Tag Archives: credit card

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Maximise Rewards on Your Credit Cards

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Credit card rewards are, at the very least, extremely nice to have. They can also give a genuine boost to your finances or be that factor that makes you choose one provider over another. But you don’t have to just passively accept the rewards as they come. With a little extra effort, you can maximise the rewards in order to draw the very greatest benefits from your card.

Combining With Separate Offers

Get a little extra reward in the first instance by looking at other offers and types of reward that you can combine with your card. For example, it may be possible to make your application through a cashback website. This will give you cash upon your application being accepted, above and separate from whatever rewards may come with the card. It is possible there may also be special offers for taking out a credit card with the bank you already hold a current or savings account with.

Making the Most of Cashback on Spending

Many cards offer rewards in the form of cashback on spending. Often, this reward is only valid for spending up to a certain value or for a certain time after you first take out the card. It is important, therefore, to make the most of this offer by spending the full value if at all possible, and doing so while the cashback offer is still in effect. If you have any big purchases coming up like car insurance renewal and you were planning to pay cash for them, it can instead be worth putting them on your card in order to get cashback. You can then quickly repay the balance with the cash you were going to use for the purchase, and therefore avoid interest.

Gift Vouchers and Material Gifts

If you are given a gift voucher for a shop you do not normally use, then it might be possible to get more benefit out of it than you would from simply going to the shop specifically to use the voucher. It might be possible to turn the voucher into cash that you can spend wherever you like by selling it to somebody who does shop their regularly. Ideally, you will be able to make a deal with a friend or family member to exchange it for its cash value directly. They lose nothing because they shop there anyway, and you gain flexibility in your spending. However, it may even be worth selling it for slightly less than the credit is worth. For example, if a card comes with a £100 M&S gift voucher and you do not normally shop there, it is likely you could do more with £90 or £95 in cash at your normal shopping destinations than you could with the voucher, and you may well find somebody willing to pay this much. There are also companies that buy your vouchers, but they tend to pay disappointing rates.

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The credit card that offers you the most benefits

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Nowadays, you can receive many things from your credit cards. Such advantages include interest-free periods on balance transfers and purchases, as well as cashback and free of charge withdrawals when you are abroad.

With a good credit rating, you might have two or three credit cards. However, if you wish to carry only one credit card, you need to choose between the best credit cards that are offered on the market. Here we take a closer look at one of those cards.

1Nationwide Select:

This card offers 0% balance transfers, 0% purchases, you receive cashback, as well as free usage abroad. Furthermore, Nationwide has recently reduced the balance transfer fee on its Nationwide Select credit card. The normal deal that you get is 0% interest on balance transfers during the first 26 months after you receive the card, plus a balance transfer fee of 2.4% of the amount you are transferring. However, until the end of March 2014, you can have the same deal but just for a 0.75% fee.

Some of the other benefits you receive with the Select card include a competitive 15 months interest free on purchases, commission-free purchases abroad and 0.5% cashback on all purchases made in pounds. This really can be labeled as the best all-round credit card on the market. However, it is important to note that the Select card is only available to current account customers of Nationwide. Nonetheless, if you decide to open FlexAccount, FlexDirect or the £10 per month FlexPlus, you will still be qualified to apply for the card.

FlexDirect is an account that really deserves more attention. The reason why is because it offers 5% AER on in-credit balances which go up to £2, 500, plus a free-free overdraft for 12 months.

However, if you do not want to open a new account just to receive the Select card, you can still benefit from the cheapest balance transfer offer which is through the Nationwide Visa, which is accessible to everyone. This card comes together with 0% on balance transfers for 26 months, plus the reduced 0.75% fee which is available until the end of the month.  Also, you will get a three months interest-free on purchases. In addition to that, you will be able to build up a commission-free allowance when you spend abroad from the card.

Thus, if you are looking for a card that offers many advantages, it is worth considering Nationwide Select card.

