How to get your money’s worth from unwanted Christmas gifts bought on your credit card

Figures reveal that Aussies spent $20 million on dud gifts this holiday season. Learn how to cut your credit card costs in the aftermath of Christmas.

Victoria's Minister for Consumer Affairs Jane Garrett revealed that Aussies fork out $20 million for underwhelming gifts every Christmas. Garrett encouraged spenders to understand their rights when it comes to returns and to employ strategies to get the most out of their money. If you used your credit card to pay for those socks for Dad or that faulty juicer for Mum, there are a few tricks to ensure you’re not still paying for unwanted gifts in the new year.

How to get the most from your credit card costs after Christmas

Purchase protection

Gold, platinum and some standard credit cards may come with complimentary purchase protection on items paid with your credit card. If the gift you bought was damaged or faulty, your purchase protection should cover you for up to three months following the purchase. You may not be covered for unwanted gifts though, so you’ll want to check with your provider before making a claim. The terms and conditions will vary from card to card, so it’s best to check your product disclosure statement (PDS).

Credit Cards with Purchase Protection

Rates last updated November 18th, 2017
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
NAB Premium Card
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$90 p.a.
Offers 7 complimentary insurance covers, access to a 24/7 concierge service and special offers through Visa Entertainment.
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Platinum card benefits plus 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers (with no BT fee) and $0 annual fee in the first year. Ends 13 December 2017.
American Express Essential Credit Card
14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 3% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Get Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 when you pay for your phone or contract with your Essential Credit Card.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Take advantage of purchase protection repairs or replacements on eligible items if they are accidentally broken or stolen within 90 days of purchase.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Online Only Balance Transfer Offer
13.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$59 p.a.
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers with a 2% balance transfer fee when you apply online by 31 January 2018.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$129 p.a.
The HSBC Platinum Credit Card offers purchase protection cover for eligible purchases.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Earn uncapped Velocity points on purchases and redeem for a range of rewards including flights, accommodation, car hire and gift cards.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$195 p.a.
Receive a $200 Travel Credit every year and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($295 p.a. thereafter)
Get 65,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 13 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
Receive complimentary international travel insurance, extended warranty cover and 0% foreign transaction fees.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$199 p.a.
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the spend requirement and earn up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$129 p.a.
Earn 3 bonus Velocity Points per $1 for the first 3 months, a first year annual fee refund and a yearly $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Exclusive to finder, receive 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months with no balance transfer fee.
NAB Low Fee Card
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$30 p.a.
Receive complimentary purchase protection insurance, special offers from Visa Entertainment and up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
Citi Clear Platinum
14.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Receive complimentary insurance covers and a 24-hour concierge service. Also enjoy free wine when you dine with the Citibank Dining Program.
Citi Signature Credit Card
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Complimentary international travel insurance, transit accident insurance, interstate flight inconvenience insurance, purchase cover insurance and extended warranty insurance.
Emirates Citi World Mastercard
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 9 months
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Receive protection through guaranteed pricing scheme, purchase cover insurance, and extended warranty insurance.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$249 p.a.
Enjoy two complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year and the protection of complimentary travel insurance.
American Express Platinum Business Card
$1,500 p.a.
Enjoy a platinum business concierge, complimentary Virgin Lounge access, worldwide travel insurance and luxury hotel benefits.
ANZ First Student Card
19.74% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter)
An ideal credit card for students with up to 44 days interest-free on purchases. Access your account on the go with the goMoney app.
ANZ Low Rate Platinum
11.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Get $250 back to your new ANZ Low Rate Platinum when you spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first 60 days from card approval.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$375 p.a.
Receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight each anniversary year and complimentary travel insurance.
NAB Velocity Rewards Premium Card
19.99% p.a.
4.99% p.a. for 6 months
$150 p.a.
Offers up to 0.66 Velocity Points per $1 spent on purchases, combined with complimentary insurance covers and a concierge service.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$450 p.a.
Take advantage of a high Qantas Points earn rate and two American Express Airport Lounge entries each calendar year.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 20.74% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 6 months
$129 p.a.
Save with 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months. Plus, up to 0.66 Velocity Points per $1 spent.
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 80k Bonus Points offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months
$289 p.a.
Take off sooner with up to 1 Velocity Point per $1 spent and earn up to 80,000 bonus Velocity Points. Plus, complimentary travel insurance.
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
20.24% p.a.
$225 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first three months.
American Express Platinum Card
$1,200 p.a.
Receive an annual $300 Platinum Travel Credit, membership to an elite tier of partner programs and access to more than 1,100 VIP lounges.
Bankwest More World Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$270 p.a.
Earn 2.5 More Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel insurance.
Bankwest Qantas World Mastercard
20.49% p.a.
2.99% p.a. for 9 months
$270 p.a.
Earn uncapped Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Also enjoy 0% foreign transaction fees on online and overseas spend.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Earn 1 Amplify Rewards Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel insurance and purchase protection.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
Earn 1.5 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive an additional card at no extra cost.
BankSA Vertigo Platinum
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
Take advantage of purchase protection, extended warranty and overseas travel insurance, plus a 24/7 concierge.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
Get a range of complimentary insurance covers, access to a 24/7 concierge and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
St.George Amplify Platinum
19.49% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Earn up to 1 Amplify Rewards Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary overseas travel insurance.
St.George Amplify Signature
19.49% p.a.
$279 p.a.
Earn up to 1.5 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive two complimentary airport lounge passes per year.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn Reward Points per $1 spent as part of the Citi Rewards Program, plus receive complimentary international travel insurance.
Citi Simplicity Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Earn 5% cashback on eligible purchases (capped at $50 per month) for the first 90 days from card approval.
Citi Rewards Classic Credit Card
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Receive 1 point per $1 spent on all eligible Domestic Spend (up to $5,000 per period) and membership to the Citibank Dining Program.
ANZ First Visa Credit Card
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$30 p.a.
Get up to 44 interest-free days on purchases and take advantage of a low minimum credit limit.
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.)
4.99% p.a. for 6 months
$100 p.a.
Enjoy the protection of 7 complimentary insurances including overseas travel and purchase protection insurance.
NAB Velocity Rewards Card
19.99% p.a.
4.99% p.a. for 6 months
$95 p.a.
This Visa card offers 0.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and special Visa Entertainment offers.
NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card
19.99% p.a.
4.99% p.a. for 6 months
$250 p.a.
Protection for new items purchased with this card, if the items are stolen or accidentally damaged within 90 days of the date of purchase. Plus a low interest rate on balance transfers for 6 months.
NAB Qantas Rewards Card
19.99% p.a.
4.99% p.a. for 6 months
$95 p.a.
Enjoy purchase protection as a complimentary service with the NAB Qantas Rewards credit card. Plus take advantage of a low balance transfer rate.
NAB Rewards Classic Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$95 p.a.
Earn 0.75 NAB Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary purchase protection insurance.
NAB Rewards Platinum Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months
$195 p.a.
Collect 60,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 on everyday purchases within 60 days of account opening.
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a $50 eGift Card when you apply by 31 January 2018 and make an eligible purchase by 28 February 2018.

