A Credit Card Can Sing A Christmas Carol
“Christmas Time, Mistletoe and Wine” How many times have you heard this so far and its only November? A few I’ll bet, but with Christmas seemingly becoming earlier to us each year, we will no doubt feel the need to get ahead with our present and food buying. This though only leads to us spending more than we should. This is because with the shops full of decorations and Christmas tunes, the stores are dictating to us that we have to buy our gifts now, which will mean by the time December has come and gone. We would have spent more over the 2-month period that the shops have been full of Christmas cheer.
This is not all bah! Humbug.
Personally for the occasion alone and seeing the kids faces when they open their presents on Christmas morning, as Christmas is a special time of year that for the day makes all the preparation and spending all worth while.
But that doesn’t mean that it comes without cost and in some cases more of a cost than folk can ill afford. For all of its pomp and occasion, Christmas can come at a heavy price to bear for a lot of people who, rather than let their children and family down, will turn to the promise of riches that credit cards and store cards offer.
Don’t get me wrong, credit cards and even store cards, have their uses. This is only true though, if you only use them to your advantage, to get the best out of them. If you are thinking of taking one or the other, then the only suggestion that I can make is to plump for the credit card, over the store card.
We all want to enjoy this time of year, so by getting all that you want to do this and in doing so, save cash and not to fall heavily into debt, will make the festivities all the more enjoyable. So by giving you a few advantages and disadvantages, which credit cards and store cards entail, will hopefully go a long way on helping you make the right decisions.
Firstly the advantages of credit cards:
• More favourable interest rates than a store card.
• Many offers on the market, which are giving you an interest free period.
• Some come with money back schemes that give you a percentage of your expenditure back to you. (Usually between 0.5%- 2%)
• Will protect your gifts, as soon as you have bought them.
• Lets you buy now and pay at a later date, only on what you have spent without incurring any interest charges.
Now the disadvantages:
• Can lead you to spend more than you can afford to pay back, which in turn will lead to the interest being charged to your account.
• They can come with a heavy hit in the pocket, with charges for late payments and going over your credit limit.
Advantages of the store card:
• Can use them as soon as you are accepted for the card.
• Initial discount (normally 10% off you first purchase) will give you a saving straight away.
• Overly high interest rates, which are well above those of a credit card. Some can be as much as 30%.
• Can lead you quickly to debt, if they are not cleared at the end of each month.
• Sold to the customer, by assistants who know absolutely nothing about what they are selling.
Airline Miles Credit Cards - Survey & Comparison
At one time, there were not many airline credit cards available for you to choose from. The first of the airline miles credit cards was the Citi AAdvantage MasterCard, which is still available today. Though this card had plenty to offer, it wasn't necessarily the best airline credit card for everyone.
The Evolution of Airline Credit Cards
Over time, airline miles credit cards began to evolve. Soon after the Citi AAdvantage MasterCard hit the market, the United Airlines Mileage Plus card was offered by through a partnership with United Airlines. Shortly after, Continental Airlines followed suit with the Continental Airlines World MasterCard. These leaders in the airline miles credit card industry started what has become a widespread credit card option for frequent travelers.
Partnering with Airlines
The partnerships formed between credit card companies and airlines put a new face on airline credit cards. Today, there are just as many airline credit cards to choose from as there are airlines. The majority of these airline credit cards pretty much the same, though the subtle nuances can vary from card to card. With all of these cards, the miles you earn are good for use with just the airline named on the card. The only exception to this is if the airline has sister companies. In this case, the miles may be good with the sister airlines as well.
Generic Airline Credit Cards
In addition to the vast number of airline credit cards that are formed in partnership with airlines, there are many generic credit cards. In this case, the word "generic" doesn't stand for off brand or low quality. Rather, these cards allow you to earn airline miles that you can use with any airline of your choice. Usually, these cards work by assigning each airline mile a monetary value, usually 1 or 2 cents per mile. You can then use these miles to purchase a ticket through the credit card company that the company has acquired from the airline at a discounted price.
With generic airline credit cards, you are provided far more freedom in deciding which airline to use. This allows you to select the airline that is running a flight at the time and location that is best for you. It also allows you to take advantage of market fluctuations in ticket prices from one airline to the next.
In addition to the number of miles it takes to earn free travel with airline credit cards, you should consider the additional perks offered. For example, so airline credit cards only provide special discounts for air travel. On the other hand, some cards allow you to redeem your points for other travel related necessities, such as car rentals, cruises, hotel stays, and vacation packages.
You should also pay attention to the special incentives offered by airline miles credit cards. Some allow you to earn bonus miles through certain purchases. For example, you might be able to earn bonus miles with a credit card that has partnered with a specific airline if you make purchases from that airline on the credit card.
In addition to incentives, some airline credit cards provide sign up bonuses. It is fairly common for an airline credit card to offer 5,000 bonus miles after using the card for the first time. The Gold Delta Skymiles Credit Card and American Express Credit Cards offer 10,000 bonus miles. Of course, you need to look out for how many miles it takes to earn a free ticket. The average number of miles needed with airline credit cards is 25,000, but you should always read all of the fine print first before making a decision.