This is why you should be using your credit card for Christmas shopping

Kelly Emmerton

Wednesday 24 October 2018

We all know that cashing in your rewards point stash is a great way to keep Christmas costs down - but did you know there’s actually a few really good reasons why you should try to use your credit card for your Christmas spending as well?

This is why you should be using your credit card for Christmas shopping

Here's why this silly season, you’d be smart to use plastic at the checkout.

Extended warranty, purchase protection and price guarantee

If you’re planning to buy a sleigh-full of Christmas gifts for friends and family this year, then there are a few handy credit card perks to keep in mind which come standard with most plastic these days.

Your card might come with extended warranty on purchases, which is generally another 12 months on top of the usual warranty - great if you’re buying big ticket electronics. Purchase protection is also super handy for if an item you’ve bought is lost, stolen or damaged after you buy it. Just keep in mind the fine print - for example this may only cover purchases made in the last 90 days.

And while you might try your best to snag the lowest price on all your Christmas shopping, no one’s perfect. So if you’ve just gone ahead and bought that new thermomix for your mum and then find it $200 cheaper in the next shop, the good news is many credit cards come with a price guarantee, which means your credit card provider will reimburse you the difference. Again, keep in mind that there may be fine print to contend with - for example, the difference between what you paid and the cheaper price might need to be at least $75.

Credit card sign up bonus points

One of the best ways to jumpstart your rewards points stash is to score a bonus points offer. The catch is that these offers usually come with a minimum spend requirement that can sometimes be tricky to meet if you’re not usually a big spender.

That’s why the Christmas shop - often one of the biggest splurges of the year - is the perfect time to sign up for a new credit card, knock out that minimum spend and collect your stack of bonus points.

Complimentary travel insurance and other travel perks

Whether you’re flying overseas for a Christmas holiday or you’re an expat heading home for the holidays, don’t forget to take advantage of all the travel perks offered by your credit card.

Lots of premium cards come with complimentary travel insurance these days - just remember to check what the requirements are for activating cover. Sometimes you need to buy your flights or a certain amount of prepaid travel expenses on your credit card.

High end credit cards also often offer perks like free flights, rental car insurance and airport lounge passes, so be sure to check what your plastic is packing to make your trip just a little more festive.

How to use your credit card responsibly over Christmas

Don’t get caught paying interest. While you’re out there flashing your plastic at the checkout, heaping up rewards points and reaping other benefits that come with a credit card, don’t forget to keep an eye on your spending and make sure you’re not overdoing it. Only spend as much as you know you can pay off within the interest free days on your card and don’t let your Christmas spending balance linger into the new year.

Start with the right card for you. One of the key rules for getting the most value out of your credit card spend is using the right type of plastic. If you’re opting for a rewards card, check out our Rewards Revealer to find a good match for you - after all, if you never travel, what’s the use in a Frequent Flyer card? If you do tend to card a balance from month to month, then a low rate card might be a better option, and don’t worry, many still come with perks like purchase protection and extended warranty.

So what are you waiting for? There’s just 62 days left until Christmas, so if you need a new piece of plastic in order to cash in on all these perks, head over to find your perfect credit card match today.

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