November 24, 2011 10:11 ET

Revamp Your Christmas Credit Card Strategy

RateSupermarket.ca Shows Credit Card Shoppers How to Save Hundreds This Holiday Season

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 24, 2011) - RateSupermarket.ca, Canada' s go-to-website to compare and save money on credit cards, mortgage rates, and savings accounts, is challenging consumers to rethink their credit card strategy this holiday season. Credit cards aren't just for spending money, but for saving money as well.

A recent poll from CIBC suggests only 31% of Canadians plan to use their credit card for holiday shopping this season. According to RateSupermarket.ca, that number should be higher.

"It's very easy to spend money on your credit card and rack up a larger bill than intended," says Kelvin Mangaroo, president of the rate comparison site. "But, if you can stick to a budget and pay off your credit card balance on time, then yes, consumers should be putting more of their Christmas purchases on plastic."

Why? The rewards. Particularly cash back rewards. Not only are cash reward programs easier to determine how much you're really getting back (because we ALL know the value of $1 vs. 700 points), but cash can be spent on whatever YOU want… in other words you aren't limited to a rewards catalogue.

Based on average Canadian household spending patterns from Statistics Canada, a typical household can save $562* in the first year by using a cash back credit card for their purchases. Over 5 years, that savings jumps to $2,382*.

Get even smarter with your cash back and you can turn your $2,382 in savings into even more. Pay off your mortgage faster with lump sum payments and save yourself an extra $685** in interest. Or put that cash in a high interest savings account and bank an extra $153***.

A new toaster or a movie voucher can't do that.

All the reasons why Cash is King are laid out in this handy infographic:

"With the holiday season right around the corner, consumers will likely go over their normal average monthly spend. I say, be smart when you spend, use a cash back credit card and start racking up the savings," says Mangaroo.

* Refer to infographic for calculation details: http://www.ratesupermarket.ca/blog/cash-is-king-infographic/#INFO
** Annual cash back was put towards annual lump sum payments on $250,000 mortgage, amortized over 25 years at a rate of 3.52% (the average best 5 year fixed rate from Sept 2010 to August 2011 as seen on RateSupermarket.ca.)
*** Annual cash back was put into a savings account with a 2.00% interest rate.

About RateSupermarket.ca (http://www.ratesupermarket.ca)

RateSupermarket.ca is the largest impartial rate comparison service for personal finance products in Canada. Founded in May of 2008, their easy to use comparison engines provide much needed transparency into the Canadian financial market and allow visitors to quickly find the best rates. Over 1.5M Canadians have turned to RateSupermarket.ca to save money on their mortgage, insurance, credit cards and GICs.

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