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Cash Back on Your Holiday Shopping

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With the festivities oh Bonfire night and Halloweeen having been out behind us, we are yet to celebrate the biggest one of them all, Christmas! The key question for shoppers however remains one of finance and how much you are willing to spend this year on the daddy of the festive holidays. There are a number of credit cards out in the market which, depending on where you chose to do your Christmas shopping, can offer cashback and rewards of up to 15% which is definitely worth considering.

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The Santander 123 is just one of the latest credit cards to offer cash back, which will give back 1% to its customers on all Amazon online purchases which lasts until the 31st January 2014. The offer also includes a 1% cashback reward when spending money in major supermarkets, as well as 2% cashback when using the card in all big name department stores and 3% cashback on purchases at major petrol stations across the UK and purchases on London underground and National Rail. The promotion is available to both existing and new customers and provides shoppers with a great little treat around the holiday season. However, there are some downsides to the 123 credit card the first of which is the cost it comes at. In order to benefit from the cashback offer you will need to pay a £24 annual fee for the 123 credit card which also charges a 22.8% APR. The good news is that this is now waived to the first year meaning that new and existing customers do not have to pay the charge if they are holders of the account until the 31st December 2013.

Another rewards card scheme which seems innovative has been released by Lloyds. The bank says that it is giving 1000 current account holders who have set up internet banking a refund of purchases worth up to £500 every week. The selection is made randomly and is a great way of saving money around the holidays if you are one of the lucky selected account holders. The cashback scheme is valid on purchases made in retailers such as Homebase, Morrisons, Argos and Ocado with more major stores set to sign up to the scheme in the coming weeks before Christmas. Halifax is also currently offering cashback to its Reward current account holders once again the industry average of up to 15% with its partners including major brands such as Argos and Morrisons.

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Tesco 0% interest card!

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A new credit card has been introduced by Tesco, which allows customers to transfer their debts to this card without any fees and interest for a whole year. 0% interest also allows customers to purchase goods from the store and online within the 12 month period without any interest. Alongside all these features, clubcard points will also be added whenever a purchase is made with the new credit card.

The Tesco Clubcard With No Balance Transfer Fee is rather unique as no other card in the financial market allows 0% and no fee for a whole year. Clubcard points are common with customers who shop regularly at the store, using the credit card will benefit those who have frequent visits to Tescos as every £4 spent on Tesco petrol will allow 5 extra clubcard points as well as one point for every £4 spent elsewhere within Tesco.

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As mentioned, the new card is one of its kind in terms of its features. For customers who want more than 12 months 0% interest, a different package is available which allows 16 months without any interest as well as 9 months 0% purchases for a fee of 2.9%. The new card can seem beneficial for those who wish to transfer their debts onto the card in order to prevent the build-up of debt or to simply slow the growth of interest.

Using this new card can be ideal for those who wish to take advantage of what it offers, what should be noted however is that any payments due should be paid off within the 12 month period, as anything which exceeds the time limit specified at agreement will incur interest charges. The rates of interest are usually quite high for such cards. Missed payments can also affect individual credit scores. Although there are several different cards offering different rates, not all are suitable for everyone, therefore it is best to find a deal which is appropriate for each person’s situation.

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Mis-sold PPI on your Credit Card?

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If you are currently holding a mortgage, car loan, or credit card under your name, there is great chance that you have been mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance.

It was only until recently that the terms and conditions of selling PPI policy’s changed. Originally, PPI was sold at the same time borrowers take out a loan. The function of PPI has always been to protect customers by covering monthly payments in the event that a borrower falls ill or is rendered as unable to work due to injury, disability, or loss of employment.

Unfortunately, most PPI policies did not live up to its guarantee of keeping loan payments current during times of dire need. Personnel from lending institutions failed in explaining the capacity, functions, and full extent of PPI, including the exclusions or exceptions which may render a borrower unfit to get its benefits. For instance, freelance or those who tagged themselves as self-employed or borrowers who suffer from preexisting medical conditions are denied PPI benefits, which in turn resulted in mortgage, car loans, and credit cards defaults not being covered they way they should have been. Obviously, the policies were sold to certain groups of borrowers who were ineligible for cover in the first place.

