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Spend Carefully

How to use credit cards to your advantage

Financial Wellbeing Coach

2024-05-22 00:00

Estimated reading time
6 min

Learn how to

  • Make the most of those interest free days
  • Stay on top of your credit card repayments so you don’t fall behind
  • Earn rewards and spend them
  • Understand the benefits of cashback programs

Credit cards can be a useful tool – provided you use them responsibly, they can assist your financial wellbeing and help with your cashflow. 

But they’re only as good as their user (which is you). That’s why it’s important to understand how to use a credit card to your advantage, without it adversely affecting your financial wellbeing.

That’s why we’re going to explore six different tips you can follow for how to use your credit card like a pro.

1. Make use of interest free days

When it comes to personal credit cards, think of the interest-free period on purchases as a potential buffer. It’s basically a period where you won’t be charged interest on new eligible purchases.

The interest-free period on purchases can vary depending on the provider and the credit card - and not all cards have one. If you do have an interest-free period on purchases, it could be up to 44 days, 55 days, or something else. Given an interest-free period runs from the beginning of a statement cycle until the payment due date, the number of interest-free days will depend on when you make that purchase within your statement cycle (and the type of purchase). The type and timing of your purchase will impact whether you get interest-free period for that purchase and for how long. If you’re not sure, check your credit card contract or ask your provider.

At ANZ, if your account has interest-free periods on purchases, you can avoid paying interest on the Purchases balance by always paying the full Closing Balance by the Due Date shown on your statement (or if applicable, your ‘Adjusted Closing Balance’). Your Adjusted Closing Balance is calculated as your Closing Balance less the sum of any Promotional Plan balances that relate to an Instalment Plan, a Buy Now Pay Later Plan, or a Promotional Balance Transfer Plan, plus any instalments due under any Instalment Plan (including instalments previously due which have not yet been paid). If you miss this payment, you will generally be charged interest on your purchases balance from the day after the due date shown on that statement.

2. Set up automated payments and reminders

Did you know you can set up reminders and alerts to tell you when your credit card payments are due? Or that you can make those payments entirely automated?

These automated aides are a great way to keep your financial wellbeing on track and can help ensure payments are always on time – or at least on your radar.

When you set up automated payments, you have several options including paying the minimum monthly amount or the entire balance – just choose what works for you and your financial situation. And with the ANZ app, you can click into the statement tab and add a reminder to your calendar to help ensure you won’t miss a payment date.

3. Check out the rewards

Some credit cards come with rewards schemes – but it’s important to remember responsible spending is paramount when using them.

On select ANZ credit cards, you can earn reward points and redeem them for gift cards, ANZ Cashback or airline partner points. You may be able to use or accrue points when shopping at partner suppliers or find specific promotions. Always check if there’s a minimum spend, specified timeframe or other limitations.

Remember, reward scheme cards (like those which allow you to earn points) are not suitable for everyone as they often come with higher fees and interest charges. You should do your research and compare different types of cards before applying for one.

4. Enjoy cashback when you shop

You can also earn cashback on eligible purchases when you shop through a cashback program. ANZ has teamed up with Australia's leading cashback program where you can join for free to access cashback deals from more than 2,000 retailers.disclaimerPlus, if your credit card is connected to a rewards program like Cashrewards, you could earn both points and cashback. Once the cashback is approved by the retailers, you can withdraw the Cashrewards balance into your bank or PayPal account to redeem it and use it however you like – save it or spend it, the choice is yours!disclaimer

5. Look at Complimentary Insurances

If you’re about to jet off on a holiday, and you have a credit card, it’s worth looking into whether you are eligible to receive complimentary travel insurance. Many people don’t realise credit cards often come with insurance coverage for things like travel, personal and household purchases.

Always check policy information booklets to see if there are specific requirements or exclusions before using it.

6. Understand minimum monthly repayments

Your Minimum Monthly Payment is the lowest amount you are required to pay back on your credit card each month as shown on your statement (in addition to any overlimit or overdue amounts due). If you choose to pay the Minimum Monthly Payment, it’s important to understand that you might end up paying more interest than you would if you paid your Closing Balance in full on or before the Due Date shown on your statement. If you only pay your Minimum Monthly Payment it will take longer to pay off any outstanding credit card balance. If you want to pay less interest, you may want to consider paying your Closing Balance or more than the minimum amount each month.

Whatever your preference, it always pays to have a plan.

At the end of the day, credit cards are only as good for your financial wellbeing as you are at managing them. Always talk to your bank or provider about your options before signing up and make sure you compare different cards to help understand what credit limit and other key attributes of a credit card are suitable for you. If you have concerns about your repayments, reach out to your provider as soon as you can.

How to use credit cards to your advantage
Financial Wellbeing Coach

Ready to get a Cred-ucation?

If you’re credit-card-curious or you’re looking to broaden your knowledge on the subject, our Creducation online series is the place to be. It has handy articles, tips and videos to help you understand how credit cards work, how you can manage your debt and more.

Check it out now



The information set out above is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations. You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.

Cashrewards is offered by Cashrewards and not ANZ. Cashrewards is not exclusive to ANZ cardholders. The Cashrewards account is not an ANZ account. To earn cashback you must be a Cashrewards member. Exclusions and caps may apply. Eligibility criteria, cashback redemption and withdrawal conditions and T&Cs apply. Please visit for further details.


Withdrawal conditions and T&Cs apply. Please visit the for further details.