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Refunds

Some credit cards also come with refund protection. Refund protection on a credit card can be used if a retailer won’t give you a refund and the card provider will cover the cost of the item. However, if the product is faulty, didn’t meet your expectations or you bought the same gift as someone else, you should be able to refund the item at the store. You might find that retailers may try to deny your refund request, so arm yourself by researching what you’re entitled to before heading to the shop.

Credit Cards with Refund Protection

Rates last updated November 18th, 2017
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$375 p.a.
Receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight each anniversary year and complimentary travel insurance.
American Express Platinum Card
$1,200 p.a.
Receive an annual $300 Platinum Travel Credit, membership to an elite tier of partner programs and access to more than 1,100 VIP lounges.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$195 p.a.
Receive a $200 Travel Credit every year and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Earn Qantas points that can be redeemed for a one way, return or multi-destination Classic Flight Reward on over 50 partner airlines.
American Express Platinum Business Card
$1,500 p.a.
Enjoy a platinum business concierge, complimentary Virgin Lounge access, worldwide travel insurance and luxury hotel benefits.
American Express Business Card
$109 p.a.
Earn Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on eligible purchases along with refund protection.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$450 p.a.
Take advantage of a high Qantas Points earn rate and two American Express Airport Lounge entries each calendar year.

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Balance transfer

Whether the gifts were duds or successes, you don’t want to pay more than you have to. If you paid for gifts on plastic, make timely repayments to avoid accruing interest and increasing the amount you’ll have to repay. If you’ve bitten off more than you can chew this Christmas, a balance transfer could be your new year’s resolution. Compare 0% balance transfer cards that will allow you to repay your entire balance before the end of the promotional period. You could avoid having to pay more than what you were charged for your Christmas gifts.

