What are the best credit cards for Christmas shopping? We look at cards that reward you for spending or have an interest free period.
While there’s no such thing as a ‘best’ credit card – you should think about how you spend and consider your personal circumstances – with the right credit card you could enjoy:
- Cashback – Get back a percentage of your spending as cash
- 0% interest – Pay no interest on your purchases for over two years
- Retail rewards – Earn vouchers and discounts at supermarkets
Don’t forget it typically takes two weeks to get a credit card. So you will need to plan for this if you want one for Christmas shopping.
Cashback cards give you back a percentage of credit card spending as cash, which can be particularly beneficial when making large purchases (like Christmas shopping).
American Express – Highest initial cashback rate
This American Express credit card offers the highest initial rate of cashback – 5%. But this is only for the first three months of your spending and only up to £2,500 (you can get a maximum of £125 cashback).
After this the cashback rate drops to 1.25% on virtually all purchases, but you can get a bonus 2.5% cashback during your ‘card anniversary month’ if you spend more than £10,001 that year.
An annual fee of £25 applies and you need pay off the balance in full each month to avoid being charged an interest rate of 22.9%
RBS and NatWest – Extra cashback for Christmas
RBS and NatWest are offering extra rewards until 31 December 2015. They don’t offer cashback as such, but ‘MyRewards’ points that can be exchanged to their equivalent in cash (1 point = £1).
RBS offer 3% on all your supermarket shopping, 0.5% at supermarket petrol stations and 1% on all contactless purchases until 31 December 2015.
After Christmas the card reverts to paying 1% on all supermarket spending and 0.5% on all other purchases.
There is a £24 annual fee and any balances not paid off before the end of the month will face a 12.9% interest charge.
NatWest as a subsidiary of RBS offer the exact same card, but provide their own customer service.
With a 0% purchase card you could avoid paying interest on your card spending for over two years.
This can be a good way to spread the cost of Christmas, but be careful, you will need to at least meet the minimum monthly repayments or you could lose the 0% offer.
Post Office – Longest 0% period
Post Office’s Matched Credit Card has the markets longest 0% interest purchase period of 27 months. If you want to transfer over your existing card balance this credit card also gives you 16 months 0% on balance transfers (a 2.98% transfer fee applies).
You can also add three extra cardholders at no cost, giving you four plastic cards with four names tied to the one account.
Aqua – 0% purchases on a credit builder card
If you have a limited credit history but still want to enjoy interest free spending, this Aqua credit building card offers 0% on purchases for the first 6 months.
It also gives you free access to your credit report (access to your full credit report and score costs around £15 a month). You will start off with a relatively low credit limit of £250-£1,200, but you can increase this later.
Getting a rewards credit card that gives you loyalty points from a major supermarket or retailer can help take the sting out of doing the ‘big-shop’ to stock up on food for Christmas.
This card gives you 1000 Tesco Clubcard points if you make a purchase or transfer a balance within two months of account opening. You can then earn five Clubcard points for every £4 you spend at Tesco and one Clubcard point for every £8 spent elsewhere.
According to Tesco, 500 Clubcard points equates to £5, but you can quadruple this through their ‘Boost’ scheme.
If you earn at least 150 points, every three months Tesco sends you vouchers to spend in-store or online.
In addition to the Clubcard points this card offers 17 months 0% on purchases and 3 months 0% on balance transfers (but there is 2.9% transfer fee).
This card from high street favourites Marks and Spencer (M&S) lets you earn one M&S reward point as for every pound spent instore and 0.5 points per £1 spent elsewhere.
They also offer a 500 M&S points voucher worth £5. M&S state that 100 points is equivalent to £1 in vouchers that you can spend in store.
On top of the points, you can enjoy 19 months 0% interest on your purchases as well as 15 months 0% on balance transfers (a 2.9% transfer fee applies).
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