Some say that generosity is its own reward, but when it comes to Christmas, it never hurts to earn a little extra. With all the additional spending, the rewards schemes offered by credit cards can make all the difference to your budget – so here’s how to get the most out of those seasonal benefits.
The most precious reward a credit card can give is peace of mind. With some cards offering 0% purchase credit, it’s possible to cover all your Christmas expenses and pay it off over the course of several months, interest free. Better still, all purchases between £100 and £30,000 receive purchase protection. So if you’re confident you can cover your spend before interest starts accumulating, credit cards can be a sensible way to shop.
Of course, another important thing to remember with rewards is that they should be just that – rewarding. The most sensible approach is usually to pick a card that offers rewards that suit your spending habits, rather than tailoring your habits to suit your credit card. If your card is your payment method of choice and you use it regularly, then you’re well suited to cashback schemes. These are ways for credit card providers to share their returns with you, and offer a small percentage of your purchase back as a cash credit. During the festive season, the returns can really mount up.
If you prefer shopping to savings, then investigating reward schemes is the way to go. These award points in proportion to your spend, and can be redeemed for an array of items. Plenty of providers have clear tie-ins with retailers, so you can opt for an outlet of your choice and still keep hold of a reliable credit card.
The British Airways American Express Credit Card (representative 15.9% APR variable) offers Avios air miles in return for your spending, and comes with a range of travel extras, while the Nectar Credit Card (representative 25.0% APR variable) accumulates extra points at Nectar retailers. So it’s easy to decide whether you spend more time in the supermarket or at the airport and choose your reward scheme accordingly.
As well as offering reward points, you can also find discounted deals from some providers. For example, Amex cards come with exclusive special offers for cardmembers. These range from dining deals to high fashion, and these extras are especially valuable around this time of year, when a great gift idea can be priceless. Best of all, they’re available to all cardholders – however much you choose to spend.