Using a credit card for everything? There are other ways to pay
Don’t believe you have to have a credit card. Paying interest sucks. It sucks the lifeblood out of your finances. That’s because unless you clear your entire bill within the interest free days, you pay interest.
That interest means you’re paying as much as 22.95% more than your mates at the mainstream banks for the same things, which has a detrimental effect on your finances over time.
Other (cheaper) ways to pay
Thankfully there are way more credit-free ways to pay than ever before that are far better for your bank balance. Here are some of the options:
Debit card. One of the arguments for needing a credit card is the ability to shop online. All banks now offer either Mastercard or Visa debit cards. They look like credit cards and can be used anywhere that displays the Mastercard or Visa logo, but you can only spend your own money, not credit.
EFTPOS. We all know how EFTPOS works. Now you can pay online with just an EFTPOS card through some banks at a number of etailers such as MightyApe, BurgerFuel and Smith & Caughey’s department store by choosing “Online EFTPOS” as your payment method at the checkout. A text is sent to your online banking and you approve the payment. The first banks to offer this were ASB and The Cooperative Bank. find out where you can pay with online EFTPOS visit Paymark’s website here.
POLi and account2account. Both POLi and account2account are payment methods that take the money direct from your bank account. Your payment is approved immediately. You can use POLi and account2account to pay online for goods at The Warehouse, Bunnings Warehouse, Xero, NZ Transport Agency, Air New Zealand and others. Despite the fact that this payment method is widely used overseas and offered here by trusted companies, New Zealand’s banks say that it’s not secure and users are breaching their terms and conditions if they pay this way. In the UK regulators forced banks to make customers’ data available to them, meaning they can use this type of payment system without fear.
Ping it. In the old days we did bank to bank transfer or paid cash for Trade Me purchases. Then Trade Me brought in Pay Now, which required a credit or debit card. Now they’ve added Ping. This allows you go pay with credit, debit, or straight from your bank account. The advantage of this is you only need an EFTPOS card to do it. The disadvantage is you are setting up a direct debit agreement with Trade Me and not all members are comfortable with that.
Pay later. Trade Me and other retailers are starting to offer buy now pay later schemes. You buy now, receive the item, and make interest-free payments over several weeks. Laybuy.com, PartPay and Trade Me’s Afterpay all offer this. The problem is if you miss a payment the charges can prove more expensive than interest. Non-payment can also put a black mark on your credit record.
Pre-paid travel cards. Pre-paid currency cards such as Loaded for Travel, OneSmart and Cash Passport work like debit cards when you’re travelling overseas. The catch is that you pay fees and commissions that make this an expensive way to spend.
PayPal. This online payment method that you can load up and spend with isn’t used all that often in New Zealand. If you’re buying from eBay and overseas stores you might find having a PayPal account useful.
Bitcoin. You can pay for a growing number of real life purchases using your Bitcoin wallet. I do own a very small amount of Bitcoin and look forward to the day when I can spend it and bypass my bank’s fees.
Cash. What’s that you say? Sometimes ditching the plastic and spending cash is the most sensible option. Take it out at the beginning of the week, split the money between envelopes for different purposes such as shopping and entertainment and once each envelope is empty just stop spending.
There are other forms of payment coming on. For example Apple Pay has made it to New Zealand in a limited way and Alipay is on its way. However payments from both are connected to your debit or credit card so aren’t in effect changing the way you spend.
Of course credit cards do have uses when you have an emergency. But everyday things such as buying groceries or school uniforms aren’t emergencies. They need planning for.
Francis is Credit Simple's resident content writer and social media guru. He's passionate about saving money, so we pay him 5 cents to go out and fetch the team coffees every morning. Thanks Frankie.All stories by: Francis Church