Do you want to know the secrets about credit card’s 0% instalment plans? Read along to understand to become more aware of it.
Many Singaporeans are scared of ballooning credit card balances due to interest rates charged on their accounts. Of course, you can prevent this by paying your credit card dues on time. However, there are still individuals who sometimes forget when they have to pay.
In addition, the bank recognizes that Singaporeans need or whims to make big purchases they can’t repay even with a couple of months’ worth of income. Since there is a demand for instalment plans and a fear of high-interest rates, banks have devised the Credit Card’s 0% Interest Instalment Plans.
The 0% Interest Instalment Plan allows you to make your big purchase with a participating merchant with your credit card. With just one swipe (viola!), you can take home your huge Samsung Smart TV complete with a theatre system or take up a yearlong gym membership. By entering an agreement to use the 0% Interest Instalment Plan, you give the bank authorization to pay the merchant the full amount of your purchase. Then, it is your responsibility to pay off the bank in instalments throughout the agreed term.
You are getting a loan to buy something, and that loan can stretch up to 36 months, depending on the bank. However, like all the benefits credit cards come with, there are terms and conditions you should not overlook. Do not be too confident that you are not paying any interest rate and you are in a win-win situation as all this could turn into a nightmare. You have mistakenly overlooked five facts that could cause you more than you think.
We all know that credit cards have limits that can depend on your regular income, preference, and the bank’s discretion. When you use the 0% Interest Instalment Plan, the bank is charging the full amount against your credit limit. That is why some banks, such as the Standard Chartered banks, require their cardholder to increase their credit limit. If your credit limit is $6000 and you purchased a luxury bag worth $5,500, only $500 will be left to your credit limit. They will reject any additional purchase worth more than $500 outright. So do not be surprised when a cashier frowns at your declined card.
After your big spending, you will have to sacrifice a few months of inconvenient shopping. However, this is not permanent, as your credit limit will soon return to normal with each paid instalment.
If you are excited with your earned rewards, AirMiles or rebates from your big purchase, get ready to be disappointed as most banks waive these benefits in exchange for the instalment plan because banks still have to make some money out of you. If they still give you rebates, rewards, and miles, they will lose profit.
While it is true that you will not be charged any interest rate, most people forget the existing fees that banks can charge you. Some banks do not automatically convert large purchases into IPP. You need to register first and pay an administration fee which can go higher with non-participating merchants. Depending on the bank’s policy and discretion, charges can range from 2 to 6% of the purchasing price.
Unlike the regular charges when you can just close your credit card account and transfer the balance to another account, you will have to pay the IPP balance in full first, topped with cancellation, termination and late repayment fees ranging from $100 to $150. Also, the terms and conditions indicate that you still have to continue paying the charged amount even if there is a dispute between you and the merchant.
There was a case when a gym named California Fitness suddenly closed through a number of clients who had already fully paid through IPP. However, clients still have to pay the banks since the banks had fully paid the one-year membership fee. Also, if you have bought a defective item by unfortunate chance, you still have to pay the bank since the issue is between you and the merchant.
If you thought it was better to settle your balance as soon as possible, you are definitely wrong. Banks charge penalties as high as $150. Banks also usually call this an administration fee because banks need to earn from you.
If you need to make an immediate purchase, Credit Card’s 0% Interest Instalment Plans may be risky. While it sounds inviting, you need to understand its risk. What was a win-win situation that could become a lose-lose in just a snap? Paying with cash can be your other option. Need money for immediate purchase? Get it from Cash Mart today.