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

Information verified correct on May 24th, 2017

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 May 23rd, 2017.

Bankwest More World Mastercard

A new offer of 230,000 bonus points plus 0% for 6 months BT offer valid until 15 August 2017

May 15th, 2017

American Express Velocity Escape Card

Interest-free period has changed from 44 days to 55 days.

May 16th, 2017

American Express Velocity Platinum Card

Bonus points offer has changed from 50,000 to 100,000 which is valid until 31 July 2017.

May 16th, 2017

View latest updates

Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
A no annual fee card that collects up to 1 Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
Take advantage of purchase protection repairs or replacements on 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 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Take off sooner with up to 2 Velocity Points per $1 spent and pay $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
Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive a $200 Travel Credit every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter) 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 0.75 Qantas Points for spending.
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
Fly faster with up to 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent and receive bonus Qantas Points on selected Qantas products, services and partners.
19.99% p.a. $199 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers with a 1.5% BT fee. Plus, receive an exclusive $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) 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 Fee Card
A low annual fee card with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Clear Platinum
Save with 14.99% p.a. on retail purchases. Also enjoy free wine when you dine with the Citibank Dining Program.
14.99% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Signature Credit Card
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
Qantas American Express Premium Card
Fly faster with up to 2.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
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
Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
$1,500 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ First Student Card
An ideal credit card for students with up to 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
Enjoy platinum benefits with exclusive discounts, complimentary travel insurance and personal concierge. Also repay your credit card debt interest-free with 0% p.a. for 16 months on balance transfers.
11.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Take off sooner with up to 2.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent and receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return domestic flight every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $375 p.a. Go to site More info
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Fly faster with up to 2.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive a complimentary Qantas domestic return Economy 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
Save with 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months. Also turn your everyday credit card spend into flights, accommodation and more with Velocity Points.
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
Take off sooner with up to 1 Velocity Point per $1 spent and receive 30,000 Bonus Velocity Points.
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
A low annual fee Platinum card with seven complimentary insurances.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with 3% balance transfer fee $90 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Rewards Travel Adventures card
Pay no overseas transaction fee on purchases, earn up to 1.5 for every dollar spent on eligible purchases, plus 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
Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary access for you and a guest to over 1,000 VIP Lounges.
$1,200 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest More World Mastercard
Earn 2.5 More Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel insurance.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months with 1% balance transfer fee $270 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Qantas World Mastercard
Earn uncapped Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Also enjoy no foreign transaction fees on online and overseas spend.
20.49% p.a. 2.99% p.a. for 9 months $270 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
Save with 12.74% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy Visa Platinum Concierge service.
12.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
Earn up to 2 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary travel insurance.
19.49% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature
Earn up to 3 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive an additional card at no extra cost.
19.49% p.a. $279 p.a. Go to site More info
BankSA Vertigo Platinum
Save with 12.74% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy travel insurance.
12.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 14 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
Save with 12.74% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy up to 55 days interest-free.
12.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Amplify Platinum
Earn up to 2 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary overseas travel insurance.
19.49% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Amplify Signature
Earn up to 3 Amplify Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive two complimentary airport lounge passes per year.
19.49% p.a. $279 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers with a 1.5% BT fee. Plus, earn Reward Points as part of the Citi Rewards Program.
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) Go to site More info
Citi Simplicity Card
A no annual fee Platinum card with Visa Front Line Access.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Classic Credit Card
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 15 months on balance transfers with a 1.5% BT fee. Plus, earn Reward Points as part of the Citi Rewards Program.
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) Go to site More info
ANZ First Visa Credit Card
Enjoy 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for the first 16 months, a low annual fee, interest-free days on purchases and a low minimum credit limit.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
Save with 13.99% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy access to 7 complimentary insurances.
13.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $100 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Rewards Classic Card
Earn 0.75 NAB Rewards Point per $1 spent and receive complimentary purchase protection insurance.
19.99% p.a. 4.99% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($95 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
NAB Rewards Platinum Card
Earn 1 NAB Rewards Point per $1 spent and receive double points on purchases made in major department and hardware stores.
19.99% p.a. 4.99% p.a. for 6 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Westpac Low Rate Card
Save with 13.49% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy a low $59 annual fee.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $59 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 May 23rd, 2017.

American Express Platinum Business Card

150,000 bonus Membership Rewards points changed to 100,000 and is valid until 31 May 2017.

April 1st, 2017

American Express Platinum Card

Bonus points offer changed from 100,000 to 80,000.

May 2nd, 2017

Qantas American Express Ultimate Card

Bonus points offer changed from 75,000 to 55,000.

May 2nd, 2017

View latest updates

Jonathan Choi Jonathan
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Take off sooner with up to 2.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent and receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return domestic flight every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $375 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Card
Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary access for you and a guest to over 1,000 VIP Lounges.
$1,200 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive a $200 Travel Credit every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
Fly faster with up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent and enjoy the convenience of Apply Pay, Samsung Pay or Android Pay.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Fly faster with up to 2.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive a complimentary Qantas domestic return Economy 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
Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
$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 May 23rd, 2017.

St.George Vertigo Platinum

Balance transfer offer has been changed to 0% p.a. for 20 months and is valid until 20 Sept 2017.

May 3rd, 2017

St.George Vertigo Visa

Balance transfer period changed to 14 months plus a new offer of $0 annual fee in the first year.

May 3rd, 2017

HSBC Platinum Credit Card

Balance transfer offer has been changed to 0% p.a. for 22 months and is valid until 31 August 2017.

May 8th, 2017

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
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers with a 1.5% BT fee. Plus, receive an exclusive $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 spent and receive an annual fee refund with minimum spend.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee $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
St.George Vertigo Visa
Save with 13.24% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy up to 55 days interest-free.
13.24% p.a. 0% p.a. for 14 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
Save with 13.25% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program.
13.25% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee $55 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
Save with 13.99% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy special offers from Visa Entertainment.
13.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
A long-term balance transfer offer with the Citi Rewards Platinum Card. Earn extra points on eligible international spend, plus complimentary travel insurance.
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) Go to site More info
NAB Premium Card
Benefit from premium credit card advantages including travel insurance, Platinum Concierge Service plus 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with 3% balance transfer fee $90 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
A no annual fee card that collects up to 1 Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
A low annual fee card with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
Save with 12.74% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy Visa Platinum Concierge service.
12.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate Platinum
Enjoy platinum benefits with exclusive discounts, complimentary travel insurance and personal concierge. Also repay your credit card debt interest-free with 0% p.a. for 16 months on balance transfers.
11.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee $99 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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