Top Tips Could Save Canadian Consumers Hundreds This Holiday Season
TORONTO, November 22, 2010… RateSupermarket.ca, Canadian consumers’ one-stop-site to quickly and easily compare over 500 mortgage rates from the country’s top providers, also compares 40+ credit cards based on interest, rewards, fees and popularity.
As experts in credit card conundrums and in order to rescue Canadian Consumers from a Credit Card Crunch, RateSupermarket.ca has posted their list of top credit card tips to save money before, during and after the holidays:
1. Get old debts under control
Question: What’s worse than paying interest charges on this year’s Christmas gifts?
Answer: Still paying interest charges on last year’s Christmas gifts!
If you have a large outstanding balance on your credit card that you want to get under control, look into transferring the balance to a card that offers a low introductory rate on balance transfers, i.e. a 0% balance transfer card.
2. Make reward points work for you
If you’re good with a budget, set aside a certain amount of cash for your purchases each month, then charge that amount on your card and pay off the full balance before the due date. Set up an automatic payment through your bank if you’re worried about forgetting. Rack up the reward points without paying any interest. You may be able to use the points for holiday travel or even next year’s Christmas gifts.
3. Pay before it’s due
Always pay the balance or the interest owing a few days before it is due. That way, if the due date falls on a Sunday or holiday, you don’t have to worry about the payment clearing late and getting charged extra fees.
4. Don’t just pay the minimum
If you only pay the minimum interest owing then it could take you ages just to pay off a $500 balance and cost you loads in interest. Pay more than the minimum to decrease the balance owing quicker.
5. Avoid the impulse to take out cash on your card
Cards often charge a higher interest rate on cash advances. If you need extra cash, look into a line of credit or a small loan through your bank instead. Interest charged on cash advances is typically in the area of 19-22%, but if you have a good credit history, you might be able to get a line of credit through your bank for as low Prime + 1% (Prime currently sits at 3% for most banks).
6. Eliminate unnecessary interest charges
Being lazy isn’t stupid, paying interest because you’re lazy is. If you regularly forget to pay your credit card balance each month and get stuck with painful interest charges, take a look at how online banking can help save you some stress. You can easily set up an automatic payment from your bank account to your credit card each month, so you don’t get stuck with those interest fees.
7. Look at your bill
Make sure you actually bought what you’re being charged for. Also, pay attention to any admin or extra fees such as credit card insurance. Often you get services free for the first few months and then companies charge for them. Don’t get caught paying for something that you don’t use or want.
8. Ask for a lower rate
If you’ve built up a good credit history with your current card provider, there is no harm in calling the card company to ask for a lower interest rate. You may need to threaten to cancel the card before they take action, but it may be worth it to lower your interest before heading into the holiday season.
About RateSupermarket.ca (www.ratesupermarket.ca)
RateSupermarket.ca is an independent, impartial resource that is not affiliated with any lender, broker or insurer. It is the largest independent resource in Canada that allows visitors to compare the whole mortgage market in the country. RateSupermarket.ca also compares insurance products, credit cards and GIC rates.