Credit cards are the most widely accepted and used cards in South Africa because they are secure and convenient but this does make the market extremely competitive. They can be used to pay for things online, for everyday spending and can also give you instant access to money in case of an emergency. Getting a credit card will also establish and improve your credit history and even increase your credit score so long as they are used properly. Different cards will offer different features and benefits. Below you can compare a variety of credit cards to see which one suits your needs and your pocket. We constantly update the chart to show you the latest rates, deals and offers available to help you find the best deal. Always read the terms and conditions.
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Credit cards can give you more financial freedom but are they a good idea?
What are the benefits of a credit card?
When you are given a credit card you are given a line of credit which is essentially a form of borrowing. The exact amount you can borrow is called a credit limit and this figure is based on your credit history. People take out credit cards because they allow you to pay for purchases in small monthly instalments and they give you more financial freedom.
People like spending with a credit card because they are convenient, easy to use and they have worldwide acceptance.
Protect yourself with a Credit Card
With a credit card you will get a lot more purchase protection than you would otherwise. Paying with a credit card also makes it easier to avoid losses from fraud.
What are interest rates?
Credit cards have an interest rate, which is the annual rate you pay for borrowing the credit on your card. Interest rates are usually based on market interest rates, your credit history and the type of credit card you have. You will find that the better your credit history the higher your credit limit and the lower the interest. If you have a poor credit history you will be given considerably higher interest rates.
Credit cards may offer introductory rates that are lower than the standard interest rate for a specified term. This introductory rate is usually for purchases and balance transfers but it may also apply to cash advances.
Make sure you know the risks
Getting into debt with a credit card can be very easy. Do not abuse a credit card and always remember it is not free money. You will have to deal with harsh penalties for missing payments and exceeding credit limits not to mention damage your credit rating.
It can be all too easy to build up credit card debt that you cannot afford. The interest rate on credit cards can be expensive which means that they are not necessarily to most cost-effective method of carrying debt on an ongoing basis. You should at least pay the minimum amount due every month and where possible pay charges in full.
Finding the right Credit Card
As with any financial product it is important that you take the time to research the market and consider your options carefully. You need to make sure you get the right card for your personal finances.
There are a wide range of credit cards on the market from student credit cards and business credit cards. You can also find credit cards that come with some great rewards programmes such as cash back features, free airmiles and other discounts and offers. Some cards also come with additional features such as travel insurance so bear this in mind. To help you find the right card think about how you want to use the card.
Use the table above to compare different credit cards. Always make sure you read the small print fully and that you understand what the consequences are of missing payments.