Sunday, April 06, 2008

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.

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