dr. jekyll & mr. hyde inside your wallet

Saturday, June 24, 2006

my saturday is not blog-worthy today. but i felt the urge to blog. but what about? then i remembered sumthin regarding or staff meeting last friday. it was about the deception of your cash plastics.

i'm sure a lot of you have credit cards; if not i bet you are still trying to fill up that app form those ladies from the malls gives out every so often. with waived annual fee on the first month, everyone thinks its an advantage. so it is. i was in college when i had my first card. it was a student mastercard from hsbc, i still have it. saved me a lot from my no-allowance sentences. but let me warn you, it'll be an addition, if not now... soon. people who knows how to handle their budget don't get into trouble. so u better know how to use the plastic to your advantage. here's some tidbits.

did you know that merchants are not allowed to charge you for additional fee just because you used their cards? if you're using visa or mastercard, you have to call and report this incident before they swipe your card. its a bit tricky though coz merchants are allowed to give discounts if you use cash. if the merchant has this cash discounts, you should see a regular price tag and a discounted cash price tag. now if the item is labelled with just one price tag and the merchant asks for additional fee (or as they call it surcharge), inform the merchant that you need to call your issuer then report this incident. its a violation of visa/mastercard merchant agreement.

also, visa/mastercard merchant agreement states that the merchant should not impose a minimum card purchase. i remember an incident before that sm mall minimum card purchase is 50 pesos. i really don't care about this. but if you are really out of cash and/or fast approaching your credit limit, this info might just save you.

ever wonder why banks are willing to give out cards for free for the first. coz the chances that you'll keep the card and pay next year's membership is very high... specially if you're still unfinished with your previous 12-month installment purchase. so if you really dont want to pay the next annual fee, make sure you have paid the full amount before your first year expires.

the best way to fully take advantage of credit cards is on-time payment. by that i mean that you have to pay the balance IN FULL on or before payment due dates. paying the minimum payment won't do. you might think that you saved yourself from the late payment fees but you still be charge with the monthly interest that is 3.5%. chances are, you'll find yourself paying for the same merchandise for months. and if you try to go back and compute how much you've paid for that item... you might get an instant heart attack.

make sure you don't exceed your credit limit, otherwise you'll be penalized. i know you think you won't overcharge coz stores would not accept your card if you've reached your max spending limit in the first place. think about the last installment charge you made. credit cards only counts the retail payment for the month. these monthly payments are charged to your card on a specific day, say for example every 18th of the month. if you have a credit limit of 20,000 and you monthly payments of 5,000, you could still buy that psp for 16,000 on the 17th. by the 18th, you'll have the overcharge fee. nice huh?

here's a security risk that most of us ignore. know that the last 3 digits (some have 4 though) printed on the back of your card works like a PIN and its called cvv2/cvc (card verification value/code). if you hand me your credit card for less than 5 minutes or so, u also gave me access to charge to your account. how? internet purchases usually requires the cvv2/cvc, your credit card number, and the expiry date. no signature needed. some internet payment sites require users to put in the correct address and verifies the area code (zip code). so next time the you hand your card to a waiter/waitress, make sure you don't give the address associated with your plastic. i know most of you wouldnt give that info unless you got the hots to your server. just in case you decided to fill out that feedback form, make sure you don't leave your address associated with your plastic.

if you any more tips/advices/trivia about credit cards, please feel free to share it. consumers have the right to know before they fall victims of mr. hyde.

by h2Omelon GurL @ 11:21 PM with 0 comments

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