Christmas...it's the most wonderful time of the year, but as a period so synonymous with giving gifts, the festive season can soon add up. To fund this spending, many consumers take out credit cards.
However, it's not all smiles and snowflakes. Problems often arise before people have the chance to say 'ho-ho-ho'.
Here are some of the most common credit card mistakes to avoid this Christmas.
1. Maxing out your credit card
Uncles, grandparents, brothers, parents and the cousin you haven't seen since your sister's wedding - oh, and not forgetting your sister too. When writing your Christmas gift list, it's incredibly easy to get carried away making sure everyone you care about has a special something to unwrap on the big day. To fund this big spending spree, 36 per cent of people rely on their credit card, according to Money Smart.
People must be careful and avoid heading into 'maxing-out territory', especially when it's so easy to lose track of spending during the festive season.
If you max out your credit card during the holiday period you're at risk of large interest payments which may take you over your limit. These incur penalty fees and also negatively affect your credit score.
When writing your list, check it twice (just like Mr Claus himself), make a firm note of how much you're willing to spend on each person and stick to it.
2. Not using the right card for you
Each of BOQ's credit cards are different in what they offer, and therefore will suit different people in different situations.
If you're planning to spend a lot on Christmas but know you're going to have a little trouble paying off your credit card in good time, don't opt for a top tier option. While the chance for rewards is alluring, these charger higher interest rates and can eat into your income. Instead, opt for our Low Rate Visa Credit Card which offers low interest rates on all purchases and a 55-day interest-free period.
However, if you know that you'll be capable of paying down the balance of your spending quickly and are planning to drop large amounts, you may want to make the most of that spending and earn our Q rewards at the same time.
The BOQ Platinum Visa Credit Card has a $0 annual fee in your first year (saving $129 p.a.)*, plus get 1,000 bonus Q Rewards Points every month when you spend $1,000 per month on Eligible Transactions for the first 12 months*.
3. Taking out cash advances unnecessarily
When competing against other Christmas shoppers and the mad rush of foot traffic in local malls, drawing cash out of ATMs using your credit card can provide you with enough parking and coffee money for the day. However, cash advances can be crippling in terms of the interest rate. Quite often these have a higher interest rate than purchases and have no interest free period!
Taking out too many cash advances can hinder your finance plan and cause unwarranted difficulty at a time reserved for happiness. When out and about, ensure you have a stash of coins and cash for smaller purchases and only use your credit card for withdrawing cash from an ATM as a last resort.
If you want to find out more about our various credit card options, head into your local BOQ branch and speak to a member of the team.
*Terms and conditions apply, find out more.
Compare credit cards at BOQ including our low rate credit card and rewards credit cards. View our balance transfer credit card offers.