7 Ways to Outsmart Your Bank
Banks exist to help you finance big purchases – in other, unsavoury words, it’s the source of most of your debt. They might seem hell-bent on making your life a misery while you repay the borrowed amount plus interest, but did you know that you can outsmart them, too?
1. Exploit your credit card’s interest-free days
Your credit card has a monthly billing cycle and a payment grace period to go with it. The monthly billing cycle, like its name suggests, is a cumulative of the balance you’ll have to repay at the end of a month, and the grace period is typically two weeks from the date of issuance of your monthly statement, during which the amount on your credit card remains interest-free.
Basically, if your next billing cycle is on the 15th of every month, and your grace period on the 30th, your purchase on the 16th will give you nearly 6 payment- and interest-free weeks!
2. Use credit cards with rewards or cashback features
Banks reward you for spending with your credit card, so why not make full use of it? A cashback credit card gives you anywhere between 0.05% to 10% cash back on your purchases, while a rewards credit card allows you to accumulate rewards points which can be used to redeem items from the bank.
It’s up to you to choose the one you prefer. There’s a plethora of credit cards out there, so tune into our credit card comparison tool for starts. You can also check out our credit card guide to know more about credit cards.
3. Perform IBG transfers on business day mornings
Interbank Giro (IBG) transfers are only processed on business day mornings, which means Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. The amount involved in IBG transfers are deducted immediately from your savings account.
This means that if you make a transfer on Friday evening, you won’t earn interest on the deducted sum anymore since it’s no longer in your account, even though the transfer will only be processed on Monday morning. You lose three days’ worth of interest for your trouble. So perform your IBG transfers on business days mornings whenever possible!
4. Deposit money into your current account as late as possible
IBG transfers aren’t the only things you should delay to the last possible minute. Your current account, from which your written cheques are drawn, are typically non-interest bearing accounts, which means that you can’t earn interest from the amount in the account.
5. Pay auto loans and personal loan installments as late as possible
The interest rates on your car loan and personal loan are calculated using the flat interest calculation method. This means they’re calculated based on the amount you borrowed at the beginning of the loan, which is your loan amount.
There’s no interest to be saved even if you pay it early every month. Therefore, go ahead and delay the payment to the last possible minute; every extra day your money stays in your savings account is extra interest earned for you.
6. Pay mortgage installments as soon as possible
On the other land, your home loan installments should be repaid promptly, and early where possible. Malaysian banks calculate mortgage interest rates via the reducing balance method. This means that the interest payable is based on the remaining loan balance.
7. Use comparison websites for the best deals
The Internet is your bank’s double-edged sword. On one hand, it helps banks reach a far wider audience, but on the other hand, it makes it possible for you to use comparison sites like BolehCompare to make the best informed choice for you. Hey, your enemy’s enemy is your friend, after all.
Money makes the world go round and banks make big financial steps possible, but it doesn’t mean that they get the final say in everything you do. Make use of these loopholes to make the bank work for you!