Credit cards and credit card features aren’t created equal. Find out which ones you should pay extra attention to.
One major advantage of credit cards is that they allow you to securely pay for things which might cost more than your monthly salary. This makes credit cards a handy financial tool for when you have big-ticket purchases on the horizon.
That being said, credit cards have more to offer than just being a short-term unsecured loan facility.
Read on to find out which are some of the most important credit card features all credit card users should pay attention to when signing up for credit cards.
- What are 5 key features of a credit card?
- What is the most important feature of a credit card?
- Credit card advantages
- How to win the credit card game
What are 5 key features of a credit card?
#1 Customised credit limits
Credit card issuers in Singapore offer customised credit limits for credit card members based on their salaries. In line with MAS regulations, credit limits are set to a maximum of 4x the cardmember’s monthly income for individuals aged 55 and below with an annual income ranging from S$30,000 to S$120,000.
What about high-income earners? You’ll be pleased to know that there isn’t any regulatory limit for people who make more than S$120,000 annually or those with net personal assets of at least S$2 million, or net financial assets of at least S$1 million.
#2 Big sign-up bonuses
Believe it or not, attractive credit card promotions are a big reason why many people sign up for credit cards.
Here are SingSaver’s top credit card promotions and deals you don’t want to miss! Be sure to bookmark the page for future reference, too — these deals are updated regularly.
SingSaver Exclusive Offer: Receive a Dyson Supersonic (worth S$649) or Sony WH-1000XM5 (worth S$569) or an AirPods Pro 2nd Gen + MagSafe Charger bundle (worth S$418) or S$350 Cash when you make a min. spend of S$500 within 30 days of card approval. Valid till 16 October 2022. T&Cs apply.
#3 Year-round deals and offers
Apart from the initial welcome gifts that you can enjoy as the banks’ new credit card customer, there are a tonne of additional deals and offers available as well. These include anything and everything across dining, lifestyle, shopping and wellness.
For a start, you may check out DBS credit card promotions, OCBC credit card promotions, Citibank credit card promotions and Standard Chartered credit card promotions conveniently on the SingSaver blog.
#4 Attainable rewards
Credit card rewards come in the form of cashback, miles and rewards points. Regardless of which type of reward you prefer, being able to earn and accrue rewards is always a more superior option than if you were to use NETS or cash for transactions, which don’t make your hard-earned money go as far as they could have.
#5 Security and fraud protection
In an era where scams have become more sophisticated and frequent, banks are more obliged than ever to prioritise their customers’ safety and protect card members against fraudulent transactions.
In case you’re wondering, banks have emergency numbers that you can call or digibank apps that let you instantly report fraud.
What is the most important feature of a credit card?
Purchasing power, which stems from your credit limit.
Think of credit cards as short-term unsecured loan vehicles from the banks — they let you fund big-ticket purchases and are a source you can tap on for financial emergencies, up until the credit limit the bank has set for you. This ‘loan’ is free as long as you pay off your credit card bill in full before the due date.
Credit card advantages
The objective of credit cards is to provide users with a convenient way to make payments in-store, online and abroad while letting credit card users chalk up rewards and build up their credit history.
#1 Build credit history
One importance of credit cards that shouldn’t be forgotten is the fact that responsible credit card use goes a long way in helping you build up your credit history and boost your credit score.
By making full payments before your statement due dates consistently over a period of time, you’re demonstrating to lenders that you can dependably repay the money that you borrow. This invokes confidence in you as a borrower.
Like it or not, your credit score plays a critical role in determining your creditworthiness and eligibility for loans.
When you have a solid credit history with a stellar credit score, financial institutions are more inclined to accede to your requests should you ever need to take out loans (e.g. home loan, car loan, study loan, renovation loan) or apply for things like credit lines. Having access to such credit can make or break your future plans.
#2 Convenient mode of payment
Apart from the freedom from cash, you can use credit cards to make payments securely and conveniently wherever you may be thanks to their worldwide acceptance. This applies to online, in-app and in-store transactions alike. Most merchants accept Visa and Mastercard transactions while an increasing number of merchants are happy to take American Express transactions.
#3 Easy tracking of transactions
As an added bonus, the consolidated credit card statements that you receive at the end of every month also help you track your expenses. At the very least, you know where your money’s gone! You don’t get access to easy tracking if you’d stuck to using cold, hard cash.
#4 Earn credit card rewards that count
When used responsibly and strategically, the potential credit card rewards that you can earn can amount to something truly valuable (think: award flight tickets, free hotel night stays, sizeable cashback, gift vouchers and more).
The ability to turn one’s expenses into rewards is one of the main reasons why many people upgrade from using debit cards to credit cards.
#5 Valuable fringe benefits
Credit cards aren’t all the same, but many of them do come with great benefits thrown in. Depending on the exact credit card you hold, you could gain access to built-in perks such as:
- e-Commerce purchase protection
- Free travel insurance protection
- Free airport lounge access
- Concierge services
- Possibility of earning higher interest on your savings
How to win the credit card game
To excel in the credit card game, you really need to play your cards right. In layman's terms, this means paying off all your credit card bills in full before their due dates and never spending beyond your means!
Take a leaf out of our colleague’s book and learn how he manages 16 credit cards like a pro.
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