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Top 5 tips to get the most from your credit card this Christmas.

2 December 2016

The credit card you select to pay with at the checkout can make a big difference in how much you save.

Select the Best have found that Savvy shoppers often spend hours researching, comparing and searching for deals before they make a purchase, though when it comes time to pay, many shoppers spend no time thinking about how they should pay. By carefully selecting how you pay you could save a significant amount of cash, particularly if you are using a credit card to pay. The credit card you choose to use can make a big difference in how much you save in the short and long term.

To get the most from your credit card this Christmas consider the following tips before you select the card for payment.

 

  1. Say no thanks to store warranty.

Many credit cards include the benefit of consumer protection benefits that will not only save you money, but give you peace of mind when you make your purchase using the card. Credit card warranties offered include:

  • Extended warranty - this benefit automatically extends the manufacturer's warranty by a year or more, so you can pass on the offer these extended in-store warranties, with no downside. American Express cardholders may know this feature as “Buyers Advantage” which extends the manufacturers warranty by up to 12 months
  • Price protection - this handy feature protects you from those frustrating times when you see the product you have purchased on sale at lower price. With the Price Protection provided by your credit card if you see a lower advertised price on the product within a defined time frame, you can request a reimbursement for the difference.
  • Purchase protection - This covers your purchases in case of loss, theft or accidental damage, the period of cover varies from 60 -120 days from the date of purchase.
  • Return guarantee - Trying to return an item to a store can be a chore, especially if the merchant disputes your request. With return guarantee, you can save money and avoid hassle.
  • Refund protection cover - if a retailer refuses to let you return an unused item this covers guarantees that the card issuer will refund the purchase price up to a maximum level. So for example the American Express cover refunds up to $500 for up to 90 days after you bought it.

 

  1. Save money with new credit card sign-up bonuses.

As you get ready for Christmas its likely your credit card is in for some heavy use, which could be a good reason to take a close look at how well your current card is serving your needs. With many lucrative sign up bonus offers currently available this could be a good time to ditch the old card. All the bonus offers are available exclusively to new cardholders and usually require you to spend a certain amount of money within a specified time period. For instance, you could be required to spend $500 within the first three months to earn the 100,000 bonus rewards points.

 

  1. Don't pay any interest until 2018.

A popular introductory offer now available on many credit cards is 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 12 months. These offers are particularly relevant when you are considering a high priced purchase, such as a new TV, Computer or perhaps a diamond ring. With the 0% Purchase Rate you won’t pay any interest on your purchase so long as you fully clear the debt within the interest free period of 12 months.

 

  1. Select the best credit card for each purchase you make.

The majority of us hold at least 2 credit cards in our wallets, with the average being 2.2 cards, so when it comes to paying by card we all pretty much have a choice of at least 2 cards.

It’s likely that the credit cards you have reward you in different ways for different types of purchases. To derive the most benefit from your cards you’ll need to select to pay with the card which delivers the most upside for that purchase, so for example if you are purchasing a large ticket item such as a new LCD TV it would be best to use the card which offers you the longest extension on your manufacturers warranty and perhaps Price Protection, ensuring you don’t over pay. Another common instance where card selection is important is when booking any travel, as some cards travel benefits are significantly better than others, specifically in the area of complimentary travel insurance.

Finally if you hold any rewards cards be sure to know which retailers are Bonus partners with your credit cards rewards program as they’ll offer you the highest point earn rates on your purchases.

 

  1. Use the complimentary credit card concierge service.

The lead up to Christmas can be very busy, with gifts to buy, meals to plan and family gatherings to organize. If you hold a premium credit card you may have the opportunity to take some of the stress out of this run up to Christmas day by using the concierge services, offered as a complimentary benefit on many Platinum and Black credit cards. These services all operate in a similar manner whereby you call the service and brief them on what you require and they will then do all the leg work to help you tick the things of your list, be it finding those elusive concert tickets, booking flights home or simply ordering the turkey.

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