Ok so it might be a bit late to hop over to America for some Christmas shopping, but with experts predicting high street sales will continue long into January, there’s still plenty of time to catch a bit of retail therapy in the Big Apple – or closer to home if you can’t splash out on the air fare.
The British pound is now worth just over two dollars, having reached an all-time high recently. That means that if you have managed to get to the USA for some shopping this winter, Christmas really has come early.
Either way, MoneyExpert will take you through the best ways to finance the mother of all bargain hunts as millions embark on Christmas and New Year sales both abroad and right here in the UK.
Credit – free or not to be?
Whether you’re shopping at Abercrombie & Fitch on Fifth Avenue or queuing at the local TK Maxx, it’s worth stopping to think how you’ll pay for your bargains.
Of course, the obvious choice is cash. If you’ve got the money, it’s a nice option to have. But many of us will be feeling the pinch at this time of year and might be short of a few bob. If you fall into that category but don’t want to borrow on a credit card, then make sure you check your overdraft limit as you could be charged between £25 and £50 for going into the red without permission.
If you reckon you need a better deal – click here to compare current account offerings to find something more up your street.
The popular option at this time of year, however, is the credit card. If you’re already piling money on the plastic then now is a good time to assess what you want to do in the New Year.
Given you’ll be purchasing even more items in the sales, it might be worth considering a 0% purchases card. These cards offer lengthy interest-free credit on purchases your plastic, allowing you to pay back the cash once money is flowing more freely later in the year. Click here to take a look at the best deals.
The other option is to spend, spend, spend and then transfer your credit card balance onto a 0% balance transfer card. You’ll get around 50 days to do this without being charged interest on your purchases – although if you’ve already signed up to a zero per cent deal this period could be longer. Click here to see what deals are out there on balance transfer cards.
The Third Way
It’s even possible to go to the Big Apple and get something for nothing. Well, almost nothing. Cashback cards are a new development in the credit card world but they can offer good value. If you’re off to America and intend to come home with a suitcase full of shopping, a cashback card might be the way to go.
Ok so you might not be able to avoid the expense of Christmas, but you can be rewarded for forking out. There are some good cashback credit card deals on the market at the moment, which reward you for every penny you spend.
Some offer up to 5% cashback on all purchases made on the card. Don’t delay though – time is short as it’ll take a while for the application to go through so you might have to wait to use the card in the January sales. Either way, if you’re planning a spending spree, you may as well get something back for the effort. Compare cashback cards here.