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How to make the most of your credit card this Christmas

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With the festive season rapidly approaching almost 50 per cent of consumers say they intend to start buying presents early this year to spread the cost, according to American Express research.

Christmas can be an expensive time. A study last year found Britons spent £767 celebrating the festive season. Gift giving came in as the top expenditure, with shoppers spending £424 treating friends and family in 2014.

When it comes to shopping this Christmas, now could be the time to consider using a payment card that offers rewards for your spending. Reward cards enable people to earn benefits such as cashback or loyalty points, and there are different types to suit different lifestyles.

These tips should help you make the most of your credit card this Christmas:

Flying this Christmas?

If you are spending Christmas overseas this year, or are a regular flier, a credit card that rewards you with perks such as Avios points will allow you to earn free flights or upgrades for future travel. These cards often come with benefits that suit frequent travellers, such as airport lounge access.

Shopping for gifts?

For general shopping and gift buying, you could consider a card which enables you to earn points to be spent with a specific retailer.  Another option could be a card that offers cashback.  The latter allows you to earn a percentage of your spend back every time you make a purchase, meaning that you can spend this cashback wherever you choose.

Making the most of every penny?

Consider clubbing together to increase your rewards without having to spend an extra penny. It is often possible to get a supplementary card, on the same account, for a partner or family member. This means your combined spending is taken into account, boosting what you could earn. Also, look out for “Refer a friend” schemes which reward you for recommending your card to others and offer another way of accumulating points.

Maximising introductory offers?

Many credit card providers offer competitive introductory offers for the first few months of having the card, which means that the cashback percentages or reward points could be well above the market average. To make sure you do not miss out, look out for these offers and remember to make the most of them before the introductory rates expire.

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