Popular representation is that credit cards are the Devils of the financial world, luring you in with promises which can only end in one way: You, with your finances in shambles, neck-deep in debt; or even worse, totally bankrupt.
But let’s shift our focus from the reel to the real. Credit cards are no more the monopoly of the very well-to-do. To accommodate the middle, and to an extent, the lower-income groups, credit card firms have come up with ingenious schemes and features.
These are designed to let you have the best of both worlds: Enjoying the benefits and privileges of credit cards, while at the same time keeping your finances in order.
The road to managing your finances using your credit card is simple to learn, but can often prove to be hard to follow. It takes utmost discipline and patience with yourself to begin financial management, but if followed religiously, it turns into a healthy habit. So let’s see how, with the help of your credit card, you can balance your check-books.
Tracking Your Spends
You can keep abreast of your payment history by logging into your credit card account online. Almost all credit cards provide this facility. Your transactions are categorized into different criteria, which further lets you analyze where you’re spending more, and whether you’re wasting money or not.
Tracking your expenditure gives you an idea of your average expenditure on necessities and other indulgences, which assists you in planning a realistic budget for yourself.
Fix a date for checking up on your expenses. Calculate deviations from the stipulated budget for that particular category and work on staying within the budget by saving in small aspects which go a long way.
Prioritizing expenditure is an integral part of financial balance. An expensive birthday gift for yourself can wait if you have an important bill to pay. Loan repayments and utilities occupy the pole position in the payments pyramid.
You can actually view the budget net of your loan payments to have a more realistic figure in mind by deducting your monthly loan EMIs (for starters, use a credit card EMI calculator).
Use Those Rewards Points
Keep an eye out for those promised reward points. Credit card spends earn you reward points, which can get you discounts or help in payments once sufficient in number.
More often than not, many people forget that they’ve been collecting reward points, so be sure that you’re in the know of your tally, and use them liberally when needed.
Reward points, benefits and privileges are, in fact, one of the many USPs of a credit card, and companies go to great lengths to load their credit cards with such features that they offer the most savings.
This is precisely why some companies categorize their credit cards into different areas in which their benefits are targeted. Here’s a list of some credit cards with their specialized perks:
Axis Vistara Signature Credit Card
A free Vistara Silver Club membership, complimentary premium economy tickets and Club Vistara points which can land you within your dream destination with complimentary economy tickets are some of the benefits that this card offers to its subscribers.
InterMiles HDFC Bank Signature Credit Card
HDFC Bank has partnered with the InterMiles global travel program to bring to you the InterMiles HDFC Signature Card, which is the perfect travel partner for frequent fliers.
This card enables the holder to earn a fixed amount of InterMiles on purchases above a certain amount, which accrue to convert into travel benefits. Discount vouchers on hotel and ticket bookings are provided along with a welcome gift of 8,000 Bonus InterMiles.
Amazon Pay Credit Card
Considered one of the best ICICI credit Card, the Amazon Pay Credit Card promises exciting cashback opportunities for its holders.
Other than dining benefits under the Culinary Treats program, the Amazon Pay credit cards offers different cashback offers, (up to 5% of every online transaction for Amazon Prime customers, and 3% for non-Prime customers), which can be availed in the form of vouchers or products.
Flipkart Axis Bank Credit Card
Axis Bank has created a whopper of a card by partnering with Flipkart. Accelerated cashback on spending, and other benefits galore with credit card membership.
Not only shopping benefits, this card welcomes its customers by offering a variety of vouchers on travel with MakeMyTrip and goIbibo vouchers. 4 complimentary airport lounge visits in select airports over the year are also provided.
Credit Card EMI Calculator
HDFC EasyEMI Card
The HDFC EasyEMI Card is targeted towards those who would like to manage large purchases and align them with their monthly cash-flow. This card automatically converts buys above Rs.10,000 into 9 months EMIs.
The interest levied on these EMIs is 1.67%. However, gold, jewelry and fuel purchases are not under its purview. Other than this, the card offers various cashback opportunities up to 5% on Amazon and Flipkart, and 2.5% on other online spends.
Corporate Platinum Credit Card
HDFC Bank offers an array of Commercial credit cards which make commercial spends not only efficient but also effortless.
The Corporate Platinum Credit Card is a premium commercial card which offers commercial benefits such as access to MIS tools, customized insights on company expenses and returns, and accident cover of Rs. 1 crore for air travel, and Rs. 3 lakhs for road and rail travel, among other benefits.
HDFC SAP Concur Solutions Black Corporate Credit Card
Designed with the corporate traveler in mind, the SAP Concur system makes corporate reconciliation a better experience. It also offers 24×7 MIS access and detailed transaction history at the employee level.
A 50 day credit period, coupled with discount benefits on flights and hotel booking make it a top of the class card. Moreover, the holder has access to the plushest airport lounges worldwide, and global airport Wi-fi access.
Lifestyle Credit Card
Diners Club Privilege Credit Card
Everything about the Diners Club Privilege Credit Card by HDFC Bank speaks luxury. Accompanying this credit card subscription is concierge service at your disposal, 12 complimentary airport lounge visits in India per annum, flight and hotel booking discounts and Golf course access (2 per quarter).