Christmas credit card checklist: What’s on your wishlist for Christmas spending?

person online shopping with best credit card for christmas presents surrounded by holiday decorations

It’s the most wonderful time of the year - at least as far as retailers are concerned! 

With an uptick in spending sure to hit soon, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right credit card for the job. 

Though early research suggests that Aussies are, for the most part, looking to cut down on gift spend this Christmas, there’s no avoiding the extra costs that come from festive season.

There’s the presents, sure, but even if you manage to pass up on passing out gifts, you’ve still got travel and parties to think about, with food and alcohol amongst many considerations. This all starts now, with pre-Christmas sales luring you into additional spend.

When spending starts to climb, so do credit card applications. But not all credit cards are created equal, so what makes the best Christmas credit card? That comes down to which point is number one on your Christmas credit card wishlist.

All I want for Christmas is…a credit card with a low interest rate

For the person who: might not make that credit card payment in full this month. Things got out of hand!

Why it’s wishlist-worthy: A low rate credit card means that any balance remaining on your credit card at the end of the month isn’t going to start accruing massive amounts of interest. Compare the average purchase rate of a credit card in the Mozo database (17.12% p.a.) with the lowest purchase rate of a credit card in the Mozo database (7.49% p.a.) - if you are going to end up paying interest, you might be best served by a lower rate that won’t snowball out of control. There are also interest free credit cards with 0% p.a. introductory purchase rates, but keep in mind that these will revert to higher purchase rates after the introductory period.

Some examples we love: Check out some of the 2022 Mozo Experts Choice Award^ winners for low rate credit cards, which have been highlighted by our experts as standouts.

All I want for Christmas is…a credit card with some seriously good rewards points

For the person who: is planning on spending big, and using those points to pay for a gorgeous getaway next year.

Why it’s wishlist-worthy: Sometimes the best reward is an actual reward. With a rewards credit card, that increased Christmas spend is going to come back to you in the form of points you can use for vouchers, flights or other perks. Rewards cards do tend to come with higher fees and purchase rates than other cards, but if you’re strategic in picking the right card and take advantage of extra point promotions, you could find yourself racking up big rewards over the festive season. Just be careful that you aren’t paying for rewards you aren’t using, and that you choose a card that lines up with your needs: don’t go for a card that earns Velocity points if you prefer to fly Qantas, or vice versa.

Some examples we love: The best rewards credit card for you will depend largely on things like what you want to use your rewards for and which rewards points system you prefer. To start your search, the winners of our 2022 Mozo Experts Choice Award^ for rewards credit cards were:

All I want for Christmas is…a credit card that puts cash back in my wallet

For the person who: can’t resist the lure of some sweet, sweet cashback in their pocket. For the couponers, the discount code collectors, the big budgeters!

Why it’s wishlist-worthy: Silly season can leave us feeling like the goofs, pulling at our empty pockets. Earning a bit of cashback? That’s a nice little treat that makes it all a little easier. While certain cards will earn you cashback on all of your spend, other current cashback offers might provide you with cashback on your grocery shopping, or a limited time cashback offer credited to your account. If you stay savvy, you might be able to score yourself a treat.

Some examples we love: Staying savvy when it comes to cashback means keeping an eye on which cards are offering good cashback deals right now. While many cashback offers come and go, there are also cards built around cashback. The 2022 Mozo Experts Choice Awards^ for Cashback Credit Cards went to:

All I want for Christmas is…a credit card that gives back

For the person who: feels bad that Christmas has become way too caught up in consumerism and wants to feel those warm fuzzies.

Why it’s wishlist-worthy: Even though it’s hard to avoid the spending that comes along with this time of year, for many it’s just as important to emphasise community and charity. There’s something nice about knowing your card is doing some good while you’re doing some serious retail damage - whether or not Christmas is on the horizon!

Some examples we love: There’s no easy answer to this one, and no “most ethical” award from credit cards. Switching to more ethical banking options is a complex process, but we do have some tried and true favourites: 

  • Defence Bank Foundation Credit Card - Half of the $45 annual fee goes to the Defence Bank Foundation, supporting the Defence Community Dogs program which rescues abandoned dogs and trains them as support animals for veterans.
  • Community First Credit Union Low Rate Pink Credit Card - Half of the $40 annual fee goes to the McGrath Foundation, funding care nurses for people living with breast cancer. 
  • Gateway Bank Eco Visa Debit Card - As an alternative to a credit card, this debit card is made from plant starch-derived Polylactic Acid (PLA) instead of the usual plastic. Gateway says this takes 65% less energy to produce than conventional cards and produces 68% less greenhouse gases - score!

With the right credit card for you, you’ll be in the best position to take on the silly season. Just try not to go too far over budget - no credit card in the world can help with that!

Keep on top of Buy Now Pay Later purchases this festive season. Meanwhile, stay ahead of sales at the online shopping hub.