Call me old fashioned, but I like things to last. When you buy a pair of shoes you don’t expect them to fall apart after two months, and I don’t know about you, but when I go out and get a loaf of bread, I’m a bit miffed if it instantly goes mouldy in the cupboard. So why do people put up with it with their credit cards?
Kissing off the 0%
Talk to most people and they’ll say that the best way to maximise your credit card’s potential is to make the most out of the introductory 0% offers. You sign up, enjoy the interest free spending for as long as it lasts, and then nimbly jump from one card to the next as the low rates run out. This approach is fine if you are the sort of person who pays ultra-close attention to their finances, but forget to move and you’ll find yourself slapped with some seriously high rates before you can blink an eye.
After all, who really has the time for all this hassle? If you’re looking for good value without the hassle, cash back credit cards could offer a pretty handy alternative to the endless card-hopping. The latest, like NatWest’s Cashback Plus Credit Card, actually reward you for just buying stuff. Not only does it allow you to claim uncapped rewards on your everyday spend, with 1% cash back on all supermarket shopping, Cashback Plus registered retailers and contactless payments (until March 2015), it also offers 0.5% cash back on all purchases, home and abroad.
Watching the bottom line
As with all credit cards in the UK, you can get up to 56 days’ interest free credit on purchases if you pay your balance (and your previous month’s balance) in full and on time each month. You pay an annual fee of £24, so as long as you factor that into your spending and pay your bills in full and on time, you can look forward to a rewarding card without all the trouble of having to move your balance when the offer period ends.
The Golden Rule
The rise of cashback credit cards like NatWest’s Cashback Plus Card show you that there are benefits for sticking with one provider.
As the Money Advice Service so succinctly points out, “if you pay your credit card bill off in full every month then cashback credit cards can be a great idea. You are getting rewarded for spending money that you would have spent anyway”. See? You and your credit card do actually have a future together after all!
Main image adapted from a picture by Sean MacEntee @ Flickr.