We upgraded our credit card

This is slightly old news now as we’ve had this new card for a couple of months. But hopefully interesting to discuss. I’ve mentioned previously the reasons why we decided to get a credit card. Earlier this year, ASB increased what they were willing to have as our credit limit (responsibly, they don’t automatically increase the limit on your card, but they do tell you what you can increase it to if you wish, which is maybe almost as bad) to the point where we would be eligible for their platinum card.

I say platinum, to US readers it would probably be considered pretty rubbish but this is as good as it gets here in NZ. By the way, this isn’t a promo for ASB, they just happen to have been our bank for a long time and their credit card offering is as good as anyone’s so that’s who we’re with. But with this “platinum” card, we now get $1 of rewards for every $100 we spend on the card, instead of $1 for every $150 of spending under the regular old not-platinum card we had before.

The key still is to know what to put on the credit card and what not to put on it. I did have to go through the hassle of ringing our insurance companies to give them the new details because you can’t do it online for some ridiculous reason. And of course for the few other subscriptions we have, such as Disney+ I had to log in and update payment details. So there was a minor inconvenience. But there’s also been some big upsides. For the ventilation system we just had put in, I made sure to ask if they charged a surcharge for payment by credit card. They don’t. So that was almost $4000 on the card and nearly $40 of rewards.

Our power bill, council rates and phone bill are still by direct debit from our bank account as they would charge a surcharge for payment by credit card that would outweigh any rewards received.

Another plus of this new card is that it provides travel insurance for myself, Mrs R2A and our kids, as long as the card is used to pay for more than 50% of the travel. This is a mixed bag but all up weighs up nicely. Last time we booked a holiday to the Philippines we were advised that they charged a surcharge for credit card payment (2% I think from memory) so we just used our regular EFTPOS cards (ATM cards for those of you in the States). But I figure next time we book travel, the 1% credit card reward plus the free travel insurance combined should be of more value than the travel insurance we would otherwise have to purchase separately.

Of course, this is when we are eventually able to book our next trip to the Philippines, however many years away that may be in the current global environment. The good news is we’re getting a full refund for the last trip that never eventuated so we’ve already got most of the money we need saved up and earning a pittance of interest in a “high interest” bank account.

So that’s where we’re at now with credit cards. We’re continuing to pay in full every month, haven’t paid a cent in interest yet. As always, if you can’t do that then you shouldn’t have a credit card. Tear it up and just use a debit card and/or cash.

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