Credit cards

(3 Posts)
Madratlady Thu 29-Aug-13 13:19:33

I've never had a credit card before so I'm a little clueless about them. it's always been something I'm reluctant to have as I hate having debt, but I can see that used sensibly they can be useful. We're struggling a little financially at the moment because I was out of work for a while. We'll have paid off all our outstanding bills and overdraft etc by mid October.

My reasons for thinking of getting one now are:
- DH potentially going from weekly to monthly pay leaving us struggling for the first month. A credit card could be used to pay for essentials (food and petrol) until he was paid.
- Emergencies - if we have a vet bill or the funny noise my car has started making turns out to be something serious then we'd be able to sort it out without it being a complete disaster.
- Credit rating. The card would be in my name and I would use it for the weekly shop and pay it off in full each month, which I think would be good for my credit rating (I think that's how it works?).

It wouldn't be used for things we don't need unless we'd budgeted carefully to pay off the cost over a few months.

I got a letter from my bank offering one with 0% interest and 0% on balance transfers for 6 months. Minimum monthly payments would be £5. Is that good or should I shop around?

Is there anything else I should consider?

Madratlady Thu 29-Aug-13 14:18:11

Having ha a look at Money Saving Expert it looks like I could get up to 18 months 0% on purchases which would be better I think.

Charlesroi Thu 29-Aug-13 17:16:37

Yes, if you are not transferring a balance then the 18 month one sounds better. If you haven't had a credit card before you'll probably not get much of a credit limit, but that's OK if you are just going to use it for shopping.

Maybe have a look and see what Tesco are offering as their card gets you Clubcard points (I think Sainsbury offer a similar one for Nectar). When the interest free period runs out get another 0% one and cancel the old card. See if you can get a Quidco/Topcashback deal?

Finally - never, ever miss the payment date (set iup a DD for the minimum payment). You may find the 0% deal gets withdrawn and you end up paying very high interest on the balance. CC companies are notorious for (to put it euphemistically) sticking to their rules.

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