How to use your credit card wisely
Pay your credit card bills on time
Maintain your credit card standing by paying the total outstanding balance or at least the minimum amount due on or before due date to avoid penalties.
Avoid penalty charges
Always pay your bills on time to avoid penalties. Check your statement of account for payment details and payment due date. Remember that you will not be charged for any interest if you settle your balances in full on or before your due date.
Finance charges will only be imposed when balances are not settled in full on due dates. Always check your statement of account for payment details.
Do not overspend
Charge to your credit card only what you can afford and pay. Maintain your credit card in good standing by paying the total outstanding balance or at least the minimum amount due on or before your due date to enjoy your credit card’s full benefits.
- Keep a list of your credit card numbers and card company's hotline numbers. Immediately notify your issuing bank in case of disputes, questions or to report a lost or stolen card.
- Majority of issuing banks have invested in 24*7 customer service helpdesks to assist you locally or internationally. Always call them for any credit card concerns. They appreciate your feedback in order to serve you better. Their hotline numbers are normally indicated at the back of your credit card.
- Always notify your issuing bank of any changes in your contact details and address.
- If you have any concerns or problems with a collection agent, please report it right away to your issuing bank. Make sure to take note of the name of the collection agent, the name of the collection agency and the date and time of the call.
- Always check the details of your statement of account. For any error, immediately call your bank's customer hotline number usually indicated at the back of your credit card.
- Before travelling abroad, advise your issuing bank so your credit card transactions can be safely monitored. Keep a record of your credit card numbers, expiration date and contact numbers of your issuing bank for emergency cases such as the loss of your card.
Safely shop online
To ensure that you are logged on to a secured website, check that the URL address starts with "https". Moreover, there should be a padlock icon located at the lower right portion of the webpage to indicate that it is secured website.
When making purchases over the internet, deal only with reputable websites even if the URL address starts with “https”. Use your internet browsers and not hyperlinks to access websites.
Source: Credit Card Association of the Philippines
Dos & Don'ts
- Do complete a personal budget plan: Don’t underestimate your spending to make the situation appear better than it is. You need to be realistic about your expenditure and include an allowance for costs that may not always occur predictably, such as doctor’s bills.
- Do speak to your creditors: Do not ignore phone calls or letters from your creditors. Speak to them and be honest. Explain the situation you are in and take them through your budget. They may be able to arrange a debt relief scheme.
- Do be realistic: When you make an offer of payment to your creditors, make sure you can maintain the payments.
- Do keep your promises: Always make the payments you have promised, in the agreed amount and on the agreed date. If anything changes and you cannot make a repayment for any reason, speak to your creditors and explain why.
- Do keep a record: Make a note of every telephone conversation and name. Keep copies of the letters you send and receive. Note down all agreed payment arrangements, including the amount, the dates payments should be made, and when the payment arrangement will come to an end. This will help you when speaking to your creditors.
- Don’t ignore your debts: They won’t go away – and the longer you leave it, the harder it will be to resolve.
- Don’t make the situation worse: Do not be tempted to borrow more money or use your credit cards to pay off existing loans or make your monthly repayments. Your debts will only get worse. If you are already having difficulty repaying existing loans, do not borrow more money, this includes using your credit card.
- Don’t panic: Whatever problem you have, there is a solution. These tips are designed to assist you in helping yourself.