Putting Christmas Expenses on Plastic? 12 Dos and Don’ts of Using Credit Cards

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Christmas costs can add up soon – meaning it’s a time of year when some people apply for their credit cards or re-apply for credit, to make spending more manageable.

Used wisely, credit cards can be a convenient way to pay, but there are also pitfalls to avoid.

Here are some Dos and Don’ts of MoneySuperMarket (moneysupermarket.com) to get the most out of credit cards….

1. USE plastic to improve your credit rating Responsible use of a credit card can help show that you are a responsible borrower.

People with low scores may want to use credit cards to improve their score. Those who use these cards responsibly could see their credit scores improve in four to six months, which could help them qualify for better deals.

2. Pay off what you owe in full each month. If you don’t pay off your balance in full, interest may start to accrue.

By paying off your balance each month, you can ignore the monthly interest rate charged.

3. BE CAREFUL of Interest-Free Offers Some cards will offer 0% on purchases for a specific period, or 0% on unpaid balances transferred from elsewhere.

Balance transfer agreements can keep you from paying expensive interest elsewhere – but keep balance transfer fees in mind.

4. MAKE an automatic debit to reimburse your card. With Christmas being a busy time, it can be easy to forget that a credit card payment is due.

To avoid missing a payment – which could affect your credit rating and incur additional charges – set up a direct debit to pay off either the entire balance or at least the minimum amount each month.

5. USE Cards to Spread the Cost of a Big Purchase If you have a big purchase coming up, a 0% purchase credit card offer can be a good way to spread the cost. Just make sure you’ve paid it off before the interest-free period is over.

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6. Watch out for cash back and rewards Cashback credit cards reimburse you as a percentage of your spending, while reward cards can offer perks like airline miles or points with supermarkets, retailers and supermarkets. travel agencies.

Depending on the type of card you choose, your daily expenses could help fund your next vacation or Christmas groceries.

7. Don’t Forget the Fine Print This might not be the most exciting read, but review the terms of any credit card you are considering. Learn about all fees and rates, and note when introductory offers end – to avoid paying interest on your balance.

Not reading the full terms can lead to unpleasant surprises, such as fees for withdrawing money or using your card abroad.

8. DON’T spend without a repayment plan A plan will make it easier to keep track of how much you need to pay to get out of debt within a certain period of time. If your balance goes up, it might be worth it to see what expenses you could cut.

9. DO NOT Maximize Your Limit MoneySuperMarket generally suggests trying to use no more than 25% of available credit. So, for example, if someone can borrow £ 2,000 on their card, try not to use more than £ 500 at a time.

10. DON’T Make Multiple Applications Quickly Whenever you do a complete credit application, a “deep research” will be reported on your credit score. If you are refused, it can have a negative impact.

It is possible to do some “soft” preliminary research that will have no impact. MoneySuperMarket and other websites have eligibility checkers.

11. Remember to Monitor Your Credit Score Regularly If you think a credit card is right for you, knowing your credit score is helpful as it will likely affect the type of cards you use. can have.

12. REMEMBER your consumer rights Credit cards can give people additional rights if something goes wrong with a purchase.

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act makes credit card companies jointly liable with retailers for goods and services costing between £ 100 and £ 30,000. Remember that the card issuing company remains responsible even if you have only paid a partial deposit on your card.


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