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credit cards

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…

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Life hack: How to beat credit card interest

If you’ve got a credit card but you’re sick of being stung with interest costs, you might be wondering how you can avoid paying interest but still use the card for the maximum benefits. We’ve broken it down. Credit card interest – the good, the bad and the ugly Each month, your card will tell you the total amount you owe on your account, and it will also tell you the ‘Minimum Payment Due’. You might choose to pay just…

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Credit cards: Why a low-interest or balance transfer credit card could work for you

How credit card balance transfers work If you find yourself in credit card debt, paying a huge amount of interest every month and never making any reduction in the balance because it’s all going in interest, a balance transfer could be your way out. In a way you would be paying off your credit cards with another credit card, but the crucial difference is that the new credit card may come with an interest rate holiday. This means you can…

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Credit cards: What a basic starter credit card will do for you

Can this card help me build my credit? Your first credit card is your chance to start proving you’re a reliable person to lend to. It’s your chance to show that you can pay what you owe, when you owe it. The more you can be trusted to do it, the better your credit rating will be. Build a good reputation with the card issuer, and that sets you up for them to consider you for some of their other…

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Credit cards: Are rewards credit cards, travel cards and cash-back cards a good idea?

Rewards, travel and cash-back cards There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Basically, no-one’s going to be putting rewards and inducements your way unless you’re spending enough to make it worth their while to look after you. If you’re not spending at least $1,000 on your card each month, you’re probably not going to be earning enough to make it worth your while, especially once you factor in the annual fee, which can be quite a lot for a…

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Why being a credit ‘deadbeat’ is actually a good thing

Are you a deadbeat? When it comes to credit cards, that’s actually a good thing. Yep, a ‘deadbeat’ is a term for someone who pays off their credit card in full and on time every month. Why a deadbeat? Well, if you pay off your card each month, the credit card company doesn’t charge you interest  –  so they won’t make any money off you. (Credit card companies also use the much more polite terms ‘non-revolver’ and ‘transactor’.) As a…

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Will closing my credit cards hurt my credit score? The surprising truth

You’d think closing off credit cards or other accounts would boost your bankability in the eye of credit providers. The reality is that sometimes it can do exactly the opposite. Closing off some accounts after paying down your debt may actually harm your credit score. Take mortgages for example. It would be natural to think that clearing your home loan would improve your credit score. But hold that thought. One of the lesser known things that could hurt your credit…

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Are your finances suffering from ‘excusitis’? Beat it, now

Liar, liar, pants on fire. We Kiwis are masters at coming up with excuses for our spending and debt. I’ve heard it called “excusitis”. We convince ourselves that “we’re different” or that “we need it”, or “everyone else does it”. It’s that six inches of grey stuff between your ears that’s at fault. And it’s getting worse. According to Payments New Zealand the average Kiwi made 58 credit card transactions in 2014, 86 in 2015 and 103 in 2016. Ouch.…

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Debt disasters you didn’t see coming

Credit is great. It means you can buy what you want right now! But before you get too excited, too many Kiwis get themselves in the doo-doo with their credit. You don’t want to be one of them. Often it’s the people banks call ‘revolvers’ who get themselves into a complete debt disaster. These are the people who only make the minimum payment each month and see their debt spin out of control. Sure you can go bankrupt or use the…

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Hand holding cardboard credit card
Did you know the first credit card was made of cardboard? Here are five random (but fascinating) facts about credit cards

The first credit card was cardboard The first independent credit card was Diners Club, founded in 1949 after hungry co-founder Frank McNamara took clients out to dinner and realised he’d left his wallet in another suit. His wife paid the bill and Frank thought up a charge card that would help him avoid embarrassment next time. He pitched the idea to the restaurant owner, and next day consulted his lawyer to get the ball rolling. Frank’s first Diners Club card…

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