Best credit cards for Christmas shopping 2013

Best credit cards for Christmas shopping 2014

What is the best credit card for Christmas shopping in 2014? Read our Christmas savings guide to learn more

Christmas can often be the most expensive time of year with families spending hundreds, if not thousands, on gifts and food, not to mention travel, decorations and ensuring the festivities run smoothly.

Compare credit cards with uSwitch

Compare all sorts of credit cards from 0% cards to rewards cards.

Compare credit cards

Our guide gives a rundown of the best balance transfer credit cards, cashback credit cards and 0% credit cards to help ease the financial strain of the holiday season.

Before applying for a credit card to help with the Christmas spending, it’s a good idea to assess your circumstances and figure out what you hope to do.

Cashback credit cards for Christmas

If you’ve got a good credit rating and you’re able to pay off your balance on time every month, then it’s worth getting a cashback credit card for Christmas.

The spending at Christmas is usually much higher than during other times of the year, so if you are going to be making big purchases, you may as well pick up some cash in return.

Some of the best introductory cashback credit card offers last for around three months, which can be an ideal time frame for doing your Christmas shopping and making the most of the January sales.

CardCashbackDetailsFee
American Express Cashback card
American Express
5%5% cashback for 3 months (up to £125)

Then 1.25% cashback

2.5% cashback spending over £10,001
£25 Apply
Santander 123 Cashback Credit Card
Santander
3%3% cashback (petrol, National Rail, TFL)

2% cashback at major department stores

1% cashback at major supermarkets

£24 Apply
Aqua Reward MasterCard
Aqua
0.5%0.5% cashback

Suitable for those with bad credit history

Unlimited access to your credit report

FreeApply

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card

This card offers 5% cashback on all purchases in the first three months. Although this is capped at £100, you can continue to earn cashback at a rate of 0.5% up to 1.25% after the introductory period.

Santander 123 Cashback Credit Card

You get 1% cashback at all major supermarkets, 2% cashback at all major department stores and 3% cashback at all major petrol stations and on public transport tickets (National Rail and Transport for London).

Aqua Reward MasterCard

This is for people who have had bad credit in the past, that also rewards them with 0.5% cashback on all purchases. On top of this, this credit card offers free credit reports and help to rebuild your credit.

0% purchase credit cards for Christmas

Cashback credit cards are great if you can afford to pay off the balance at the end of each month.

For those who can’t afford to do that, but still have a good credit history, 0% credit cards can be a better option.

If you are planning big purchases for Christmas but would like the flexibility of being able to pay it off over a longer period, then there are some 0% credit cards with interest-free periods spanning up to 18 months.

Card0% periodDetailsReverts to
Tesco Bank 19 month Clubcard

Tesco



19 months19 months 0% on purchases

3 months 0% balance transfers (2.9% fee)

Clubcard points
18.9%Apply
Barclaycard Initial Credit Card

Barclaycard

3 monthsImprove your credit rating

Possibility to reduce your APR

3 months 0% on purchases


34.9%Apply

Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card for Purchases

This card gives customers 0% interest on purchases for 18 months. With the right planning you can do all of your Christmas shopping in the first month and give yourself nearly a year and a half to pay it back. On top of this, you can build up Tesco points from all of your purchases (1 Tesco Clubcard point for every £4 spent in any shop).

Barclaycard Initial

This is a 0% credit card for people with bad credit, but not those who’ve been declared bankrupt in the past 6 years or those with multiple County Court Judgements). With this credit card you get zero interest on purchases for the first three months while also building your credit rating.

Consolidating Christmas debt with a credit card

The best balance transfer credit card offers can really help you manage your post-Christmas credit card debt.

It’s safe to say that it’s best to avoid going into the red, but the reality is that many people will have amassed debt over the Christmas period. Balance transfer credit cards, for a fee, will allow you to move your debt to a 0% credit card, allowing you to pay it off over a period up to 30 months.

CardBalance transferDetailsTransfer fee
Barclaycard Platinum 34 Month Balance Transfer Visa
Barclaycard
34 months 34 month 0% balance transfers

2.99% balance transfer fee

6 month 0% on purchases
2.99%Apply
Tesco Balance Transfer Clubcard Credit Card
Tesco


25 months25 month 0% balance transfers

Decision in 60 seconds

Clubcard points
1.99%Apply

Barclaycard Platinum with 34 Months Balance Transfer

This is the longest 0% balance transfer credit card and has a fee of 2.99% (initially 3.5% but this will be refunded if you follow the basic terms and conditions). After the 34 months is over you’ll pay 18.9% interest on the balance.

Tesco balance transfer - no transfer fee

The Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card with no transfer fee is one of the cheapest ways of deferring paying back your debt. You pay nothing to transfer your balance and you have 12 months to pay back the balance before an interest rate of 18.9% is applied.

Alternatives to credit cards

Personal loans can often be a cheaper long-term option for borrowing larger amounts, if you’re planning something more expensive this Christmas. However, the monthly repayments will be fixed, unlike the flexible size of credit card repayments, so make sure you can meet these.

Sainsbury’s have led the way by offering the largest ever personal loan of £35,000 for 6.9% interest, but the cheapest loans for smaller amounts up to £10,000 are currently being offered by Zopa, with typical APRs of 3.9%.

Authorised overdrafts are typically the cheapest and least hassle way to borrow smaller amounts and allow for you to withdraw cash rather than give you purchase credit, so offer  more versatile way to borrow.

Nationwide offers an interest free overdraft for 12 months and First Direct offer a £250 interest free overdraft in perpetuity.

Read more…