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It's that season again when we pull out our heavy coats and cover our head [and necks] with scarves to keep the cold away.

In this issue, we provide tips to keep your credit warm and cosy, so you don't find yourself in the credit chill.

Make use of the interest free period. Most financial institutions allow for an interest free period. Use this to your advantage and settle your balance in full at the end of every month, before interest starts being charged on your account. The Virgin Money Credit Card offers customers 55 days interest free on their purchased transactions. This interest free period does not apply to cash or fuel transactions.

Sign up for card life or credit protection. this costs just R1,60 for every R1 000 owing and covers the debt on your Credit Card account for up to R75 000 in the event of your death or permanent disability. The premium will be debited one month in arrears and will be based on the average outstanding balance for the month. For more information, visit www.virginmoneycard.co.za and ensure your loved ones don't need to pick up this burden on your behalf. Terms and conditions apply.

Check your statements. What is your outstanding balance? What is the amount payable and when is the due date for this payment to be made? How much did that item you just had to have cost you? All your transactions are detailed in your statement. This helps you to keep track of your spending and ensures you do not miss payment due dates, keeping your credit record squeaky clean.

Electronic Statements are a great way to ensure quick and easy access to your statement. No more waiting for the postman to deliver. Electronic statements are easy to read, and help keep you in the know.

Know your credit rating. You are entitled to one free credit check a year, usually in the month of your birthday, so take advantage of this by calling the credit bureaus.

There are many ways to enjoy your credit the responsible way. For more information on the Virgin Money Credit Card please visit www.virginmoneycard.co.za or call us on 0861822273.