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

Information verified correct on December 10th, 2016

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 December 10th, 2016.

Citi Simplicity Card

5% cash back + 0% p.a. for 9 months on balance transfers. Offer ends 30 June 2017.

November 18th, 2016

Citi Rewards Credit Card - Platinum Card

0% p.a. for 24 months balance transfer offer has been extended until 17 March 2017.

November 21st, 2016

ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum

50,000 bonus points offer has been extended, plus a new offer of $0 annual fee for the first year.

November 29th, 2016

View latest updates

Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
St.George Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months and an introductory purchase offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months with an annual fee waiver for the first year.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Discovery Card
Bonus points and purchase protection repairs or replaces eligible items if they are accidentally broken or stolen within 90 days of purchase.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
The HSBC Platinum Credit Card offers purchase protection cover for eligible purchases.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Enjoy 7,500 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 2 points for every $1 you spend, together with a $0 annual fee.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Receive 10,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement. Enjoy a $200 travel credit every year and get 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $195 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
Get 50,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months. Enjoy a waived annual fee for the first year and earn up to 1.5 Qantas Points per dollar spent.
19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($295 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend within 3 months. Enjoy access to premium benefits and complimentary insurance.
19.99% p.a. $199 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Platinum Card
Enjoy a reduced annual fee on the first year, 0% p.a. for 24 months balance transfer offer, Citi Reward Points on eligible spend, plus a complimentary travel insurance.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee $199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($249 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ First Visa Credit Card
Enjoy 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for the first 18 months, a low annual fee, interest-free days on purchases and a low minimum credit limit.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Classic Card
Earn points for every dollar spent on all eligible purchases and enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Also, enjoy an annual fee waiver in the first year.
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) Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a low balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. interest for 18 months and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases combined with complimentary insurance covers.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
Enjoy a low introductory rate of 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Clear Platinum Card
A low rate platinum credit card with a low interest rate on purchases and balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 14.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 9 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Signature
Complimentary international travel insurance, transit accident insurance, interstate flight inconvenience insurance, purchase cover insurance and extended warranty insurance.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Emirates Citi World MasterCard
Receive protection through guaranteed pricing scheme, purchase cover insurance, and extended warranty insurance.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 9 months $149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Premium Card
Earn as much as 30,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement. Enjoy frequent flyer benefits including uncapped Qantas Points per $1 spent, complimentary travel insurance and Qantas Club lounge invitations.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $249 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Business Card
Receive 100,000 bonus points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 2 Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent.
$1,500 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ First Student Card
An ideal credit card for students with 44 days interest-free on purchases with $0 annual fee in the first year. Access your account on the go with the goMoney™ app.
19.74% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate Platinum Credit Card
$250 Back plus 0% p.a. for the first 6 months on purchases from approval.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) $99 p.a. Go to site More info
BankSA Vertigo Platinum
Enjoy 0% balance transfer rate for 18 months and 1% purchase rate for 12 months if you apply and are approved by 4 January 2017.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Enjoy up to 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the minimum required spend and earn up to 3 rewards points per dollar spent. Also receive a complimentary return flight every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $349 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Ultimate Card
Enjoy up to 100,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend, earn up to 3 Qantas Points for every $1 spent and get a free domestic return flight every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $450 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
Receive 0% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, 0% p.a. for 6 months balance transfers and an exclusive $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher every year.
0% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 20.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 6 months $129 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card - 30k Bonus Points offer
Receive 30,000 bonus Velocity Points and earn 1 Velocity Points per $1 spent. Receive an exclusive $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher and two complimentary Single Entry Virgin Australia domestic Lounge passes each year.
20.74% p.a. 1.9% p.a. for 15 months $144 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($289 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
NAB Premium Card
Benefit from Premium credit card advantages including travel insurance, higher credit limits and VIP Lost Card Cover. 0% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $90 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Simplicity Card
Take advantage of the 0% p.a. for 9 months offer on balance transfers, a low interest rate on purchases, an annual fee waiver for life, plus 5% cashback on retail purchases.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 9 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
Pay no overseas transaction fee on purchases and receive complimentary domestic return flight and lounge passes each year you hold the card when you spend $500 on eligible purchases within the first three months.
20.24% p.a. $225 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Card
Receive 100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 3 points per dollar spent. Gain access to travel insurance, $300 Platinum Travel Credit every year and access to 900 VIP airport lounges.
$1,200 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Platinum Card - Cashback Offer
Earn $250 cashback on eligible spend, plus enjoy 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 12 months, discounted annual fees for the life of the card and a complimentary travel insurance.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $99 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Qantas Rewards Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
Get 75,000 bonus Qantas Points plus enjoy a low promotional offer of 4.99% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers.
19.99% p.a. 4.99% p.a. for 6 months $250 p.a. Go to site More info
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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 December 10th, 2016.

American Express Qantas Discovery Card

The spend criteria for the bonus points has been changed from $300 to $750.

October 4th, 2016

American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card

Standard 10,000 bonus points offer + 0% for 12 months BT offer + $200 Travel Credit

November 1st, 2016

American Express Qantas Ultimate Card

New offer of 100,000 bonus Qantas Points + extended 0% for 12 months BT offer until 30 January 2017

November 15th, 2016

View latest updates

Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Enjoy up to 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the minimum required spend and earn up to 3 rewards points per dollar spent. Also receive a complimentary return flight every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $349 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Card
Receive 100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 3 points per dollar spent. Gain access to travel insurance, $300 Platinum Travel Credit every year and access to 900 VIP airport lounges.
$1,200 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Receive 10,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement. Enjoy a $200 travel credit every year and get 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $195 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Discovery Card
Enjoy up to 7,500 bonus Qantas Frequent Flyer Points and 1 point per $1 spent, plus 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months, all for a $0 annual fee.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Ultimate Card
Enjoy up to 100,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend, earn up to 3 Qantas Points for every $1 spent and get a free domestic return flight every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $450 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Business Card
Receive 100,000 bonus points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 2 Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent.
$1,500 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Business Card
Earn Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on eligible purchases along with refund protection.
$109 p.a. Go to site More info
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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 December 10th, 2016.

Westpac Low Rate Card

Promotional BT period has been changed from 18 to 16 months and is valid until 30 January 2017.

October 12th, 2016

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer

Balance transfer offers has been extended until 16 January 2017.

November 1st, 2016

Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card

Balance transfer and $100 cashback offers have been extended to 16 January 2017.

November 1st, 2016

View latest updates

Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Offers 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for 18 months to help you manage your existing credit card balance with a reduced annual fee in the first year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Also, enjoy an annual fee waiver in the first year.
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) Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
The NAB Low Rate Card offers 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. This card also comes with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
Enjoy a low introductory rate of 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months and an introductory purchase offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months with an annual fee waiver for the first year.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card
Enjoy a long term balance transfer plus a $100 cashback offer (spend criteria applies) and never pay an annual fee for this card.
18.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Low Rate Card
A no frills credit card with an introductory rate of 0% p.a. for 16 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 16 months $59 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Enjoy a low annual fee combined with 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and 1% p.a. for up to 12 months on purchases.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a low balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. interest for 18 months and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases combined with complimentary insurance covers.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
BankSA Vertigo Visa
A low interest rate card with a low annual fee, a long term balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months and an introductory offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Simplicity Card
Take advantage of the 0% p.a. for 9 months offer on balance transfers, a low interest rate on purchases, an annual fee waiver for life, plus 5% cashback on retail purchases.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 9 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info

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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