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  • Writer's pictureDennis Toh

5 Handy Credit card hacks and tips for every Singaporean

The perks of owning a credit card are often accompanied by other financial responsibilities such as paying off monthly fees and checking your card’s expiry date. So yes, being a credit card owner is a tough job, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Here are 5 hacks even lao jiao credit card owners don’t know about, and we guarantee that they’ll make life a lot simpler for you!

1. Request to have your annual fee waived

You’ve heard the term – ask and you shall receive. Most credit cards waive the annual fee for one or two years so new cardmembers won’t have to pay at the start. Eventually, the annual fee will be low-key added into your bill without a heads up whatsoever, and you may overlook some of these fees.

To pre-empt these sneaky annual fees, check the expiry date of your credit cards and note it down on your calendar. Hint: the month indicated on your credit card is the month that you’ll be expected to start paying the annual fee.

Once you’ve been billed, all you need to do is call the credit card company and request (politely, of course) to have the fee waived. Sometimes they’ll waive it, sometimes they’ll refuse; so it’s best to just cancel the card if the benefits you’ve received in the past year are even less than the annual fee.

2. Sign up when there are attractive bonuses

Many credit cards offer juicy sign-up bonuses to lure customers into registering. You know what I’m talking about, e.g. the one offering a free pair of AirPods, or the one giving away a free staycation…

If the bonus is really a steal and you don’t have to spend a cent to register for the credit card, go ahead and sign up! You can simply cancel the card later, or if the bank tries to charge you the annual fee at the end of the year.

3. Use GIRO to pay your credit card bills

Late payments are the worst – it affects your credit standing, incurs rates of up to 25% per annum, and you even have to pay for late fees. If you’re someone who can’t remember dates well or are just horribly forgetful in nature, set up a GIRO arrangement that’ll automatically pay your credit card bills in full and on time. It’s simple and convenient, and you won’t have to worry about making a late payment ever again!

4. Shop through your bank’s online shopping portal

Some banks provide online shopping portals for you to shop from sites such as Agoda or Lazada, and you’ll be rewarded with extra cashback or bonus miles that are much higher than usual. These special portals can be accessed through the bank’s web page for the specific credit card that you use. It may be an additional step in your shopping process, but it’s definitely worth the savings that you can earn back.

5. Avoid paying credit card interest by fully repaying your balance

By repaying your balance in full before the next billing cycle, you won’t have to pay any interest rates. Let’s say the interest is 24% of whatever you owe; if you pay off the balance, you then need to pay 24% of zero dollars – which is still, zero dollars. The billing cycle usually lasts 27-31 days, and you can call the credit card company to find out the exact day on which your billing cycle ends. Smart!

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