Long gone are the days when you’d need to carry a stash of cash around. Instead, we’ve all gotten used to swiping plastic – why not, when it even works at some of our hawker centres and mama shops? But with the convenience of a credit card comes the hassle of paying off your credit card bills every month.
It’s not that we don’t have enough in our bank accounts, but more that it’s a chore to remember the exact billing dates. And this is why you should pay heed to these 7 tips to avoid paying credit charge charges – exorbitant fees and built-up interest that are entirely uncalled for.
This article isn’t meant as a way to cheat the system but rather, what you can do to avoid unnecessary credit card bills. Let’s be responsible in our quest for adulting – that means paying off our credit card bills as we should.
Read more on easy ways to manage your own personal finances here:
First things first: set calendar reminders. This is the easiest, most fuss-free way to go about it – there’s less chance of you missing your credit card bills when you can rely on a trusty calendar notification. Some banks also have payment alerts through their app, which work as useful reminders when your statements’ due dates come by.
Different cards have different rewards
Most of us have more than 1 credit card – some might be for cashback rebates and others, airline miles. But the tricky thing here is that not all credit cards follow the same billing cycle. When you’re juggling an array of cards with payment dates all over the calendar, you’re likely to slip up one time or another.
Make your life a little easier by setting similar billing cycles across all cards. The easiest way to go about this? Get your billing cycle to run from the start to the end of the month so your credit card statement comes in on the last day. All you have to do is call your bank up, and most credit card providers will be happy to change it to a cycle that suits you.
Another preventive but quite possibly the most useful measure is to automate all credit card payments. You’ll need to fill out an Interbank GIRO form, but it’s certainly worth the hassle since all payments will be made promptly in due time – no more worrying about late charges or negotiating with bank staff.
When you have the cash…but simply forgot to pay. Don’t expect any second chances if late credit card bills are a regular offence for you.
No need to be paiseh when it comes to calling in your bank in hopes of waiving off late credit card fees. Whether you missed the billing date by 1 day or a couple of weeks, do call in to negotiate since banks will understand (usually). Of course, this is more effective if you have an AA credit score or if it’s your very first time missing a payment deadline.
Here are the hotline numbers for major credit card providers in Singapore:
DBS: 1800 111 1111
UOB: 1800 222 2121
OCBC: 1800 363 3333
HSBC: 1800 4722 669
Standard Chartered: 1800 747 7000
American Express: 1800 392 2000
Some even have automated online services that’ll help you waive your fees so you won’t have to go through repeated rounds of “your customer service operator will be with you shortly”.
Most credit cards come with steep annual fees – you are, after all, paying for all the shopping and dining perks you signed up for. Similar to how you could call in to negotiate late credit charges, you can also simply call in to get your annual fees waived. Many providers as a gesture of goodwill, especially if you’re a loyal customer who’s been regularly paying off their credit card bills.
If you lack a glib tongue and aren’t exactly skilled in the art of persuasion, you can instead try hitting a certain monthly spend. To waive off annual fees, some credit cards supposedly have a spending threshold to hit.
It’s not easy finding out what the exact spend amounts are, but you can try your luck – some customer reps are nice and will share how much more you’d need to spend. Once you’re consistently hitting this target, you’ll have a greater chance of waiving of annual fees.
Many credit cards offer 1-for-1 hotel buffet promos
Singapore has so many credit cards promos that there’s no need to stick to just one. Even if you carried out the above steps but your appeal flopped, you can still avoid paying your annual credit card fees by cancelling it.
But be wary with this and leave it as the very last resort. You’d most likely be applying for other credit cards to score sign-up promos but this might negatively affect your credit score in the long run – making it all the more difficult to do adulting things like getting a home loan with friendly interest rates.
Don’t let credit card charges eat into your savings!
Not all of us knew that it was possible to waive credit card fees, especially those of us with our very first credit card. But if the billing date slipped your mind or you’re not keen on paying annual fees for a card you barely use, try the above 7 tips to avoid paying late credit card charges and annual fees.
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