From 0% purchase rates to bonus points, discover how you can make the most of a credit card this Christmas.
Christmas is the season for giving. Unfortunately, it's also the time year when many of us turn to plastic to pay for gifts, food and everything else. But what if you took control of your Christmas spending before it got out of hand? It is possible and it's simple to do – it just starts with knowing what your options are.
From 0% interest rates to $0 foreign transaction fees and rewards, here you can compare the different types of credit cards available and find one that suits your goals this Christmas.
What credit cards can I compare for Christmas shopping?
- I want to make interest-free purchases – 0% interest credit cards
- I want to earn points on my shopping – rewards credit cards
- I want a card for online shopping and travel – $0 foreign fee cards
- I want to save on credit card costs – low rate and $0 annual fee cards
- I want to pay off Christmas credit card debt – 0% balance transfer cards
- How can I compare Christmas credit card offers?
Buy now, pay later: Credit cards with 0% purchase rate offers
If you're planning to use a credit card for your Christmas shopping, getting one that offers an introductory rate of 0% p.a. on purchases can help you save on interest charges for a set period of time. Usually, these cards offer 0% interest for the first 3 to 15 months, which means you could have more than a year to enjoy making interest-free purchases. At the end of the introductory period, any debt left on the card will be charged interest at a higher standard rate, so keep that in mind when you're comparing cards and working out your budget.
Earn points as you spend: Frequent flyer and reward credit cards
You could reward your generosity this Christmas with a card that offers points for every $1 you spend on eligible purchases. Varying between frequent flyer programs and credit card loyalty schemes, you can use these points to redeem a range of rewards including travel, gift cards or merchandise. Reward credit cards often have higher annual fees and interest rates than other cards, so you'll get more value from them if you pay off your balance in full each statement period.
Save on overseas shopping: Cards with no foreign transaction fees
If you're planning to do a lot of Christmas shopping online or you're heading overseas, these credit cards can help keep your costs down by waiving the usual 2-4% fee you'd pay for any transaction made online or overseas with an international retailer.
Shop without the frills: Low rate and $0 annual fee cards
If you want to save on costs and don't need all of the trimmings this Christmas, you might want to consider a credit card that offers a low ongoing interest rate or no annual fee. The competitive rates and fees on these cards can help keep your costs down during the silly season and beyond. Just keep in mind that some low rate and no annual fee cards are also lighter on perks such as rewards or complimentary insurance.
Compare low rate credit cards
Compare credit cards with no annual fees
Deal with Christmas credit card debt: Balance transfer cards
If you're planning to pay on plastic over Christmas, a balance transfer credit card could help you manage your debt in the new year. These cards offer an introductory low or 0% interest rate when you transfer debt from your existing card over to the new one. At the end of the introductory period, a higher standard interest rate applies for any debt remaining from the transfer. But with introductory periods usually ranging from 12 to 24 months, these cards can help you save on interest costs and clear your debt faster.
How can I compare Christmas credit card offers?
If you're looking for a new credit card this Christmas, here are the key details to keep in mind when you're comparing different options:
- Introductory 0% interest offers. Many of these cards will offer you an introductory 0% on purchases, balance transfers or both. Remember to check the length of the introductory offer, so you know how long your balance will be interest-free.
- Standard interest rates. It's essential you check the card's standard variable interest rates for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. These rates will apply as soon as any 0% interest period ends and could add a lot to your credit card bill if you're carrying a balance.
- Annual fee. Credit card annual fees can be as low as $25 and as high as $700 or more. Make sure you check this cost before you apply, keeping in mind that some cards offer a reduced or $0 annual fee in the first year before the standard fee applies.
- Bonus points. The bonus point offers available on some reward and frequent flyer credit cards can give you hundreds of dollars extra value when you first sign up. Just remember to check the offer requirements, as you'll usually need to spend a set amount in the first few months before you'll get the points.
- Rewards. If you want a card that rewards you for your spending, make sure you look at the standard number of points you'll earn per $1 spent and check for any points caps. It's also a good idea to browse the rewards website and get an idea of how many points you'll need to redeem different items so you can find a program that's worth it for you.
- Extras. Complimentary perks such as travel insurance, extended warranty cover, airport lounge access and concierge services can help you get more value from a credit card. But think carefully about whether you'll use these extras and weigh them against the cost of the card to decide if it's worth it.
It's easy to get carried away with a credit card at this time of year but that doesn't have to mean running up a huge debt. Taking some time to compare different Christmas credit card offers based on your budget and needs will help you find a card that works for you.
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