Why now is the time to get your new credit card for Christmas

Posted: 6 November 2019 1:49 pm
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Man sitting with laptop on his lap and dog on couch with Christmas decorations.

Christmas and Black Friday are only a few weeks away, but it's not too late to get a new card to reward your spending or cut your interest costs.

It's almost time to pull out the Christmas decorations and the Black Friday sales are calling our names. That's right, the biggest spending season of the year is upon us. If you're planning to get a new credit card to cover some of the costs ahead of the holidays, now's the time to jump on the competitive offers. With loads of banks boasting big bonus points deals or interest-free periods for new customers, read on to find out why the search for your new credit card should start now.

Take advantage of introductory credit card offers

At this time of year, credit card issuers start ramping up introductory offers to attract new customers. Depending on the type of spender you are, cards with 0% interest on purchases and big bonus points offers tend to be two popular options in the lead up to the festive season.

Pay no interest and save

If you struggle to pay your credit card bill on time and want to avoid interest while you're ticking off the Christmas gift list, consider a card with 0% on purchases for a promotional period. These cards can come in handy if you need some breathing room to knock off your purchases without the burden of interest.

The length of the interest-free periods will vary between products but cards including the Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard and the St.George Vertigo Platinum are currently offering 0% on purchases for the first 15 months. If you are also one to avoid upfront costs like annual fees, you'll save with 0% on purchases for 14 months and pay $0 annual fee for the first year (reverts to $55 p.a. after that) when you apply for the St.George Vertigo Visa through Finder. These are just some of the deals available, but you can compare more cards with interest-free purchase deals on Finder.

When the introductory period wraps up, the standard purchase interest rate will apply to any unpaid purchases. With that in mind, don't spend more than you have to and pay off your balance in full before you're stung by the interest.

Earn points as you spend

If you pay off your credit card on time and interest charges aren't a concern, why not reward your generosity this Christmas with frequent flyer or reward points instead?

Not only will you pocket points per $1 spent, but many of these cards offer new customers thousands of bonus points when they meet the promotional spend requirement. If you're a fan of Qantas Frequent Flyer, the Qantas American Express Ultimate card rewards 120,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply by 18 November 2019 and spend $4,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Prefer Velocity Points? The Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer card is offering up to 70,000 bonus Velocity Points right now. You'll collect 20,000 bonus Velocity Points each month you spend $1,500 for the first 3 months. You'll collect an additional 10,000 bonus points after your card's first anniversary.

The average Australian credit card holder forked out $1,863 for purchases in December alone last year, so these bonus points offers could help you get more value from your Christmas shopping if the criteria line up with how much you plan to spend.

Get your Christmas shopping done during Black Friday sales

Whether you're getting your Christmas shopping out of the way early or having a treat yo' self moment, you might want to make sure your new credit card arrives before Black Friday. It falls on 29 November and is one of the biggest sale events of the year. Mark your calendars and expect massive discounts online and in-store across categories including electronics and homewares, fashion and beauty, travel and more.

While we don't know the exact sales just yet, you can expect big discounts across your fave brands including Dyson, and with retailers like eBay, THE ICONIC, The Good Guys and David Jones. You can check out Finder's guide to Black Friday for a list this year's offers once they're announced or sign up to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest Black Friday in your inbox.

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While we're not encouraging people to get a credit card for the sake of a sale, it can be a cheeky way to take advantage of discounts, avoid interest or earn points along the way if you're already planning to get a new card ahead of Christmas.

Receive your new card in time

Both Black Friday and Christmas are just weeks away, so you want to make sure that your new credit card arrives in time. As long as you have the information you need to complete the application, applying for a credit card shouldn't take longer than 20 minutes. You'll usually receive a response within 60 seconds and if approved, you can expect the credit card in your mailbox within a week. If the bank needs more information or more time to validate some of the details you've given, the response time may take a little longer.

Credit card offers change all the time, so you should pay attention to any offer end dates if you have your eye on a particular bonus points promotion or 0% interest offer.

Before you're swept up by the promise of Black Friday deals and a summer holiday courtesy of your bonus points, make sure to consider the fees, features and eligibility criteria before you apply for a new credit card. To get started, you can use the comparison tables on Finder to research the current offers, narrow down your options and find the right card to suit your needs this Christmas.

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