Last year in Spain alone, 6,101 million credit card operations were carried out for an amount of 195,246 million euros. In the first quarter of this 2022 the number of transactions has grown by 26%, according to data from the Bank of Spain (BdE). In addition, purchases and sales in stores and online skyrocket, and cash withdrawals at ATMs plummet — at the end of 2021, there were 47,639 ATMs, 1,842 terminals less than a year earlier.
The data from the BdE also confirm that year after year the population's interest in getting hold of this plastic increases. In fact, in the first quarter of 2022 the number of credit cards in circulation increased by 5.42% compared to the previous year.
"In a country with just over 47 million inhabitants and more than 39.41 million credit cards, financial education is increasingly important," highlight the experts at the financial comparator HelpMyCash.com
And there is no reason. A plastic that allows credit can be a useful tool to manage the family economy, it can even help save if it has discounts, but if it is not managed well and its conditions are not understood — interests, dates and forms of payment — it could cause over-indebtedness, experts explain.
In this huge universe of cards, what should a customer compare? “The card that is most convenient for a person is the one that helps them finance, save and keep track of their expenses. For example, if you prefer online shopping, ideally you should get one that gives you rewards and benefits every time you trade with it. If you spend a lot on fuel or are a frequent traveler, one that provides you with offers to refuel, access to VIP lounges or discounts on hotels is convenient for you, ” they exemplify from HelpMyCash.com
This is the golden rule. Everything that is borrowed has to be paid back. Ideally, credit card fees should be paid in the same billing cycle. If payment is late or minimum payments are made, interest will accrue.
Obviously, another fundamental point to maintain a healthy financial health is to understand and know how much the surcharge will be that the entity will charge if a purchase is postponed. According to experts, in the current market the average interest is 19%. This means that if the entire amount is not paid in the month, the bank will charge a monthly penalty of approximately 1.58%.
“We use credit cards for all kinds of things: trips abroad, fuel purchases, or even grocery shopping. In this aspect, it is convenient to pay the totality of what was spent or you would end up paying interest for the purchase of food, for example, and this would actually be making the cost of food more expensive”, they detail from HelpMyCash.com
There are plastics that allow the deferral of expenses to 0%. Of course, for the most part they do not allow the payment to be extended for more than three months. This is the case of the Wizink click card. This allows you to pay for purchases in three months without interest or commissions, but yes, only for purchases between 85 and 1,000 euros.
Sometimes you may have a spending limit that is higher than your monthly income. “That is why it is optimal to stay within 30% of that limit. This will make it easier for you to return the fees,” experts warn.
But if expenses are out of control and you are not able to pay your installments on time, perhaps the best thing to do is to clean up your personal finances, learn to stick to a budget and opt for the use of debit cards, "that way they ensure of not spending what you do not have”.
In Spain there are more than 48 million debit cards, according to data from the BdE, so the comparison specialists recommend exploring the offers of financial institutions and choosing those that do not charge commissions for maintenance, issuance or withdrawal of cash.
Banks such as ING, Openbank, Sabadell or Revolut offer their customers free debit cards. In the case of the orange bank, it offers the Payroll account that, in addition to including the plastic, offers two days of overdraft without charges, but that does require direct debit of the payroll, pension or unemployment.
While the Openbank current account offers discounts in clothing stores, restaurants and leisure and does not charge commissions for having a debit card, although it is only free for one holder.
It is also the case of Revolut, it is a neobank with interesting advantages for the most travellers. Although the digital card is free, the physical one has shipping costs. But in exchange, it allows up to five withdrawals per month without commissions at any ATM in the world.