An easy and simple way to pay is to give your credit card to the merchant to swipe it. Besides, using a credit card is a convenient and preferred mode of payment with online shoppers. You should use your credit card judiciously. This is because you do not have to pay in cash instantly when you use your credit card. So, you may end up spending excessively. Credit card is a credit obtained based on your eligibility. You have to repay based on the amount used within the interest-free period. If you have outstanding dues, there is the burden of high interest in the following month’s credit card bill. The interest rate on credit cards can go as high as 36-48 per cent per annum. If your credit card spending is in lakhs, it is essential to follow the right practices to avoid falling into a debt trap. Is your credit card bill in lakhs? Then,
Here’s how to pay zero or low interest and still enjoy benefits.
1.Pay The Credit Card Bill in Full
It is mandatory to pay only 5% of the credit card outstanding amount for any credit card whether issued by Mastercard or Visa. The balance can be carried over to the next month. Every time you get the credit card statement, try paying the dues completely. If you pay just a percentage of the credit card bill, you may probably fall into a debt trap. From the date of the arrival of the statement, you will get a few days time to pay the outstanding amount. In total, an interest free period of about 45 to 51 days is given depending on the date of purchase. There is an option to pay only 5 percent and roll over the dues to the next billing cycle. Nevertheless, to save on interest cost, make full payment within the due date. The interest cost may even be nil.
2. No new purchases
Carrying over the outstanding balance to the subsequent billing cycle will attract monthly interest at the rate of 3 to 4 percent. If you keep accumulating the outstanding amount and also keep making new purchases each month, the interest portion will increase and soon you may fall into a debt trap. There is an interest-free period on credit card buys, which can go up to 45 days. To use this benefit, the outstanding amount has to be nil. So, if you carry over a certain amount to the next month’s billing, there will be no interest-free period on the new buys. Unless your outstanding amount is cleared, avoid making new purchases on the card to keep the interest cost lower.
3. You Can Opt For Balance Transfer
If you are not in a position to pay fully, you can use the option of balance transfer. Balance transfer enables you to transfer the outstanding amount to another credit card at a lower rate of interest and thus cut down on interest costs. Normally, if you pay an interest rate of almost 3.5 percent per month, you may end up paying just 1 to 1.77 percent if you opt for balance transfer. However, you will have processing charges on balance transfer which is usually 1 percent of the BT amount. Sometimes, card issuers provide balance transfer facilities at zero interest.
4. You Can Convert Your Credit Card Bills Into EMIs
Your credit card bill amount may be really high due to some high-ticket purchases. So, in case paying it completely is a concern, you can convert them into EMIs. EMIs come at a lower interest rate than what would have been paid. After conversion, the interest rate may be cut off by about 14 to 24% than the one on the card. There can be two types of EMI conversions. They are:
- The merchant EMIs that a merchant provides when you purchase a specific product using your credit card.
- Alternatively, your credit card issuer may provide you with an EMI option on certain big-ticket purchases you have made using your credit card.
5. Avoid Cash Withdrawals
If you have to draw cash from ATMs using your credit card, ensure that you deposit the cash back as early as possible as these withdrawals do not come with an interest-free period. There could be a one-time fee along with interest charges that start from the first day till you repay the amount. So, put back the amount early and you can avoid paying a higher rate of interest.
6. Avoid Using Credit Cards Abroad
Although it is fine to use a credit card abroad for foreign currency transactions, it may be costly. If you use a credit card abroad, there will be conversion charges and if you use it at an ATM, an additional fee is charged. The conversion charges can range between 3 to 5%. Instead, you can carry a forex card while traveling abroad to keep the overall cost lower.
You should spend judiciously using your credit card as you may land in a debt trap. Coming out of this trap can be time consuming and costly. You will have to pay interest rates ranging between 36 to 48 percent on the outstanding balance of a credit card. The above 6 ways can help you pay zero or low interest and still enjoy benefits.
FAQS How To Pay Zero Or Low Interest And Still Enjoy Benefits
1:How can I pay my credit card bill without interest?
Paying off your monthly statement balances completely within your grace period is one of the most suitable ways to avoid getting into credit card debt. As long as you settle your balance before your grace period expires, you can buy on your credit card without paying interest.
2:Should I pay off my zero interest credit card?
You must completely pay off your 0% interest credit card before the promotional APR period finishes. This should be done to prevent interest charges. It is best to pay off the balance in increments to make sure that payments are made on time. This also helps in avoiding a long period of high utilization, particularly if you have a large balance on the card compared to its limit.
3:What is the best strategy to avoid paying interest on your credit cards?
The best way to avoid paying interest on your credit card is to pay off the balance completely every month. You can also avoid other fees, such as late charges by paying your credit card bill on time.