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If you are new to credit cards, the idea can be a little daunting, but when used correctly, a credit card can be extremely valuable. Just like a regular debit card, a credit card can be used for goods or services, and many finance companies, stores and banks offer credit cards.
All credit cards come with a pre-set limit of how much you can spend, and this limit will be determined by your lender. Each time you make a purchase using your credit card, the amount will be added to your account, also known as your Balance. After using your credit card, you will be charged a monthly fee to repay for the purchases you’ve made. Typically, you will pay back a small fee (including interest) each month, and this amount can differ.
In most cases, you will have a window of time where there is no interest charged to your card. Typically, this is between 22 to 55 days, but it’s worth checking with your provider, as this can vary. It’s also worth noting that if you do not repay the full amount within those days, then some interest may be added to your account, making the amount of money owed slightly higher.
How do credit cards work in simple terms?
In the simplest terms, a credit card is a short-term loan that can be used for making purchases. All credit cards come with a limit and a fee which you will pay back to the company over a period of time (which is determined when you initially take out your credit card). In most cases, you will pay back a small fee monthly; however, this can differ depending on your card and the company.
How to apply for a credit card?
Applying for a credit card is straightforward. Typically, you would start by deciding which credit card you want and researching that card/business. Once you have found the card that is right for you, you begin the application process, requiring you to share information about your intent with the card, proof of repayment for what you owe, and other personal details such as age, salary etc.
Please note that the application process for a credit card can affect your credit score.
Can I transfer money from my credit card?
In short, the answer is yes–it is possible to transfer money into a bank account or withdraw cash from a credit card. However, you may be charged a small fee for this, so please check into this information before doing so.
How does credit card interest work, and do I pay interest on my credit card if I pay in full every month?
Interest rates are the fees associated with credit cards, as they are factored into any repayments you make after spending money on your credit card. Interest rates can change, which naturally affects the amount you have to pay back. In some cases, a new customer might be given an introductory rate, but this is all dependent on the company/card, so it’s worth researching.
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Credit Card FAQs
The credit limit you are offered will depend on your credit history and your personal circumstances. All credit cards have a minimum and maximum credit limit. When you apply for a credit card, the card provider will give you a credit limit. If you aren’t immediately offered the maximum credit limit, your credit limit could increase in the future.
A balance transfer card allows you to transfer the balance of another credit card on to it for a small fee. Balance transfer cards often come with initial 0% periods, for instance 0% interest for the first six months.
This means that won’t have pay interest on your credit card balance for the first six months, giving you time to clear the amount outstanding without it increasing further. Once the card’s 0% period comes to an end, the card’s usual interest rate will apply to any remaining balance.
Purchase cards often come with an initial 0% period. For instance, 0% on purchases for the first six months. This means that you won’t pay interest on your spending for the first six months of owning the card.
A purchase card gives you the opportunity to spread the cost of a big purchase or number of small purchases without being charged interest by paying them off in monthly instalments across the card’s 0% period. At the end of the card’s 0% period, the card’s usual APR will be applied to any outstanding balance.
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