If you belong to any of these groups, or have noticed some vague terms and conditions under your contract agreement, you are most likely a victim of mis-sold PPI.

Re-check your agreement with a lender. Assess the terms and conditions and if the following words appear in your contract, there is a big chance you have been mis-sold PPI:

–          ASU

–          Loan care

–          Loan protections

–          Payment cover

–          Protection plan

You may or may not find these words on your agreement, but if you think it is likely to be a case of mis-sold PPI verify this by seeking the help of a claims management company such as PPI Claims Advice Line. You will receive the information and help you need in order to get the compensation you deserve for the mis-selling by the banks. Further information on claiming back PPI on credit cards can be found on here.

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Credit card spending can pay for your flights

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Holidays are on the wish list for many, however saving up for one may not be possible for all with mortgages, insurances, bills and other household expenses. Now however, spending money can entitle you to a free holiday. Many reward credit cards now allow customers to earn points totalling up to a free holiday. Although taxes, fees and surcharges are not included in the points, paying a minimum fee would bring a smile to several faces.

Such reward cards are part of the Avios rewards programme, replaced by the former Airmiles and BA Miles. From having just 9,000 Avios, the reward system can pay for a return UK/Western Europe flight. Although a minimum of £30 per person may need to be added on top for other exclusive fees, a holiday may not seem so far off.

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At Lloyds, Duo Avios Reward Credit Cards are available to customers who can earn Avios as they use credit. Customers applying for this will receive two cards, an American Express and a Mastercard. For every £5 spent using the Mastercard, and every £1 spent on the American Express, customers will receive one Avios. Customers spending £500 in the first three months will have a total of 15,000 Avios which is enough to secure a return flight to Western Europe.

The duo reward credit card is available to customers who are aged above 18 and residents of the UK. Customers must be employed and not have any County Court judgements or bankruptcy history within the past 6 years. The cards provided through Lloyds are great for collecting Avios on almost all purchases; spending money abroad allows double Avios!

This brilliant reward system is one not be missed out on. Saving money for a holiday had never been easier. Whether it’s an exotic holiday you are after or something just to get away, the Avios programme caters for all. The amount of Avios will however determine which destination is available.

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Tips to avoid unrewarding credit cards

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Reward credit cards are usually offered to customers with excellent credit histories. The idea behind reward credit cards is to encourage you, as a customer, to spend. This may be spending in general on your credit card, or spending your money with particular business partners your credit provider has a relationship with. Rewards can take the form of cash, gift cards, air miles or even hotel stays.  Reward schemes can be an important factor when choosing one card over another. Savvy consumers, can take advantage of such reward schemes and enjoy the benefits.

Reward credit cards tend to be associated with higher annual percentage interest rates and higher fees. Before choosing a reward credit card, consider: will the value of the rewards outweigh the extra costs associated with such a card? In some cases, it may be better decision to have a standard credit card with overall lower fees and rates of interest.

Cash back rewards are by far the simplest. It is pretty straight forward. You receive cash for spending a certain proportion on your credit card. Although cash back may not deduct the balance on your account, it’s still money! You can use it on whatever you like.

It is always important to weigh up the cost and benefit of reward credit card schemes. Some may not be as rewarding as they first seem. Use the following tips to avoid unrewarding credit cards:

  • Be wary of limited rewards.  A good reward credit card is one that increases reward as you increase the amount of money you spend. A limit on how many rewards you can incur is clearly not to your advantage. This is a restriction to stay clear off.
  • Be aware of when your reward will expire. Will you have a reasonable amount of time to use your reward before it expires?
  • How easy is it to redeem your reward? For example, if it is a free hotel stay, how accessible and affordable is it to get to the hotel destination?
  • How much money you are required to spend before you can start earning rewards?
  • Don’t spend on things you usually wouldn’t to chase rewards! This can lead to unmanageable debt.