We all want to enjoy Christmas. Here are some simple TIPS to make the festive period and the New Year more enjoyable for you all:
Firstly, when purchasing presents for Christmas I suggest you use your credit card for personal and family security reasons. The main advantages of this are:
1. You have between 20-25 days to pay the miminum amount or the full balance
2. If a fraud occurs on your card you are automatically covered (see below)
3. The more you spend and payoff the higher the credit limit
4. Use your credit card wisely and you could improve your credit rating!
5. Improving your credit rating may help other applications for credit i.e. mortgage
6. Remember the credit on your card is NOT your money! it is a loan to you from the credit card company
CREDIT CARD INSURANCE
You do not need it! Under the Credit Consumer Act(UK) and Electronic Funds Transfer Act (US) your credit card is automatically protected. In the UK, any fraud or loss is covered on any amount above £100 , in the US this figure is much less -$50.
If you intend on travelling over the festive period….. read these special TIPS:
TIP1: When travelling, only take your credit cards with you – do NOT take your debit cards
TIP2: Always purchase travel insurance
TIP3: Inform the DVLA that you are travelling abroad – this has your name and address and can be used to commit identity fraud
TIP4: Inform your credit card company(s) when and where you are travelling (you can also ask them to place a spend limit (25-50% less than the credit limit) on the card – this provides you with a contingency in the event of fraud)
TIP5: Use Credit Card Blocking. This will reduce the chances of fraudulent use (and of course stops you spending more than you should!) of your card.
What is blocking? – this is when you place a hold on a certain amount of your credit card’s credit limit. An example of this might be when you check into a hotel and they run your card through the machine a block is placed on your credit card for an amount equal to not just the cost of the room for the amount of time you will be staying at the hotel, but also for an amount representing the hotel’s estimate of other anticipated costs of your stay.
Tip: Remember to use only the blocked card when you check out!
Remember if your card goes missing or is stolen, report the loss immediately. Lastly, do not worry or panic. A simple phone call to your credit card company will sort out the issue straight away.
Julian, Mr IDTP (don’t forget to cover your PIN when using Chip and Pin!)