The COVID-19 had made plenty of people rethink the way they spend with the initially limited availability of non-essential spending and job insecurity looming over the horizon. These overarching problems are causing micro-concerns, including the need to re-evaluate spending habits among individuals and families.
For some, that may mean letting go of a credit card to save on annual fees and prevent underuse. But deciding whether to keep your card or have them canceled is not easy. So, we’ve prepared this list of signs for you to know which way to go.
You own more than two credit cards
Having multiple credit cards can be good for your credit score because you can keep your credit utilization low. So, instead of consuming more than 50% of your limit in one card, you can spread the expenses among all your accounts and keep the spending within 30% or less. However, there are times when you won’t be using the cards anymore because your spending is limited at this time.
There is a risk of the bank automatically closing your credit card for underuse, which usually occurs when it remains untouched for months at a time. With little spending opportunities in these crazy times, you may have realized that you don’t need 5-6 credit cards at once and can manage with three or less.
So, if you think two or three credit cards can already do the job, then you can cancel those which you haven’t used for months.
You start spending more
Having tons of cards can also make it difficult to keep track of spending. If you have them scattered across different banks, then you can risk overlooking spending activity and forget to make repayments. In that case, then it may be a good idea to downsize your card roster.
Don't medicate stress and fatigue with impulse buying. A shopping spree will set you back even more.
Everything You Need To Know About Credit Cards in the Philippines
Spending a few thousand in one card for groceries, then another for utility bills, and then another one for online deliveries can be quite confusing. Credit cards can cause irresistible temptation to purchase anything at the same time, even when not necessary. You will be left thinking it’s okay to wipe since you haven’t maxed out all of them. The temptation is too strong that your debts pile up and it is already too late for you to stop.
Whenever you seem to start spending more than you planned, consider canceling your credit cards to trim down your debts.
You’re paying too many fees
Annual fees, late payment fees, interest charges and other payables entailed with credit card use can be very overwhelming. When things are too much, you end up missing more and paying more.
Want A Card With No Annual Fees for Life?
Most credit cards aren’t free -- you have to pay an annual fee of up to P5,000. This value can be painful in the pockets if you don’t always match the value in rewards, especially during dry spending months such as the past season. Consider swapping out expensive cards for free ones: AUB is currently running a free-for-life promotion to ease you from the burden of annual fees.
Some credit cards don’t have annual fees for life. These are the ones you might want to consider keeping. Just make sure you have a variety of promos and privileges offered. Although most fees can be avoided, managing a few can reduce the risk of draining your wallets.
You don’t get enough perks and privileges
Although most credit cards have regular monthly promotions, some don’t really give you that much benefit. Regular cards may not earn you rewards or may not even provide installment privileges no matter how frequently you use and pay them.
If you think you deserve more, then try to swap those cards with those that offer not just discounts but also other privileges as a cardholder.
When downsizing your credit cards, choose to keep your most-loved cards, which likely offer the best value in terms of rebates, the best spend-to-point conversion, or caters to your favorite shopping category.
Your credit card debts keep piling up
One of the most obvious signs you need to trim down your credit card list is the number of debts you have on each. You already know that finance charges and late payment fees worsen your condition. If you have debts in most of your accounts, start paying off each one and cancel them upon settlement. You can check for debt consolidation offers from other providers to pay off all outstanding balances and consolidate all debts into one card.
You’re only paying the minimum
If you’ve been paying the minimum and you haven’t been settling the amount in full each month, then that is a clear sign you’re in the danger zone. That means you don’t have enough money to cover for the debts you incurred and before you know it, you are drowned in debts for years.
Letting go of cards is a common practice and part of the life cycle of your financial journey, so don’t be scared to make the right choices to help you manage money. Before deciding to cancel a credit card, call your provider and make sure everything is paid off.