Posts tagged: credit cards

How to Buy Rewards Points Instead of Waiting to Earn Them

card reward pointsNot many people know but it’s true that you can buy rewards points without having to wait to earn them. This has been a somewhat hidden option all this time. You can actually top up your account by buying points for a redemption. And the best thing is that the cost of doing so is not as unreasonable as you might think it will be.
People can buy points by their Membership Rewards Linked Cards, and at $25 for 1000 points, they’re not as expensive as one might think they’d be. These points are still cheaper than buying from an airline. So in this article, we’ll discuss how you can buy rewards points and why you might want to do that.

Why Buying Rewards Points Makes Sense

The main reason to buy rewards points is to top up your account for a particular redemption. Membership Rewards points happen to a flexible currency. This means you can check how many points you have and how you wish to use them. If you’re short, then you can buy as many points as you want to use them for whatever purpose you intend to use them for.

Buying points to top up your account when you know there’s an airline seat that can be redeemed is another reason to buy rewards points. This way you can secure the seat earlier instead of waiting until you have earned the remaining points from your day to day spends. If let’s say you’re another 1000 points short, then it could take a very long time to earn that many points, and the airline seat that you’re after won’t obviously wait for you for that long.

Important Details When Buying Rewards Points

The process of buying rewards points can easily be conducted over the phone number given at the back of your frequent flyer credit card or charge card. With American Express, you have to buy points in chunks of 1000. There is no limit on the number of points that can be bought. For more details about buying points, you can visit Points Bank.

Whenever you buy Membership Rewards points you’ll have to transfer them or redeem them over to a partner program at the time of purchase. So it’s better if you buy these points with a specific purpose in your mind. Points can be purchased on request immediately, and the transfer of points is also initiated at the same time.

Another advantage of buying points is that if there is any bonus promotion running at the time when you buy points, then the points will be offered to you at the bonus promotion that is being given at that time. However, you won’t be able to earn more points on the purchase of your points.

Buying rewards points is actually very easy. All you have to do is just make an account with Points Bank and state how much points you would like to purchase and for what purpose. These orders usually take 72 hours before your purchased points can be seen in your account.

Saving Up For Christmas

christmas moneyChristmas is only a couple of months away, and many people are already way into their Christmas shopping. But the real task is budgeting for your perfect Christmas as well as making sure you enjoy the festive season as much as possible.

Work Out What You Can Afford

Before you start planning all of your decorations, food and gifts for everyone you know, first take the time to sit down and look at what you can realistically afford. Think about it this way- Christmas is only one day a year. You don’t want to splash out on 24 hours and regret it for the next year. Be smart and think about how much expendable income you have saved for the festive season.

Stop Buying Unnecessary Presents

Sure, Christmas is a time for puzzle games and silly gifts; but if you are trying to save up and stay smart with your finances, it’s not really a great idea to buy 10 whoopee cushions for your friends. Stick to presents you know your loved ones will love.

Or, if you really hate the idea of not being able to be a bit fun- give yourself and your friends a small budget to stick to for silly presents. Maybe even arrange a secret santa

$100+ in time for Xmas

Yes, that’s right. You can bag yourself some extra cash for the festive season by simply switching bank accounts. Make the switch and get yourself a nice little bonus to go towards your festivities.

Supermarket Saving Stamps

Supermarket saving stamps schemes are used to help families save up for Christmas throughout the year to cut the bow at the end. However, if you are smart about it you could get an extra 4% bonus on your savings in time for Christmas. If you add in a large amount to the card at once, the supermarket will give you a bonus. So pay in, get your extra cash and spend on all of your winter essentials.

Christmas IOU generator

As many of you will know, during December the price of even the simplest item can sky rocket. However, in contrast the prices drop in January. So if you are trying to save up for something big such as a TV or Games Console, just wait for it. Yes, it might mean that the kids are opening an empty box (or a cheaper gift in the meantime) on Christmas Day, but it will save you a huge amount of money in the long run.

Black Friday

When you think of Black Friday, you may have visions of riots in the street and carnage at the supermarket…you wouldn’t be wrong. But you don’t have to step out into no man’s land this November to bag yourself a bargain. Instead, shop online. Sites such as Amazon run week-long events for Black Friday and chop the prices of products by anything up to 80-90%. If you are waiting for a game or DVD release, hold out for Black Friday because the likelihood is that a deal will come on for it.

