lifestyle

The case for switching credit cards.

Westpac
Thanks to our brand partner, Westpac

I bet you’ve had the same credit card for a while now and like most of us, struggle to pay it off every month.

You blame yourself for carrying a balance each month (and your addiction to shopping). If only you had more self control. If only you were more responsible. If only you were more financially savvy. If only you were better with money.

It’s not your fault. Let me assure you of that. Credit cards are designed that way. They are user friendly, tempting, enticing and convenient – you’re only human. But they also happen to be one of the best resources we have when it comes to managing our finances. If, and it’s a big if, we are smart about how we use them.

credit card debt
“You blame yourself for carrying a balance each month (and your addiction to shopping).” Image via iStock.

I’m no different. I’d had the same credit card with the same company for years and didn’t even know what interest rate I was being charged. While I constantly review all my other providers – phone, electricity, car insurance – it hadn’t occurred to me to review my credit card provider. I’d been so focused on curbing my spending habits that I didn’t keep an eye out for a better, more affordable credit card.

I was offered the opportunity to switch from my current card for a Westpac Low Rate Visa Card and jumped on it, especially when I rang my current credit card provider and found out I was being charged 21% interest.

That was all the motivation I needed to make the switch.

I’d been meaning to shop around for a new credit card for a while but it just seemed too hard. I didn’t have time to go into a branch or fill in a million forms. Westpac directed me to a credit card application process online, except it was so different to any credit card application process I had ever experienced. It was more like one of those fun and simple online surveys in its design and so easy to fill in. I was done in minutes, received a confirmation email and preliminary approval (hooray) and two days later I was on the phone verifying my details and being told my credit card was on its way.

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They offered me a lower credit card limit than I had elected, however the reason I was switching in the first place was to make my credit card use more manageable, so that was fine by me. With 55 days interest free on purchases and a low annual fee of $59 I was well on my way to using credit more responsibly without having to worry about mounting interest.

credit card debt
“I can now pay off my balance and organise automatic bill payments easily, all the while keeping tabs on my finances more than ever before.” Image via iStock.

Another reason why I chose to switch over to a Westpac Low Rate Credit Card was because of their smartphone app. I can now pay off my balance and organise automatic bill payments easily, all the while keeping tabs on my finances more than ever before.

I consider my switch to a Westpac credit card an opportunity to have a healthier relationship with credit. I’ve misused credit in the past and struggled to pay it off, cancelled them and then found myself reapplying due to the convenience. The fact of the matter is, credit cards are essential to modern life.

If you’ve been sitting on credit card debt for a while or have been copping the same high interest rate for years, it’s definitely time to make the switch. Someone with my colourful financial history has to be incredibly responsible when it comes to their finances – and this worked for me.

With this in mind, after reviewing your own financial situation if you decide to make the switch I look forward to hearing about how Westpac’s credit card product helped you get on top of your credit card debt.

How do you manage credit card debt?

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