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Credit Card Applications » Questions » User Questions » Other » How long should I wait before making my first purchase on a credit card?

How long should I wait before making my first purchase on a credit card?

Answered on | Updated on December 15th, 2011
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

One question, which inevitably pops up in the minds of many people after securing a credit card for the first time, is how long they should wait before making their first purchase on it. The truth is that there is no specific answer to this as every person has different circumstances and therefore one may have a more urgent need for his or her card compared to others. However going on a shopping trip as soon as you receive the plastic in the mail is an extremely bad habit that will eventually spell doom for you and thereby ruin your credit. It’s important to take note of the fact that using your credit card doesn’t get you any freebies because you will be required to pay back at even greater expense later.

It’s important to always remember that a credit card is a very powerful accessory and while it can give you a lot of convenience, it can also ruin you financially. This is why you have to make up your mind as soon as you get hold of your card that you won’t allow it to ruin your finances. If possible, wait at least a couple of weeks before using your card for the first time as this will give you the chance to reflect over it and think about what you need to purchase.

It is an extremely bad habit to use your credit cards for daily purchases such as gas, groceries, bus fares, train tickets, etc. because this gets you hooked on the use of the card for even greater purchases which will eventually pile debts on you. If you decide to go for any type of shopping then the best thing to do will be to get enough cash on hand and if possible leave your credit card at home. If you decide to bring it along then make up your mind not to swipe it for anything in the world and stick to your decision even if you come across mouth-watering deals.

Never be in a hurry to use your credit card even if you have just received it. In fact, making it a point to only reach out for it during emergency cases such as when you have misplaced your wallet or ran out of cash is the best way to preserve your credit ratings and avoid the temptations of getting drowned in piles of credit card debt. If you are being tempted to reach for your card for any item then one question you should ask yourself is if you absolutely need to make that purchase. If it’s just something you are craving for without any urgent need for it then delay the purchase until you have enough cash on you to pay for it.

Avoid reaching for your credit card when shopping for cars, clothes, valuable jewelry, etc, especially if your wages are low or average. The costs of these items are high and the interests that come with using your credit card for them makes it even higher. Instead, try to purchase only items you can afford at any point in time.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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