Student’s perspective: How to use a credit card wisely?

Entering adulthood brings numerous of responsibilities, and managing finances is undoubtedly one of the most crucial. Among the many financial tools available credit cards stand out as convenient tools particularly for students navigating their way through university life and meeting their daily expenses through self, family support or pocket money they receive. Explore the intricacies of using a credit card wisely from a student’s perspective, covering everything from eligibility to wise usage strategies.

How to get a suitable card for students?

When seeking a suitable credit card, students should focus on cards designed with their financial situation in mind. Look for student-specific credit cards that offer benefits such as discounts on common student expenses like groceries and dining. Additionally, consider cards with low or no annual fees to minimise the cost of ownership. Research thoroughly, comparing interest rates, rewards programmes, and introductory offers to find the best fit for your circumstances.

When searching for a student credit card, IDFC FIRST Bank offers the unique FIRST WOW! Credit Card that is backed with a fixed deposit and comes with 100% withdrawal limit of one’s FD account deposit. Zero annual fee and joining fee make it even more affordable to apply for a credit card for students as they don’t have any liability against annual charges whatsoever.

How can students use a credit card wisely?

  1. Budgeting: Establish a monthly budget and stick to it. Use a credit card only for planned expenses within budgetary limits.
  2. Payment discipline: Pay the credit card bill in full and on time every month to avoid accumulating interest charges. Late payments can lead to hefty penalties and negatively impact one’s credit score.
  3. Track spending: Keep a close eye on credit card transactions to monitor spending habits. Many card issuers offer mobile apps or online portals for easy tracking.
  4. Avoid minimum payments: While it may be tempting to make minimum payments, strive to clear the entire balance each month. Carrying over balances accrues interest, potentially leading to debt accumulation.
  5. Credit limit awareness: Be mindful of the credit limit and avoid maxing out one’s card. Utilising a high percentage of available credit can harm one’s credit score.
  6. Responsible borrowing: Treat the credit card as a financial tool, not free money. Borrow only what can be afforded to repay promptly and avoid impulse purchases that could strain finances.

Things to consider while using a credit card

While credit cards offer convenience and flexibility, they also pose certain risks if not managed responsibly. Here are key considerations for students using credit cards:

  1. Interest rates: Understand the interest rates associated with the credit card, especially for outstanding balances. High-interest rates can significantly inflate the cost of borrowing. However, with the FIRST WOW! Credit Card, students can enjoy low interest rates starting at just 9% per annum, one of the lowest in the industry.
  2. Fees and charges: Students must familiarise themselves with the various fees and charges applicable to their credit card, including annual fees, late payment fees, and cash advance fees. Understanding the needs of the students, FIRST WOW! Credit Cards offer zero joining and annual fee, making it ideal for them to use the card without liabilities.
  3. Credit score impact: Recognise that one’s credit card activity directly influences their credit score. Responsible usage can bolster their creditworthiness, while defaults or late payments can tarnish it.
  4. Security measures: Students must take precautions to safeguard their credit card details against theft or fraud. Avoid sharing sensitive information and regularly monitor their account for any suspicious activity are essential steps to be taken.
  5. Financial literacy: Continuously educate oneself on financial literacy to make informed decisions regarding credit card usage. Seek advice from reputable sources and stay abreast of changes in financial regulations.
  6. Forex charges: When making payments on an international website, such as a certification course, forex markup charges are applicable. With the FIRST WOW! Credit Card, there are no forex markup charges, helping students save on any international purchases.

How can IDFC FIRST WOW! Credit Card benefit you as a student?

The FIRST WOW! Credit Card comes with exciting benefits for students, which includes:

  • No credit checks or income proof required:You can obtain the FIRST WOW! Credit Card without income proof. All you need is to open a cumulative/reinvest/auto renew Fixed Deposit with IDFC FIRST Bank with a minimum deposit of ₹10,000.
  • Zero membership fees:To apply for this student credit card, you don’t need to pay any joining fee or annual membership charges whatsoever.
  • Low interest charges:You can enjoy one of the lowest interest charges starting at just 9% per annum or 0.75% per month on carry over balances.
  • Merchant discounts and offers:With the FIRST WOW! Credit Card, you get attractive discounts at over 300 merchants and 1500+ restaurants across the country.
  • Reward points:You also earn up to 4X reward points on every expense while your deposit earns a 7.5% interest rate. These never-expiring reward points can be redeemed to get additional discounts on future purchases.
  • Credit shield protection:The credit shield protection keeps you secure from theft, fraud, and unauthorised transactions.
  • Zero forex markup fee:You also enjoy zero markup fee on all your international transactions, helping students save on foreign courses and travel.
  • Build Credit Score:   Get an opportunity to build credit early in life, thereby opening doors to better financial products in the future.

Conclusion

Navigating the world of credit cards can be a daunting task, especially for students independently managing their finances for the first time. However, with proper understanding and disciplined practices, credit cards can serve as valuable tools for building credit and managing expenses. With secured cards such as the FIRST WOW! Credit card that align with student expenses and financial requirements, they can make the most of their student journey without any liabilities.

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