I was able to catch up with the Globe and Mail’s Dianne Nice last week to discuss our Credit Card Tips that outlined a few key ways to get the most out of your credit cards while you’re shopping this holiday season. You can see the online version here, entitled “Avoid a holiday credit card catastrophe” or in the business section of today’s paper (December 6, 2010) with the title “How to make the most of your holiday credit card purchases”.
Here are the tips from this morning’s article:
- Rack up reward points – if you’re good at budgeting, then choose 1 reward card and use it for all your holiday purchases, pay off the balance when it’s due, and get as many points as you can and maximize the benefits of your rewards credit card
- Don’t be late – make sure you pay your bill by the due date, and if you sometimes forget, consider setting up a direct debit from your bank account
- Don’t just pay the minimum – if you can, otherwise, it will take you ages and cost you quite a bit in interest to pay off your purchases
- Don’t take cash advances – interest charges for taking cash out on your credit cards are very high, consider other alternatives first
- Inspect your bill – reviewing your bill each month only takes a few minutes and can save you money by catching fees and charges that shouldn’t be on there
- Ask for a lower rate – if you have good credit and a positive history with your credit card issuer, it’s possible to negotiate a lower rate on your credit card, as they’ll want to keep you as a customer. You may have to threaten to leave to get your way, but it could save you some money over the holiday period
For more information you can view a complete list of our credit card tips here, and we wish you a happy and interest free holiday shopping season!