Tuesday, 03 November 2015
Posted by Rebeccah Elley
Are you planning on paying for the cost of Christmas with the current plastic in your pocket? Before you do any major spending we recommend checking what the interest rate is. If the average credit card rate of 17.43% is anything to go by, chances are your credit card has a sky high rate attached too.
Our research shows last December Australians racked up a mammoth $27 billion on their credit cards, and the amount accruing interest was even higher at $33 billion.
The good news is you can get through the Christmas period free of interest by taking up one of the 0% credit card offers available now. With 32 cards currently offering a 0% intro deal, you’re bound to find one that ticks the boxes for you.
To help you choose your spending match for Christmas 2015, here’s a look at 5 of the top interest free offers available now:
1. NAB Premium Card - 0% intro rate for 15 months then 19.74%, $90 annual fee, complimentary travel insurance, extended warranty and purchase protection.
2. Coles Low Rate MasterCard - 0% intro rate for 15 months then 12.99%, $49 annual fee, earn 1 flybuy point for every $2 spent at Coles supermarkets.
3. St.George Vertigo - 0% intro rate for 3 months then 13.24%, $55 annual fee, 55 interest free days.
4. Virgin Money Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% intro rate for 12 months then 20.74%, $129 annual fee, earn 1 Velocity point for every $1 spent (up to $1500 a month) and then 1 point for every $2 spent.
5. Citibank Clear Platinum - 0% intro rate for 9 months then 13.99%, $49 in the first year ($99 every year after), free bottle of award winning wine every time you dine in a partner restaurant.
Of course, those are only 5 of 32 interest free offers. To compare more 0% deals, head on over to our interest free credit cards hub.
- Decide on a budget. When you receive that shiny new plastic in the mail you might be tempted to splash out and spoil your loved ones with new gadgets and toys. But remember you’ll have to pay back every cent of what you spend. So before you hit the shops decide on an amount you will spend on each person and stick to it.
- Steer clear of cash withdrawals. This rule applies to all credit cards, as an ATM withdrawal on a credit card will incur the cash advance rate not the 0% intro rate. Scarier than the Christmas grinch, our database shows the cash advance rate is on average 19.65%.
- Always make the minimum repayment. While you don’t need to pay the balance in full during the 0% period, you will need to pay the minimum payment amount each month to continue enjoying interest free spending and avoid being slapped with a late payment fee.
- Pay the balance in full before the 0% intro period ends. The reason many Aussie cardholders get into debt on an interest free card is they can’t afford to pay off the balance in full before the card’s interest free period ends. So don’t be left with a Christmas debt that lasts until this time next year, instead make sure you have the funds to pay the balance back in full.