July 20, 2005Mr Wang urges all his readers to pay their credit card bills in full each month by GIRO. Don't let the banks make a sucker out of you. They already make good money out of the merchants where you use your credit card (for every dollar you pay via credit card to the merchant, your bank deducts a few cents and keeps it for itself).
Get rewarded - for not paying up in full
Some banks are dangling goodies at customers who roll over credit balances
By Kelvin Wong
CUSTOMERS who are inclined to pay off all or most part of their outstanding credit each month are being encouraged by some banks to stay firmly in the red.
Citibank is dangling prizes in front of customers who pay only the minimum on their balances while United Overseas Bank (UOB) is giving cash to clients who do not pay up in full.
Customers who take up the offers will have more money in their wallets during the month but the usual interest charges will still apply on their outstanding credit.
The strategy has likely been prompted by the growing number of clued-up customers only too aware of the ills of borrowing.
Credit bureau figures showed that 60 per cent of card holders paid off their balances in full in March and less than 2 per cent failed to meet the minimum payment.
Industry watchers said the new promotions were an attempt by banks to increase their interest income.
Citibank is offering its Ready Credit customers the chance to win an O2xda II Mini PDA mobile phone, which retails for about $1,200 without a subscription plan.
The catch? They must pay just the minimum amount indicated on their monthly bill and roll over their credit balances, a practice known in the industry as revolving.
Paying up in full, or indeed, just a dollar more than the minimum amount, will disqualify the bank's credit line users from the draw."
A favourite among aquarium hobbyists, and one of Citibank's top clients.