Sell Your Old Stuff

Out with the old, in with the new. And money goes straight into your pocket ready for the festive season. We get a lot of things around Christmas, and often it can be difficult to move in a sea of gifts for the week afterwards. Get onto GumTree and sell some of your old things to make room for the new stuff, it’ll also mean a nice financial bonus for the festive season.

Home Or Away?

Although staying at home is the obvious choice for most of us, you don’t have to spend Christmas in your house using up all of your own electricity and water. Why not club together as a whole family and rent a lovely cottage or apartment from a site such as Meriton? It will be exciting for the whole family and means that you all club together for a great holiday and amazing memories.

Avoid Expensive Turkey

Now, of course turkey is the star of the show for your Christmas Dinner, but to be honest, you don’t need to splash out for the most expensive brand to get a good quality bird. Try swapping out your usual choice for a lower brand option, you probably won’t even notice the difference!

And there is another option… you could eat a different meat.

‘That’s sacrilege!’ you say- but it is well known that stores will hike up the price of turkey through the winter months because they know people are willing to pay for it. But actually, not everyone likes turkey, and a great alternative would be a beautiful joint of roast beef.

Consider the Risk of Gift Cards

You might think that getting someone you don’t know very well a gift card is much better than buying them a gift that they won’t like, and that can be the case. However, sometimes there can be a few risks with opting for a gift card over money.

• Big Retailers can go under. It’s happened before, and it could happen again. When a retailer declares bankruptcy, they will stop accepting gift cards as payment.

• Expiry Dates – always check that there is a good amount of time for the recipient to use the card.

Kids Don’t Care

If you have children, you’ll know that you could buy them the most expensive and elaborate toy for Christmas and they will still play with the box. Children don’t care how much you’ve spent on decorations, how many presents they have in front of them or whether you’ve bought a budget turkey. For kids, it’s the magic of Christmas and the thought of Santa visiting which makes it special.

So save up your cash for a rainy day and keep it simple. Put out a cookie and a carrot for Santa and his reindeer, read them a bedtime story and sleep safe in the knowledge that you can have a perfect family Christmas without spending all of your savings.

Your Flexible Friend? Four Things That You Should Know Before Getting a Credit Card

before getting a credit cardIf you’re thinking about getting your first ever credit card, then it may just seem like another way of spending money and making purchases. But in reality, and something that is often forgotten about, it can be much, much more. If you use a credit card wisely, it can help to give your credit score a boost. If you weren’t aware of that, though, then it could damage your credit score without you even realizing it. Experian.com explains that a credit score can be an influence when it comes to things like mortgages, loans, and even a new cell phone contract, you want to make sure that your score is a positive one.

So, what are the other things you should know before getting yourself a credit card? Here are some things to be thinking about or finding out the answer to before you commit to a credit card.

You Should Know What a Credit Card Is

It might silly, but you’d be surprised at just how many people think that a credit card is like a debit card. In the ways you physically use it, they are basically the same. But in terms of money, they couldn’t be more different. A credit card is like a small loan essentially, that you have been approved for. But you have to pay it off each month. Otherwise, it costs you more than it would have been if you’d used your debit card.

You Should Know Why You Want a Credit Card

If you’re looking to get a credit card, simply because you find yourself in your overdraft each month, then that is not the wisest of reasons to get one. If you’re looking to get it to help build a credit score and to practice discipline with money, then that will stand you in much greater stead.

You Should Know How To Budget

Again, in order to make your credit card work for you, then it is a good idea that you know how to budget. A credit card can be helpful when you don’t have money right now, but you have some coming in. You need to know your finances well, as well as being able to budget, to really make your card work for you. If not, it can spiral out of control, and the next thing you know, you could be looking at a site like consolidate.loan in order to help you to consolidate your credit card debt. So budget, know your finances and pay off your card as soon as you have the money to do so.

You Should Know About Interest Rates

If you are getting a credit card, then you need to know all about interest rates. What interest rate does the card you have, or are looking at, have? If you don’t pay off your card in full each month, then what will it mean for your finances? How much will it end up costing? A credit card only works for you, if you don’t have to pay any interest.

Can You Really Afford Another Large Purchase?

online buyingWe all know how great it is to treat our family and ourselves to a large purchase. Maybe you have needed a new family car for quite some time. Or perhaps you have a relative’s birthday coming up, and you want to really push the boat out and get them a gift that they will never forget. But are you totally sure that you can afford the big purchase? If you aren’t too sure, it is a much better idea to check in with your finances rather than flashing the cash without knowing how worse off it might leave you. Thankfully, it isn’t too difficult to figure out whether or not you can afford a big purchase – you just need to ask yourself these questions.

