments, escalates into missed payments then ends up in a bad credit rating. In the process you end up paying more in interest than you were to pay. A first step towards avoiding this scenario is to select your credit card carefully. Before you sign the proverbial dotted line, be sure you know the terms and conditions in full.
Choosing the best credit card
So how do you choose a good credit card for you from the many available options? The current tumultuous economic environment doesn’t make matters any easier; tightening credit limits and skyrocketing interest rates are the norm with most providers.
One way to avoid plunging yourself into a cycle of debt is to take an honest assessment of your financial position. This will enable you to determine whether you will be able to pay off a credit card at once or keep up with the repayments. As you shop around and look at different credit cards, compare their annual fees and credit limits as well as the extra benefits they offer.
Before settling on any one provider, be sure you’re getting the best deal by checking your credit report. This will help you choose a card that best matches your spending history, helping you avoid deep credit card debt.
How to maintain your credit card
Once you have obtained a credit card, you still have to take some measures as you use it to ensure repayments don’t spin out of control. First of all you need to keep track of the things you buy using your card. If necessary, write down the things you have purchased within a week or a month. Did you buy them out of real necessity or were they impulse purchases brought by easy access to credit?
Reining in your expenditure will go a long way to lowering your debt utilisation ratio. A low debt utilisation ratio means a lower rate of interest and more manageable borrowing terms.
How to recover from a low credit limit
Finding yourself getting overwhelmed by repayments and fast-rising interest rates is not the end of the world. Instead of suffering in silence, talk to the bank representatives and see how if they can give you more manageable terms.
All info was correct at time of publishing