THE ESM CORNER

SMART TIPS TO USE YOUR CREDIT CARDS AFTER RETIREMENT

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As a veteran or a future retiree of the Indian armed forces, you may have access to various benefits and schemes that can help you secure your financial future. However, you may also face some challenges and uncertainties in managing your expenses and income after retirement. One of the ways to cope with these challenges is to use credit cards wisely and benefit from them. Credit cards can be useful tools for managing your finances, building your credit score, and earning rewards, but they can also lead to debt, interest, and fees if you are not careful. In this article, we will share some smart tips to use your credit cards wisely after retirement and avoid the pitfalls.

Tips for effective use of Credit Card

Pay your balance in full every month. This is the best way to avoid paying interest and fees on your credit card purchases. You can also set up automatic payments or reminders to pay your bill on time and avoid late charges.

Use your credit card for planned expenses only. Do not use your credit-card to buy things that you cannot afford or that are not in your budget. If you use your credit card for impulse purchases or emergencies, you may end up spending more than you can pay back and accumulating debt.

Choose a credit card that suits your needs and preferences. There are many types of credit-cards available, such as cashback, rewards, travel, low-interest, balance transfer, etc. Compare the features, benefits, fees, and interest rates of different cards and choose the one that matches your spending habits and goals.

Keep track of your spending and credit limit. Review your credit-card statements regularly and monitor your transactions online or through an app. This will help you stay within your budget and avoid overspending or exceeding your credit limit, which can result in extra charges or declined transactions.

Redeem your rewards and offers. If your credit card offers rewards or cashback, make sure you redeem them before they expire or get forfeited. You can use your rewards to save money, get discounts, or buy gift cards. You can also take advantage of any offers or promotions that your credit card provides, such as free trials, discounts, or vouchers.

Protect your credit card and personal information. Keep your credit-card safe and secure and do not share your card number, PIN, or CVV with anyone. Report any lost, stolen, or damaged cards immediately to your card issuer and request a replacement. Use your credit card only with trusted merchants and websites and avoid phishing or fraud attempts.

Review your credit report and score. Your credit card usage affects your credit report and score, which are important factors for your financial health and future borrowing. You can check your credit report and score for free once a year from each of these major credit bureaus: Cibil, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can also use tools like Policy bazaar to monitor your credit score and get tips to improve it.

Opt for a credit card protection plan. A credit-card protection plan is an optional service that covers your credit card payments in case of unforeseen events such as death, disability, unemployment, or theft. It can also provide benefits such as fraud protection, emergency assistance, or legal assistance. You can opt for a credit card protection plan from your card issuer or a third-party provider for a nominal fee.

Refrain from multiple cards or applications. Having too many credit-cards or applying for new ones frequently can hurt your credit score and increase your debt. It can also make it harder to manage your payments and balances. You should limit the number of credit cards you have and use them responsibly. You should also avoid applying for new cards unless you really need them and have a good chance of getting approved.

Avoid cash withdrawals or advances. Using your credit-card to withdraw cash or get a cash advance is usually a bad idea, as it can incur high fees and interest rates. It can also reduce your available credit limit and affect your credit utilization ratio, which is the percentage of your credit limit that you use. You should use your credit-card for cash withdrawals or advances only as a last resort and pay them back as soon as possible.

PRO  tip: Safeguard your credit card by deactivating the tap mode to mitigate the risk of misuse in case of loss.

Conclusion

Credit-cards can be a boon or a bane for your financial well-being after retirement, depending on how you use them. If you use them wisely, you can enjoy the convenience, security, and rewards that they offer. If you use them unwisely, you can end up in a vicious cycle of debt, interest, and fees that can ruin your retirement plans.

Therefore, you should follow the smart tips that we have discussed in this article, such as paying your balance in full every month, using your credit card for planned expenses only, choosing a credit card that suits your needs and preferences, keeping track of your spending and credit limit, redeeming your rewards and offers, protecting your credit-card and personal information, reviewing your credit report and score, opting for a credit card protection plan, refraining from multiple cards or applications, and avoiding cash withdrawals or advances. By following these tips, you can use your credit-cards wisely and benefit from them after retirement.

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