This article has been contributed by our guest contributor Anchal Beriwal and edited by Fintuned team. The article is a good read for people in the age group 25-50.
Confused with the title of the article?
Well, today I came across a Business Insider post that mentioned the thinking differences that exist between rich (could be read as successful in today’s parlance :P) and average people. While I am not completely vocal about the way the article/piece was positioned, there was a line that has remained with me, which said:
“Rich people make money out of other people’s money while the average people think that one needs money to make money”. Again, I don’t support the statement as such and it is absolutely subjective but the part that you can use money even when you don’t have it reminds me of something.”
You probably guessed it right? It absolutely reminds me of credit cards 🙂
I am sure John Biggins might have fallen short of cash and therefore, thought of this idea and invented credit cards. In India, credit cards have always been an adverse money leverage option for people. However, as more options are available and with an increase awareness regarding the use of plastic money, Indians have begun using plastic money proactively. Probably, it is right if I say that we are aping the west in our spending culture as well. Truth be told, credit cards do have some indispensable benefits. For example, fulfilling immediate liquidity requirements and building positive credibility are a few of the positives.
But why am I harping on the benefits of credit cards? No, I do not represent any credit card company nor intend to be with one. This is because as we get accustomed to using credit cards, it is all the more important that we use it smartly.
Most of the banks provide privileges and schemes on applying for their credit cards resulting in a wide array of options to decide from. For example
Love cash > go for cards that give cash backs
Love free stuff > go for those that offer freebies
If I may credit cards also come in different flavors. There are the superfluous travel credit cards that offer credit services on travel, hotel stays and conveyance and then there are awesome cards that provide credit facilities on meals in food joints and restaurants. Therefore, it is good to have more than one credit card, if you can manage them well.
In case you skipped that last sentence, read it again. To be absolutely specific and repetitive (not annoying :P), keep more than one credit card, if you can manage them well, which means payment of bills, maintaining limits etc.
*Do not screw your credit score
As a corollary to the last section, let me mention about something to take extra care of i.e. your credit score (am sure you know all about it). In case you are not aware, RBI has entrusted CIBIL, Equifax and Experian to maintain the credit scores. CIBIL or the Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited being the oldest is more popular. These organizations collect and maintain records of every person regarding his loan and credit card transactions. These records are then used to prepare Credit Information Report (CIR) and credit scores and provided to banks and financial institutions to evaluate the credibility of a person. Read more about it here.
#Quick tip: Simply owning more than one credit card does not affect your credit score in any way. The credit score depends on two things and they are payment of credit card bills and usage patterns.
As such, coming back to the point of having more than one credit card, it increases your overall credit limit. Owing to division of usage over more than one card it results in low usage per card. The lower the percentage of outstanding debt, the better the credit score.
Better offers, better credit scores, higher discipline etc. are some of the amazing benefits that ensue when you keep more than one credit card. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and experience it for yourself 🙂