For some, credit cards are a bit of a scary thing. Me included. You hear horror stories involving people getting swamped in debt, using illusionary ‘credit’ to buy things above their means, without thinking of the consequences. However, in reality – they aren’t actually that scary. Nowadays, you need to have had ‘credit’ in order to obtain a mortgage in the future – so starting early is good practice for the future. As long as you keep on top of your payments (and pay everything off at the end of the month), it’s a very simple, free way to borrow money – while reaping the benefits.
If you loving travelling as much as I do and often yearn for your next adventure (even if you’ve just come back from the last), then you’ll be pleased to know that having certain credit cards offers you free flights in return for spending on it. Yes, really – you heard right. FREE flights.
The TSB Avios Reward Credit Card (who commissioned this post – but I’ve been researching for myself too) offers 1 point for every £1 you spend on it – with bonuses for transferring balances and double points if you use it abroad (clearly the creators love travel as much as I do too). All the jargon sounds rather complex, but essentially it means that you won’t be charged any interest – as long as you pay it back within the month, after which the interest rate slowly increases.
The more you spend on it, the more points you accrue – and once you have enough, you can ‘spend’ them on a number of fantastic rewards. If you spend £180 a week (i.e.: £40 on petrol, £80 on shopping, £35 on bills and £25 on treats) you’ll accrue 9,360 points every year – more than enough for a West End Theatre ticket or a return flight to Amsterdam, Nice or Berlin. Any more than that only widens your horizons, with 15,000 offering you a return flight to Rome or Venice. Ooh!
If that wasn’t incentive enough, anything you buy on the majority of credit cards is also insured, giving you the added reassurance that if anything goes wrong – you have a back-up plan in place. You’re essentially ‘borrowing’ money from the credit card company – so if anything goes amiss, you have someone fighting your corner to get it back.
please note, it is very important to pay off any credit balance at the end of a month otherwise you could face charges and interest increases. Although they are a fantastic thing – they should be used with care and before you sign up, make sure you read all the information as thoroughly as you can. The majority are really fantastic, helpful additions to your life which help your money stretch that little bit further, but used incorrectly – there can be serious repercussions and debt.