Credit Cards with a Balance Transfer

Rates last updated November 18th, 2017
$
% p.a.

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Name Product Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Amount Saved Product Description
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
0% p.a. for 24 months
12.74% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Platinum card benefits plus 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers (with no BT fee) and $0 annual fee in the first year. Ends 13 December 2017.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a.
$129 p.a.
Earn 3 bonus Velocity Points per $1 for the first 3 months, a first year annual fee refund and a yearly $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Online Only Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
13.49% p.a.
$59 p.a.
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers with a 2% balance transfer fee when you apply online by 31 January 2018.
NAB Premium Card
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$90 p.a.
Benefit from premium perks including travel insurance, Platinum Concierge Service plus 0% p.a. for 20 months on balance transfers.
Citi Platinum Credit Card - 100k Bonus Points
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 100,000 reward Points, take advantage of a long-term balance transfer offer and receive complimentary travel insurance.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.)
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Exclusive to finder, receive 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months with no balance transfer fee.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$129 p.a.
Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 of eligible spend and receive complimentary travel and purchase protection insurances.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% p.a. for 13 months with 2% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.)
$79 p.a.
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and free worldwide emergency card replacement.
St.George Vertigo Visa - Online Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
13.24% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers (with no BT fee). Plus, $0 annual fee in the first year. Ends 13 December 2017.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
12.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Get a range of complimentary insurance covers, access to a 24/7 concierge and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
NAB Low Fee Card
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$30 p.a.
Receive complimentary purchase protection insurance, special offers from Visa Entertainment and up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
11.99% p.a.
$49 p.a.
Receive a discounted annual fee, $100 cashback when you meet the spend requirement and up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
BankSA Vertigo Visa
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
13.24% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Get up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and be protected by a 24/7 fraud monitoring service.
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
4.99% p.a. for 6 months
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.)
$100 p.a.
A platinum card that offers 0% p.a. for 9 months on purchases. Plus 4.99% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a long-term balance transfer. Earn extra points on eligible international spend, plus complimentary travel insurance.
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a $50 eGift Card when you apply by 31 January 2018 and make an eligible purchase by 28 February 2018.
American Express Essential Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 3% balance transfer fee
14.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Get Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 when you pay for your phone or contract with your Essential Credit Card.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Receive a $400 Travel Credit every year and up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Earn up to 60,000 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on eligible spend and enjoy a discounted annual fee of $64 for the first year.
Qantas Premier Platinum
0% p.a. for 15 months
19.99% p.a.
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Fly further with 75,000 bonus Qantas points, up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations.
Australian Military Bank Low Rate Visa Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
10.99% p.a.
$49 p.a.
Enjoy up to 55 interest-free days on purchases, add an additional cardholder for $0 and enjoy the convenience of Visa payWave.
McGrath Pink Visa
4.99% p.a. for 8 months
4.99% p.a. for 8 months (reverts to 8.99% p.a.)
$40 p.a.
A basic, no-frills credit card with up to 55 days interest-free that donates half of the card's annual fee to the McGrath Foundation.

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Learn more about the balance transfer process

Other tips and tricks

  • Trade. If your loved one is unhappy with the gift but you can’t refund or exchange it, trading it with someone who will enjoy it will ensure your money doesn’t go to waste. Garrett revealed that one in three gift cards bought during Christmas alone goes unused, so millions of dollars were “basically flushed down the toilet”. If you or a loved one are unhappy with a gift card or already have one for the same retailer, consider giving it to a friend, family member or charity.
  • Research. If you’re planning on requesting a refund, exchange or return, make sure you have your receipt (and any other supporting documents) on hand and research what you’re entitled to before heading into the store. The shop assistant may try to deny your request, but you’ll increase your chances of success if you’ve researched your rights beforehand.

Picking Christmas gifts always comes with a little risk, but protecting yourself with complimentary card insurance or simple but effective strategies will ensure that your money doesn’t go to waste after this Yuletide. Alternatively there could just be a way to avoid it all together--remember--that we also rally, review and write about the top and trending picks for gifts all year-round with our finder gift guides.

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Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is a journalist at finder.com.au who is a credit cards, frequent flyer and travel money expert by day and music maven by night.

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