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3 tips for using your credit card at Christmas

3 tips for using your credit card at Christmas

Smart use of your credit card at Christmas can help make it a more comfortable, stress-free festive season.

Is it starting to feel a lot like Christmas? Holidays, time with family and warmer weather – there can be plenty to enjoy over the summer break.

But around this time of year, you may also find yourself spending more than usual, whether it’s on food for the Christmas Day family feast, presents for your loved ones, or hiring out your favourite beach shack for a few days.

A credit card may help you manage your cash flow during this time. Should you decide to use one, these tips will help you keep the Christmas spirit alive.

1.  Start with as little debt as possible

Clearing as much of any existing credit card debt as possible before the Christmas season means you’ll start off in a better financial position. If you can, prioritise making some extra repayments on any existing debts in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

If you pay the total amount owing on your statement by the due date each month, you can enjoy the benefit of the interest-free period on purchases on your card. All CommBank credit cards come with up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, apart from our Business Low Rate credit card.

2.  Set a budget

You may be spending more at Christmas than at other times of the year, but that doesn’t mean you have to overspend. Put together a budget than includes presents, any trips away and extra time and activities with family and friends. The more thorough you are with your budget, the easier it should be to make spending decisions down the line.

Be realistic with your budgeting goals, and if things aren’t going to plan re-assess them to see where you might be able to do things differently.

3.  Plan for repayments

Once you’ve set your budget for Christmas you should have a good idea of how much you’re going to be spending. Use our credit card repayment calculator to see what that might mean in terms of making repayments on your overall balance when the holidays are over. While it’s possible just to make the minimum repayment, the more you can pay back, the faster you’ll pay off your debt.

Budgeting these repayments in can help give your peace of mind over the Christmas period so you can focus on enjoying yourself and spending quality time with friends and family.

Applications for credit cards are subject to approval. Full terms and conditions will be in our Letter of Offer. Fees and charges apply. This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice.