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Five of the best credit cards to use this Christmas

written by Naomi_Richardson
21.12.09 Posted in Finance 0 0

We can resist anything but temptation to paraphrase Oscar Wilde. Despite the best laid plans and your own personal cutbacks (you've taken the office beer-up over buying something new to wear to it), you're still a bit short on cash to tide you over the yuletide period. The Visa and Mastercard have been tucked away

You can still use your card this ChristmasYou can still use your card this Christmas


...safely in your wallet along with an increasingly large number of till receipts. They've been unused for ages but now in a rush of mulled wine to the head, out they come.

Ok, so it's always difficult to avoid using the ol' plastic come Christmas. We're not saying no way but we are saying which way. As in, which is the best way to spend on your credit card and which are the best cards to use?

Well there are a couple of cards out there that won't leave you with a terrible financial hangover come January. The AIB Click Visa card, with a typical APR of 8.5pc is hard to beat - that's 8.5pc all year round. There is no special introductory rate of 0pc but this could be the card to transfer your balances to and stick with afterwards since the 8.5pc rate stays the same. You get up to 56 days free credit, free personal accident travel insurance and secure internet shopping (verified by Visa). The winner here is the 8.5pc APR - there won't be a nasty surprise jump to 17.9pc six or 12 months down the line - so like we said, one to transfer your balance to and keep for future use. (Just remember to pay off your balance or as much as you can afford every month).

Speaking of 0pc, then have a look at Bank of Ireland's Clear card. There is an introductory rate of 0pc on balance transfers and after that a rate of 9.5pc APR applies. Or you could give the bank's two-in-one credit card a go either. This gives you the option of 0pc on balance transfers or 0pc on purchases. You decide what it is you need more. Again this special rate lasts for six months only but that might just be enough time to get your act together. You have up to 56 days free credit but remember to set up a direct debit if you do plan to make any purchases on this card since missing a payment could mean bye bye 0pc interest rate.

Why not give the Tesco Swirl Card a whirl? There's a 0pc balance transfer on this card for six months too. But be aware a 14.9pc rate applies after six months - so this is a good card to transfer your balance to and carefully file away without using it until the six months are up. On the plus side, if you do decide to spend on it, there is also 0pc on your Tesco purchases and you collect clubcard points every time you use your card anywhere else. But remember when that 14.9pc rate kicks in.
Like most credit card issuers, Tesco also offers Tesco Active Monitoring. If its fraudsafe crew become suspicious that someone is using your card details without your knowledge, Tesco will call you as soon as possible on the contact numbers supplied by you. If your card is stolen, or even lost while you're abroad, it will get you a free replacement as soon as possible (normally within 48 hours). You'll also collect one point for every €2 you spend anywhere you use your card in over 21 million Visa locations worldwide. At the end of each quarter Tesco sends you clubcard vouchers for the points you've collected in-store and the extra points you've collected when you've used your clubcard credit card.

Sticking with 0pc credit cards - the EBS is definitely a good one to look at - 0pc on balance transfers and an APR of 10.9pc after that. There's 58 days interest free on purchases when you clear your balance in full and no liability for fraudulent use (but we're pretty sure that using your card to pay for a round of drinks at the local boozer when you are three sheets to the wind and can't remember doing it the next day does not fall into that category). You do have to be a member of the EBS to qualify for the card but savings or a mortgage of more than €625 is enough to keep EBS happy. A point to remember, MBNA underwrites the EBS card so make sure to pay your bill on time or you might find the terms and conditions change, though that goes for all credit card issuers. Again setting up a direct debit is one way to make sure you pay the bill on time.

One more for the road? The AIB Platinum Visa - offers an introductory offer of 3.9pc on balance transfers for 12 months - but only from store cards or other non-AIB credit cards. After that the rate reverts back to a typical APR of 11.5pc. It also offers some personal cover while you are travelling - you, your partner and children are covered for up to €191,000 should you be injured while using licensed transport, provided at least 50pc of the fares have been charged to your AIB credit card. It also offers a reward scheme - a special offer of 0.5pc cash back, on purchase spends over €5,000 (refunds excluded) (maximum €50,000) in a 12 month period. The cash back awards are calculated on a monthly basis and credited to your account on the statement date each month.

Even if you have given in to temptation, you can still redeem yourself in January but transferring your debt from one card to another.

Compare more credit cards here

Naomi_Richardson

Naomi Richardson lives in Meath with her family close to an UNESCO world heritage site. This is great for tourism but little else. When she's not cracking the editorial whip she enjoys eating chocolate and will keep doing so until her metabolism packs in.

Naomi_Richardson
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