Get the best value out of your credit card

If possible, avoid using a credit card altogether.

If possible, avoid using a credit card altogether.

Credit Cards are an expensive way to transact and by taking now and paying later it is easy to spend more than you can afford.

l A good guideline is that you should try not to be paying for something after you have stopped enjoying it. So it may be alright to borrow to pay for large items like a fridge (which should last many years) but try to avoid borrowing to pay for everyday items, like groceries.

l Shop around for a credit card with the lowest debit interest rate. This is the interest that you pay on your outstanding balance, so if you don't settle what you owe at the end of the month, you won't have the interest piling up.

l A shiny gold card will impress your friends, but ask yourself whether the status is worth around an extra seven percent. Gold cards are more expensive than standard credit cards so only use one if you are sure that you will use the added benefits that come with the added costs.

l Credit cards are great for allowing you breathing room, but don't push your luck. Pay off what you owe at month end to avoid the interest piling up.

l Don't forget about things like transaction costs and annual fees. Many credit cards don't charge annual fees, so if you are paying out a large sum to use your card, shop around for a card with little or no fees.

l Not only are the withdrawal charges more expensive than on an ordinary bank card, but you will be paying interest from the minute you withdraw money.

By withdrawing money using a credit card you will be charged interest from the minute you withdraw the cash.

- Tips supplied by; Absa and Nedbank