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Brits should take advantage of rewards for spending on plastic this Christmas

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19/11/2012
Brits are still missing out on the extra rewards to be had from putting the festive period on plastic as few are signed up to a cashback or rewards credit card.

According to MoneySupermarket, one in 10 people surveyed will use a credit card to fund the Christmas period but few will get extra ‘bang for their buck’ on the spending.

MoneySupermarket says that getting the right credit card is essential so that consumers know how to use the credit card to fully take advantage and that getting the right card is often dauting.

There are a vast range of incentives on offer, including cash back, air miles and loyalty club points. |The introductory zero per cent APR periods now on offer either on balance transfers or purchases from many providers also help to make the process more confusing.

Customers need to consider how often they will use their card, and which type of reward will be most useful to them.

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySupermarket.com, said: “Every reward or cashback card offers cardholders something different.

“As such, anyone looking to use one of these cards needs to work out what sort of rewards suit their personal circumstances and shop around for the best deal.

“For a frequent flier, this might be a product that offers them air miles towards their next trip, whereas people who are planning to use their card in the shops might be better off with a card that gives them money off their next purchase.

“It is essential anyone thinking about taking out a reward card, considers how and where they are likely to use the card before applying.

“Many schemes are tied in to certain retailers and purchase types, and if you don’t use them regularly in the right place your card may not provide such a good deal after all.”

The comparison site states that a cashback or reward card will bring extra benefits to those spending on their cards, effectively receiving a discount on their purchases.

For example, Barclaycard’s Cashback Credit Card offers up to 6 per cent cashback on all spending for the first three months up to a maximum of £120.

 

The card doesn’t have any introductory periods so is only suitable for those who will pay off the balance in full each month.

Alternatively, The M&S Credit Card offers 0 per cent on purchases for the first 15 months, and offers 1 point for every £1 spent on the card in M&S stores, with 100 points being worth £1 in M&S vouchers. Spending elsewhere earns 1 point for every £2 spent. 

Mountford added: “Anyone thinking about taking out a reward card needs to be disciplined and ensure they are paying off the full balance each month, ideally by a direct debit, to avoid getting stung by interest charges.

“If you do pay off your balance each month, then interest rates are of little relevance to you.

“However, if you intend not to repay your debt in full each month then you should avoid reward cards and opt for a card with a lower interest rate instead.

“If you are looking to get a new card for your Christmas spending, and know you’ll be able to pay off your balance each month, then you need to be quick as time is running out in order to receive the card in time.”

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