Where Is The Money Coming From?

The first thing you need to figure out is where the money for this big purchase is going to come from. Ideally, you should already have the money in a bank account. This should be an account that allows easy access to the funds and doesn’t charge you for withdrawals. If you don’t have the money just yet, you should look into getting the best credit card available. When you are looking for a credit card, you should always take note of the interest rate, as this will affect your monthly payments.

Where Can I Get The Best Price?

Lots of us now do our shopping online, and most people have their favorite sites that they always visit. Most of the time, it tends to be the likes of Amazon. But are you sure you are getting the best price on your favorite site? If you only shop at Amazon, for instance, out of habit, it could be time to start to compare prices elsewhere. By shopping around, you will be able to find some really great deals and discounts.

What Else Could I Do With This Money?

Another really important question to ask yourself, do you have an idea of how else you could use the money? For example, you might have some responsibilities that might need the money. If your rent is due, then you shouldn’t use the rent money to buy a fancy new dress. Have you also started to put some money to one side for retirement? If not, then you might be better off using the money to start a pension pot. As you can see, there are a few useful things you could use the money for, and your big purchase can wait.

What Is The Returns Policy?

These days, most shops and stores have pretty good returns policies. However, there are still a few places that make it difficult for customers to return their items. If you do make a big purchase, it should be from a store that allows a full refund within thirty days. And make sure that they aren’t just going to refund you in store credit!

So, are you really sure now is the right time to make that big purchase?

Do You Really Need a Credit Card at the Age of 25?

need a credit cardA 25-year old is done with college and is probably into his first job. At the threshold of adulthood, he wants to fulfill several dreams in a short period of time. Most people believe that having a credit card is an important factor of becoming an adult. However, there are many individuals who think such cards are unnecessary. Just like investing is not necessary, having a card is also not a necessity. So then why would a 25-year old need one?

Here are five reasons why having a credit card at the age of 25 is beneficial.

1. Deposits are Not Necessary

Some merchants who accept debit card payments require the customers to also pay a higher deposit at the time of booking. In case a person is unable to execute the plans, the merchants are still able to earn some of their cash deposit amounts (because there fund is done after deducting a certain sum). These are similar to security deposits and may become inconvenient. A credit card eliminates all such difficulties for the users because merchants do not require deposits for such transactions.

2. Deferred Payment

When an individual uses a debit card to purchase any product or service, the money is immediately deducted from his bank account. On the other hand, a credit card purchase does not have to be paid until the next payment due date. For example, if a cardholder purchases something using his card on the 1st of a month and billing due date is 31st of the month; he enjoys an interest-free period of 30 days. Although this may not seem like much, being able to make purchases without the need to pay upfront cash may help users save a lot of money over a longer period of time.

3. Affordable Home Loan Interest Rates

Many people think that they may receive better discounts and close a home purchase faster if they pay in cash. However, if a person has used his credit card responsibly and made timely payments, this is reflected in his credit score given by a credit rating agency like Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL). A higher credit score is beneficial in reducing the interest cost on home loans and other types of borrowings. This makes it less expensive for people to buy their dream home. Furthermore, paying the mortgage installment with a card reduces the actual cash outflows and helps prevent financial difficulties.

4. Reward Points

Most card companies provide excellent reward-based credit cards for their customers. These issuers allow the cardholders to accumulate reward points on their spending. These are redeemable against several offers, such as travel deals, air miles, or purchasing some products and services. In addition to the reward points, users may enjoy cashback offers and benefit from signup bonuses that make credit cards more beneficial.

5. Develop Credit Score

A 25-year old may not have any credit history. However, he may need to avail of a loan in a couple of years to purchase a home or any other asset. This period may be used to develop a good credit score using a credit card. When an individual utilizes his card responsibly and has no delays in payments, it has a positive impact on his credit score. Having a strong credit score has several direct and indirect benefits, such as increased possibility of receiving approval on loans and lower interest rates.

People often find lots of information on how using a credit card may have severe outcomes, such as financial distress and debt traps. However, using a card wisely also has many benefits. However, before applying for a credit card, it is important to check credit card eligibility and understand the terms and conditions related to credit cards.