Ways to stay credit savvy this festive season

We asked one of our clients to share some tips on how she uses her credit card wisely to get an early start on her Christmas shopping.

How to use your credit card wisely

Nokuzola Ngamlana has had her credit card for over 5 years now. She says. “Capitec’s credit card fits effortlessly into my day to day money management and lifestyle. One of my favourite benefits is being able to buy items with the 55-day interest free period. That means that if I repay them within that period, I’m paying the cash price, as the credit does not cost me any interest. And better yet, the amount I’ve repaid becomes available again instantly.”

Capitec also offered me the lowest interest rate. The other banks charge around 15% interest per year, where Capitec offers personalised rates from prime.” While she’s grateful that her credit card can be used to meet her unique needs each month, Nokuzola also makes it a priority to pay what she owes as soon as possible. She knows how important it is to use credit responsibly.


Hit the shops, but do it wisely

Nokuzola says she enjoys having the freedom to use her credit card to buy early Christmas gifts. “Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two when it comes to credit-savvy shopping,” she says. Her tips for the festive season can be applied throughout the year:

  • Write a gift list before you go to the shops. Otherwise, you risk getting so carried away and wowed by all the amazing things you see, that you may fill your trolley with gifts you don’t need
  • Make sure you budget, so that you can plan what you can spend each month and especially over the holidays
  • If you have a set budget for a gift, do not spend R20 or R50 over that as these amounts add up
  • Don’t buy things on a whim, even if they are on special


Or go digital

Perhaps one of the big benefits of a credit card is being able to shop online, which can save you time and money. In addition, you can also use your credit card through our scan to pay feature on our app. This is safer as you don’t need to enter your credit card details when shopping online and is also protected by your PIN or biometric authentication.


55 interest free days

You get a maximum of 55 interest-free days with your Capitec credit card. The period starts from the date of the transaction and is payable with the next month’s statement. If, for example, you buy Christmas gifts with your credit card at the beginning of December, the amount will reflect on your December credit card statement, which you’ll receive around 31 December. You’ll only need to pay for the amount you’ve used at the end of January on the date stipulated on your January statement. If you don’t pay the outstanding amount in full by the date indicated on your statement, though, you’ll have to pay interest; the exact percentage depends on your credit profile.

You can make sure you are paying the least amount on the interest when you use your credit card by:

  • Only make payments with your card; EFTs and cash withdrawals do not qualify for the 55 day interest free period
  • Repaying the full balance that is reflected on your monthly statement to qualify for the interest free period. If you can’t repay the full balance, paying more than the minimum would help you save on interest.


Learn to use credit responsibly

Over the years, Nokuzola has learned a lot about using credit wisely but she says the two most important lessons are:

  • Don’t max out your credit card
  • Never skip a payment. And if you have additional funds available, transfer it to your credit card to save on interest
  • If you can repay the full transaction amount on your next payment date, choose the straight option when performing the transaction.
  • If you want to make sure to repay the transaction over a short time period and save on interest, choose a short term budget option (3 or 4 months) when making the transaction.

Nokuzola concludes, “Although a credit card means you have extra funds available each month, you have to make sure you’re responsible and repay whatever you have used at the end of the month.”


Move to Capitec

Applying for a Capitec credit card is simple and can be done online or using your Capitec banking app in just 4 steps. You’ll get up to 55 days interest free on all card and online payments and won’t pay any additional fees when you make secure online purchases, scan to pay from our banking app or tap to pay when you use your credit card.

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