With less than 3 weeks until the shopping frenzy begins, have you considered how you will pay for everything from the Christmas tree to the family feast?
Before you whip out your current plastic check out these interest free credit cards, also known as intro rate cards that will help you cruise through the silly season without the headache of high interest repayments.
1. NAB Low Rate Card – Offers a 0% interest rate for 15 months and reverts to a low 13.99% (generous when you consider the average purchase rate is 17.53%). $59 annual fee.
2. Citibank Platinum – There’s plenty of features that make this plastic swipe worthy, including an interest free period for 15 months (then 20.99%) and the ability to earn 1.25 points per $1 spent on the card in Australia and 3 points per $1 spent overseas. $199 annual fee.
3. Virgin Money Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card – Enjoy a 0% purchase rate for 12 months (then 20.74%), 1 Velocity point for every $1 spent and a reduced flight offer. It’s no wonder the credit card was awarded a gold medal in Mozo’s Experts Choice Awards 2014! $129 annual fee.
4. St.George Vertigo – The interest free period for 12 months is more than enough to get you through the Christmas period, plus it reverts to just 13.24%, one of the lowest standard purchase rates on the market. $55 annual fee.
5. Westpac Altitude – Gives you a 0% purchase rate for 12 months and the choice of two rewards programs: Qantas Rewards (1 Qantas point per dollar spent on AMEX and half a Qantas point per dollar on MasterCard) or Altitude Rewards (2 points per dollar spent on AMEX and 1 point per dollar on MasterCard). $100 annual fee.
6. Bank of Melbourne Vertigo – This credit card has a 0% interest rate for a generous 12 months and reverts to just 13.24%, with a 55 interest free period for repayments. $55 annual fee.
7. Bank of Queensland Platinum – Fly through Christmas with the 0% purchase rate offer for 9 months (then 20.74%), whilst earning 2 Q Rewards Points per dollar spent. $99 in the first year.
8. Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard – Spend the festive season interest free, whilst racking up juicy rewards points with Coles’ 6 month 0% purchase rate offer (then 17.99%) and 0.5 points per dollar on MasterCard that are uncapped. Plus there’s no annual fee!
9. CUA Platinum MasterCard – There’s a lot to love about this piece of plastic with a 0% interest free period for 6 months (then 20.24%), a competitive 1.25 points per dollar on MasterCard and free travel insurance and concierge. $99 annual fee.
10. IMB Platinum MasterCard – Last but not least, have a jolly Christmas with 0% interest for 6 months (then 20.24%), 1.25 points per dollar on MasterCard and flexible redemption options like travel, cashback, gift cards and retail rewards. $99 annual fee.
And remember to follow the golden rules of credit card usage:
1. Establish a budget. Before heading to the local mall for your Christmas shop or jet-setting overseas on a wicked holiday, take the time to set a realistic budget and stick to it.
2. Set up automatic repayments. While you won’t be paying interest on purchases, you still have to make at least the minimum monthly repayments, so set up automatic repayments to make it a no brainer.
3. Pay your balance off within the purchase rate period. Remember that generous 0% interest rate won’t last forever, so make sure you pay off your debt in full before the interest free period comes to an end, to avoid the slap of the high revert rate.
4. Stooze the right way. Stoozing can be a thrifty way to take advantage of an interest free credit card offer, by making the minimum monthly repayments and putting additional funds into a high interest savings account during the interest free period. For example, if your credit card balance is $1,000 and you make a minimum monthly repayment of $50, then you would put $950 into your savings account earning you interest and making you cold hard cash. At the end of the intro period transfer the money out of the savings account and pay off the credit card balance.