Christmas is fast approaching and this week, most people will be getting their 13th month bonus or Christmas bonus. For the rest of us not getting any extra dough to spend for our holiday gifts, there’s always the ever-reliable credit card.
Here are some of the common tips we’d like to share whenever you’re going to use your credit card when buying or shopping for gifts this holiday season.
- Subscribe to SMS Card Charges Alert. A number of credit card companies offer SMS alerts whenever you make a purchase or your card is charged. This gives you a personal confirmation that you actually made the transaction and the amount is correct.
The alerts become very useful when you are abroad and frequently using the card. And when the unfortunate incident happens that someone else uses it, you get the notification immediately and can call up customer support to cancel or remedy the fraudulent transaction.
- Window Shop Online, Buy Offline. In our previous story about “Top 5 Crazy Filipino Gadget Buying Habits“, we pointed out that a lot of Filipinos tend to search online but buy offline. There’s actually a number of inherent benefits in this type of buying behavior which we’ll point out in #3 and #4.
- Use Zero Percent Deferred Payment Options. Buying the new iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy Note 4 can poke a huge hole in the pocket if you buy in cash or straight charge into your credit card.
Ask for a deferred payment — but be careful; make sure the deferred payment option has zero interest charge. Remember that some shops may still give you zero-interest but the SRP will be different from the cash price. Insist that you want to get a zero-interest installment at the same final price as the cash price. Stores normally offer up to 12 months installment but in rare cases, there are a few that extends this up to 24 months.
BDO has a much better deferred payment scheme called “Buy Now, Pay Next Year” which defers the start of your bill payments to next year instead of next month.
Remember, credit card companies will only make money if you forget to pay your bill on time. So, don’t forget to pay on time.
- Watch out for Promos. Take a good look if there are on-going promos you can avail when using your card. We’ve seen shops giving additional discounts when using either Visa or Mastercard while others have partnership with banks to give you more discounts when you use their card.
You can visit the bank’s website or download their app (BDO has Deal Finder here) to check what deals you can get with your intended purchase.
- Don’t Forget the Points! Almost all credit card providers have some sort of points for every purchase you make. Other even have a specific card type for specific uses like gas, groceries or flight miles.
Take advantage of those points, especially the ones which allows you to get double the usual points. You can even use your existing points as partial payment for your purchases (I use SM/BDO Rewards Points to make partial payments for purchases).
The truth of the matter is, in e-commerce, most customers use the internet for research but prefer the commerce part to be done face to face.
Speaking of promos, BDO is holding a Power Mac Center Installment Promo at participating Power Mac Center branches from November 4, 2014 to February 28, 2015.
Those who make installment purchases of the iMac, Macbook Pro and Macbook Air units will receive freebies like the Lepow Bluetooth Speaker, Belkin Surge Protector, or an MS Office Personal / Home. Click here for more details about the promo.