What types of seasonal credit card deals are on offer?
While credit card companies have introductory deals throughout the year, these offers are intermittent and can change at any time. They are often shaped by consumer habits and trends, so when it comes to Christmas, it follows that the promotions will trend towards spending. As such, there are two main types of credit card offers that companies focus on during this time: 0% purchase offers and bonus points offers.
Compare Card Offers with 0% Purchase Rates
Rates last updated October 28th, 2016.
- Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard
New offer of 0% for 15 months on purchases, which is valid until 31 December 2016.
October 5th, 2016
- ANZ Low Rate Platinum Credit Card
A new offer of $250 Back and 0% p.a. for the first 6 months on purchases.
October 12th, 2016
- ANZ Low Rate
A new offer of $100 Back and 0% p.a. for the first 6 months on purchases.
October 12th, 2016
Credit cards with 0% purchase rates
A 0% purchase credit card offer lets you spend money on purchases without having to pay interest on your credit card for the length of the promotional period. This period ranges from 3 to 12 months, with some cards offering as much as 15 months interest-free.
At the end of this period, the interest rate then reverts to the card’s regular rate, which will be much higher. Another thing to note is that while purchases enjoy the 0% interest rate, ATM cash advances or cash-equivalent transactions (e.g. buying traveller’s cheques, or gambling) are not eligible for either the interest-free rate or interest-free period. 0% purchase rate credit cards can also come with no annual fees, or with frequent flyer program benefits, so you should shop and compare.
How much you can save: If you spend $1,000 at Christmas this year and plan to pay it off over 12 months, you could save $170 shopping on a 0% interest credit card when compared to a card with a regular standard variable interest rate of 17%. Do note that this is not including any card annual fees or other charges.
Bonus points offers
This type of sign-up bonus credit card gives you the chance to get hundreds or even thousands of extra reward points when you get a new card. These deals usually require that you spend a minimum amount in the initial period to enjoy the perks. For example, an offer could provide 10,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in the first month.
Since you’re planning on using a credit card around Christmas, this could be an easy way to meet the eligibility requirement for extra points. Some of these bonus points offers are so large that you get enough points to redeem flights. For instance, when you sign up for ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum, you can get @cc_bonus_points_signup,numeric@ Qantas Points after your first eligible purchase is made within 3 months of card approval.. That’s enough to redeem an Economy Classic Flight Reward return trip from Sydney to Denpasar (Bali) on Jetstar, which costs 40,000 points.
How much you can save: While there is no fixed dollar value for reward points, these sign-up bonuses can provide hundreds of dollars of value in rewards. In the case of the ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum example above, if you wanted to fly from Sydney to Bali in January 2017, a Jetstar flight could cost anywhere from $643 to $1,143 (based on booking information from 21 September 2016).
Other credit card offers
- Cashback offers. Cashback credit cards give you rewards in terms of money back in your own pocket. You can usually get cash back at the end of a period (a percentage of your expenditure) or convert your rewards points into cash instead of goods, but sometimes the promotional deal can even give you cashback right at the start. For example, you may be offered $200 back when you spend $500 in the first 3 months. A lot of these deals are further sweetened with 0% interest rates and/or $0 annual fees.
- Purchase rate and balance transfer offers. 0% balance transfers and 0% purchases credit cards are ideal for people already carrying debt who plan on using a credit card for more spending. With these cards, you can enjoy an interest-free period on your balance transfer while still spending on the card and not incurring new purchase interest. This is usually not possible with regular cards because the interest-free purchase period is often subject to the condition that your balance is not outstanding. Just remember to pay off the balance before the end of the promotional period to avoid interest charges.
- Balance transfer offers. Balance transfer credit cards can be very helpful for people who are trying to get out of debt, since they let you make debt repayments over an interest-free period without having to worry about mounting costs. While these deals are not typically Christmastime deals, it’s worth looking at what’s out there earlier if you’re considering moving existing credit card debt to a new account with low or 0% interest after the holiday season.
Other factors to consider
Here are some points to consider before choosing a credit card for your Christmas spending spree:
- Promotional period. It is important to note that the promotion usually only applies during the introductory period. After that, the interest rate will revert to a higher standard rate, points will be earned at a standard rate per $1 spent and any reduced or waived annual fee deals will not apply. This basically means your costs for the card will go up.
- Offer end date. This refers to the deadline for applying for a card that has an introductory offer. The offer usually ends by a stipulated date and you may want to catch it before that day. For example, a card may offer 0% interest on purchases for 6 months if you apply by 31 December.
- Eligibility requirements. These are pretty standard across all credit cards and include conditions such as a minimum 18 years of age, Australian citizen or permanent resident, and a good or excellent credit score. However, different cards have different minimum income requirements, and you should know these requirements before applying for a credit card.
- Eligible purchases.The 0% purchase rate is only applicable to “eligible purchases”, a term you should be clear about. This usually applies to transactions including dining and entertainment, flights and accommodation, products and services, but sometimes doesn’t include your utility bills. It also doesn’t usually include cash items or balance transfers.
- Annual fee. Some credit cards offer competitive frequent flyer points bonuses, high reward earn rates and low interest fees, but charge proportionately (or disproportionately) high annual fees for them. It is good practice to do the sums and determine if the fees for a card are worth the perks, and consider if those are perks you’ll even use in the first place.
- Points value. Getting a free return flight for simply signing up for a card and paying with plastic almost sounds too good to be true, and sometimes it really is. Sometimes you’re paying a high annual fee or high interest rates for those points. Remember to do your research about rewards programs, consider the redemption options and decide if you will earn enough points for the card to be worth it when other costs are considered.
- Other features. Some credit cards offer other complimentary extras and perks. For example, if you travel frequently, you may want to look for a card that gives you complimentary travel insurance and low or 0% foreign transaction rates. Some cards offer purchase protection or extended warranties on your purchases, which might also appeal to you, while others have concierge services.
In general, when choosing a new credit card around Christmas, you should do your research and compare your options carefully. We also advise that you give long-term considerations more weight than immediate benefits and bonuses, since your credit card should be one that works for you over Christmas and beyond.Back to top