Staying credit card debt free

Ever wondered why you don't use your debit card as often as your credit card when you're shopping? There is something about the idea of a credit card, a buy now pay later mentality that can land a lot of us in hot water.

With the mass move to online it can be a huge inconvenience not owning a credit card. But just because we do need it for the convenience of booking travel or making online purchases doesn’t mean it has to always be our first payment method.

It's a great idea to always make sure you have the funds available in your savings account before you make purchases on your credit card. This way you have the convenience of owning a credit card but know that you can pay off the full balance each month without incurring nasty interest charges.

Here are a few good practices you can employ to keep your debt down when using your credit card:

Make regular repayments

Owning a credit card doesn’t have to be a burden if you spend wisely and make regular repayments. That said, paying only the minimum monthly amount on the statement won’t eat into your debt – rather it only covers the interest charges.

Interest-free periods

Many lenders offer interest-free terms. These short-term 'windfalls' can last in excess of one month – most commonly 55 days – and can give you additional time to come up with some cash to pay for your credit card purchases.

However, interest-free periods usually only apply to a new credit card with a zero balance. With some providers, failure to meet monthly repayments or carrying over a balance transfer from another card may invalidate the interest-free term. Be sure to check the fine print to avoid forfeiting this benefit before signing up for a card.

Balance transfers

Acquiring a new credit card that offers a low-interest rate on balance transfers can be a good option if you’re looking for a way out of a financial black hole.

The trick with a balance transfer is to pay off the debt transferred from your old credit card before the interest rate reverts to a higher standard rate. With some discipline and the help of a low-rate credit card, a balance transfer strategy can help you trim your credit liabilities.


When looking for a new credit card, you’ll find many products offering reward points for purchases. In turn, the points can be used to buy items such as white-goods or air travel. While, a card with rewards is tempting, it will often come with the sting of higher interest rates and fees. So if you’re looking for a new credit card, compare options online and always read the fine print!

If you think your current credit card needs upgrading start comparing it to hundreds of Australian credit cards with the RateCity credit card comparison tool.

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