First and foremost… get a credit card which has been offered free. Usually banks impose one time charges or yearly charges for cards. But you can always ask for free card and agents generally waive it off to meet their targets.
I would suggest you do the following. I do it this way…
1. In case you are having more than 1 card, try keeping the billing cycle by 10-12 days off from each other. This way, whenever you are doing any purchase, you can use the card whose billing date falls last. You get more time to pay off the bill. Of course, managing when to pay which card’s bill will be an issue. But a simple reminder in your calendar should be sufficient to take care of that.
2. Keep 1 single card aside for online purchases if possible.(With OTP and/or ipin options it will shall be secure enough.) Also keep the limit just enough. In case of phishing mails or theft of data your damages shall be in control. (I have never faced any problems whatsoever. But better be safe than sorry.)
3. One more option is to generate 1 time cards for online use specifically. They are much safer and I’ve used it couple of times for purchases or payments on not so familiar websites.
4. (This is most important) Limit your purchases only to an extent where you will be able to pay it off by end of the billing cycle. Never carry over the payments to next bill. This is what the banks want. They charge heavy interests along with late payment fees (if minimum balance is not paid) and additional taxes on the same. This is huge loss for the user. But lets be practical…it is always not able for to pay off all the debts on time. So in simple words pay off your bills as soon as possible. (Assume your credit card as debit card… if you spend only what you have, you will not have to worry at all.)
5. There can be another scenario where in you just forgot to pay your bills on time. You had sufficient funds in your account but due to various reasons you missed last date. Bank will immediately charge you with late payment fees and start interest calculation not only on the billed amount but also on any purchases done after that. Again huge loss for the user. But if you have been paying off your bills regularly. You can call customer care and explain your situation. Usually they understand and upon immediate payment of bill amount such charges and corresponding taxes will also be reversed.
6. Best benefits from credit cards are possible while keeping as many cards as possible. Every seller on e-commerce websites offer discounts on different cards. So keep checking which card yields best benefits for you and use the same. While buying anything from your Credit Card, make sure you have that much of cash in your account to make the payment.
Would like to quote what Warren Buffet has said “If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need.” Just to keep it simple your credit card is a lot like your health condition. To keep it in good condition, you need to take care of it by minimizing risk, looking out for warning signs and by taking responsible decisions.
Do not settle for minimum payment when credit card is used
Pay your bill in full to avoid heavy interest rates. Do not pay any attention to the minimum dues, and make sure to clear the full balance of your credit card every month.
Avoid withdrawing cash from ATM
ATM withdrawals attract heavy charge.
Pay your bills on time
Defaulting on your bills will hamper your credit score and impose a very high interest rate on outstanding balances. So, to avoid additional interest outgo and to maintain your credit score, pay your bills on time.
Stay below your Credit card limit
I suggest you to use less than 30% of your available credit.
Pay your bills on time. Pay the credit card bill in FULL.
Don’t get lured by offers. Think before you spend.
Never use your credit card for cash withdrawal.
Never take a loan against a credit card.
EMI’s are convenient but do check the final amount and the interest that you will have to pay.
Never exceed 10 to 30 percent of your credit limit.