Who with Credit card pays, gets a free loan. For only once a month, everything paid with the card is debited from the current account at once. Actually.
There are also credit cards that work differently: The bank only debits part of the debt from the current account. Sounds good, but can be a nasty trap – because the rest will be interest from now on. And that very expensive: quickly times around the 18 percent. A fortune in the current zero-interest times, when you can hardly get even one percent interest on a balance anywhere.
Credit card instead of Dispo
There are various names for this principle, which is already known from classic credit cards from the USA: Revolving credit card, credit card with installment option or installment function. The Amazon credit card, for example, is one of them. Another example is the Barclaycard, which is to be had already for many years in Germany also without associated current account.
At first, many people don't even notice that they are accumulating debts with such credit cards. While in other countries the credit card replaces the overdraft facility, in Germany there are far fewer people who use their credit card when they are short of cash. If in doubt, the current account is overdrawn in Germany.
This is why the debit card variants of Visa and Mastercard are also widely used in Germany. In principle, they function exactly like an EC card and debit the payment amount directly from the checking account. This makes it all the easier for unsuspecting customers to fall into the revolving trap.
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Overdraft facility: Why overdrawing an account can be unnecessarily expensive
There are good credit cards with revolving
Despite the interest rate trap, the revolving principle can also have advantages: If you have a financial bottleneck for a short time, you can easily get a loan, even if it is much more expensive than with an overdraft facility. Above all, some of these cards are well suited for traveling.
Because the banks set other fees low in return for expensive interest rates. Customers can use it to withdraw money worldwide free of charge or pay in a foreign currency without incurring fees. Those who use a revolving card in a disciplined manner can even save money.
Which cards come into question for this, the consumer guide Finanztip has recently examined again. And has come across good offers in the process. In the Finanztip analysis three credit cards with instalment facility stood out: All three are free to use apart from the interest-bearing instalment payments. Also, for example, when paying in foreign currency, which is often a cost factor for credit cards on vacation.
In addition, the revolving function of these three cards can be tamed so that customers do not accidentally fall into the red: These include the Genialcard of the Hanseatic Bank, the Barclaycard Visa and the Payback Visa Flex.
Credit card with installment option: Check conditions when applying for a card
Revolving credit cards have a default setting. As a rule, it is set to partial payment. With the Amazon Visa, for example, a fairly widespread card, the function is set to five percent on application. This means that customers automatically take out credit for 95 percent of all amounts paid with the card – whether they need the credit or not. The deciding factor for a revolving card is therefore whether customers can also also prevent the partial payment if desired CAN.
Switch off revolving
Some banks offer automatic overdraft facilities Full withdrawal Switch over. This is the best option. This turns the card into a normal credit card. With the Finanztip recommendation Genialcard from Hanseatic Bank, the switch is simple: customers can switch to full direct debit via the app, online banking or by phone. The Payback Visa Flex can also be switched to direct debit, but customers have to pick up the phone to do so.
Every bank handles this a little differently: sometimes customers can even select full repayment when they apply; but often the option is well hidden. Amazon also offers the option to switch to full payment when applying for the card, but not every customer notices this.
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This can save households up to 2000 euros a year
Paying the bill on time
If the card does not offer full payment, then it is important to always pay the credit card bill on time. Some banks offer tools for this: at Barclaycard, for example, customers are informed by mail what their credit limit looks like and how much they currently owe the bank.
In the app, the entire amount can be settled with a few clicks via a one-time instant debit. The experts at Finanztip found it so easy that they also made Barclaycard a recommendation.
Those who don't receive a reminder from the bank can help themselves and simply set a reminder on their cell phone calendar a few days before the booking date. So the deadline is not so easily missed. Discipline it still requires.