CREDIT CARDS

News, info and tips to help you save smarter

Your first credit card

Are you considering getting your first credit card? Not sure if you can be trusted with a plastic card that lets you spend money you don't necessarily have? Deciding whether you need a credit card is a personal choice. Doing your research to find the right credit card is the smart choice.

If you exercise good financial discipline, it can make sense to get a credit card. But given the large number of credit cards available on the market, selecting the best option to suit your needs can seem challenging. But it doesn't have to be, particularly if compare options online.

Remember there is not a one-size-fits-all credit card that suits everyone. Consider these three points before you start looking for a credit card and it will make it easier for you to narrow it down:

  • What will you use your credit card for?
  • How often and well-disciplined will you be with your repayments? Will you pay the full amount off monthly or just the minimum payments?
  • How often you will use your credit card?

While a credit card can, if not smartly handled, become a burden rather than a convenience, if you keep on top of your repayments and use your card wisely there are many benefits:

Credit rating

Getting a credit card can help you to establish a credit history, which can be useful when it comes to other financial commitments, such as buying a home and taking on a mortgage. Responsible use of a credit card – making on-time repayments – can help to prove to a potential lender that you're a worthy candidate for a car or home loan. That's because a lender may look favourably on a person with a high credit score and may approve an interest rate discount several points lower than someone with a poor credit history. This can mean thousands of dollars in savings over the life of a long-term loan like a mortgage.

Internet purchases

If you use a credit card, shopping online can save money. Some of the best deals available are found on the Internet. In many instances, the only way to pay for internet purchases is by getting a credit card or debit card.

For emergencies

Those with a credit card also have peace of mind knowing that they have a financial safety-net to cover themselves should emergency funds be required.

Rewards

Many credit cards provide rewards when you use them. This can be anything from cashback offers to airline tickets. Getting a credit card that rewards you can be a convenient way to accumulate many positive lifestyle benefits.

Convenience when travelling

Travelling, whether in Australia or abroad, costs money. A credit card provides a convenient way to pay for your overseas jaunt and also means you don't have to carry large amounts of cash with you.

Before you sign up for a credit card, read the terms and conditions attached and avoid spending more than you can afford to repay.

If you think you are ready for your first credit card start by comparing Australian cards online with the points above in mind. RateCity has a great credit card comparison tool that allows you to compare over 200 competitive Australian credit cards.

This is an information service. By browsing on the website and/or using our search tools, you are asking RateCity to provide you with information about Credit Cards from multiple financial institutions. We will try to show you a range of products in response to your request for information. The search results do not include all providers and may not compare all features relevant to you, for further details refer to our FSCG. The rating shown is only one factor to take into account when considering these products. See the rating methodology. We are not a credit provider, and in giving you product information we are not making any suggestion or recommendation to you about a particular credit product. If you decide to apply for a credit-card, you will deal directly with a financial institution, and not with RateCity. Rates and product information should be confirmed with the relevant financial institution, see our terms of use for further details.