Martin Lewis has been kept very busy over the last few months as the coronavirus pandemic continued to rage on. Today, he returned to our screens to answer questions on all things finance.
One question came in from Sarah who asked Martin for his advice on how to use credit cards.
Sarah, 28, explained she was looking to build up her credit rating.
Martin then went on to provide the following advice: “The main purposes of getting a credit card if you don’t want to borrow is to get a mortgage at some point, where you’ll you need a credit history.
“To have a credit history, you have to have credit. So how do you get credit? Well, you get a credit card, you spend on it £50.”
He went on to highlight the importance of paying off the debt as time goes on: “£100 a month, you pay it off at the end of the month, make sure that it’s absolutely clear and that starts to build you history as a credit citizen.
“Also, if you’re buying something over £100 on it, make sure you’re paying off in full – you’ll get extra section 75 protection and you might get rewards.
“If you’ve never had one before it’s tougher to get; the key is you go into an eligibility calculator, you may as well look for a rewards credit cards, they’re the ones that pay you a little bit each month if you’re paying off each in full on it and see what it’ll give you.”
He also provided advice for those who may not be able to take this route: “But if you can’t get that, then you want to go in for a poor credit card.
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Martin responded to this with a concluding warning: “If you don’t trust yourself, if you’re not good with money, if you’re good but impulse-driven, don’t get a credit card.
“It’s not worth it is my answer.”
Credit card use appears to be on the rise according to newly-released data from Barclaycard, who examined spending trends from their dataset which covers nearly half of the nation’s credit and debit card transactions.
According to their analysis:
- Clothing spend saw growth for the first time since March 2019, as shoppers took advantage of end-of-season sales
- Lockdown has increased the shift towards online when it comes to mealtimes, with takeaways and fast food seeing their highest increase (20.7 percent) since tracking began in September 2019
- Spending at pubs and bars was a bright spot, with 9.3 percent growth in transactions – the first uplift since lockdown began, as punters socialised with friends and family