Money talk

Jan 31, 2011

The positive side of a credit card

Is there such thing?  I think there is.  I have been using them (yeah, I have more than one, and all are islamic cards) since the year I started working and still using them now.  Alhamdulillah, they have never caused me to become insolvent so far :D  The rule of thumb is - never spend more that what you have.  Then you are safe.

The main reason why I have a credit card is CONVENIENCE.  There is no need to worry for having to carry a large sum of money in the wallet all the time.  We can also avoid long queue at ATM machines.

The second reason is centered financial management as (almost) every purchase of the month will be billed in a single statement.  Petrol, groceries, Touchngo reload, monthly bills, you name it.

Third is the option to delay payment until after 20 days of the statement date.  So you can place the money somewhere and it will generate daily dividend for you while waiting to be used for the credit card payment.

Fourth, for online purchase.  This one I LIKE!  Since you can get good bargains with online purchase.  Much much cheaper than offline purchase.

In fact, you can even take advantage of your credit card ;)  Namely, the treatpoints scheme.  Usually, for every RM1 spent, you will be given 1 treatpoint.  But some credit cards have better offer such as 5 treatpoints for every RM1 spent of petrol at Brand X petrol stations, for example.  So, your treatpoints can accumulate more quickly.  These treatpoints can be used to redeem many things.  One of my favourite items is shopping voucher.

In our case, on average, we can collect around 5000 treatspoints per month.  An RM50 shopping voucher at a shopping mall that we usually go for our hari raya shopping costs 9300 treatpoints.  In other words, we can redeem the voucher roughly every two months.  When the time comes for the next hari raya shopping, we will be having (hopefully) 4 pieces of that RM50 vouchers.  Isn't that nice?  That is after setting aside 15000 treatpoints to be used for service tax redemption, of course.

So, here are some tips that I would like to share based on my experience in using credit cards so far.

  1. Use supplementary cards for your spouse, rather than having an individual card each, so that the treatpoints can be combined for redemption.
  2. Use the cards at as many places as possible as long as there is no additional charge for using it.  Some merchants may charge you a few percent extra for credit card purchase.
  3. Be alert of any promotions or campaigns and take advantage of them if they happen to be in line with your planning.  But not the other way round, *heh*.  For example, you plan to buy a new iron as your old one is broken and there is this triple treatpoints promotion if you buy electrical items at Brand S outlets.  Go ahead and buy your iron at the nearest Brand S outlet as long as the price is not excessively higher that it should be.
Have a safe cashless shopping!

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