TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 20, 2013) - 'Tis the season for overspending - and while gifting generously may give shoppers the warm and fuzzies, resulting January credit card bills offer stark reality.
Holiday gift lists are often behind overspending - but a RateSupermarket.ca poll finds food and travel expenses account for between $500 - $1,000 in additional costs for a quarter of Canadians.
The personal finance comparison site, which offers the most comprehensive access to the Canadian market, introduces the Holiday Rewards Challenge, an interactive tool to help consumers identify their top holiday spending stresses - and whether their credit card is best suited to their shopping habits. All those who use the tool will also be entered to win a $500 cash prize to help with their holiday expenses.
"Consumers need to be forward thinking to ensure credit card debt doesn't last well into the new year," says Penelope Graham, Editor and Spokesperson at RateSupermarket.ca. "By carrying the wrong credit card, Canadians could be losing out on hundreds of dollars in potential rewards and those prone to carrying a balance are at risk of lasting debt damage from these expenses."
Tips For A Debt-Free New Year
RateSupermarket.ca offers the following tips for consumers to clean up their credit card act in time for Blue Monday.
- Cash in rewards where it counts: Holiday feasts offer the opportunity for fat rewards with credit cards that offer grocery cash back or points.
- Plan for a better bill: Avoid Blue Monday shock with a strategy for tackling a high balance. Credit cards that offer low balance transfer options provide interest breaks for a limited time, allowing cardholders to pay down the principal balance.
- Buy gifts with cash: Stick to a no-card rule when at the mall; buying gifts with cash helps with sticking to a predetermined budget, and wards off impulse purchases. Think you're not prone to gifting yourself? RateSupermarket.ca found 67 per cent of shoppers are likely to buy gifts for themselves while checking off their shopping lists.
About RateSupermarket.ca (www.RateSupermarket.ca)
Over 3 million Canadians have found their best rate for personal finance products on RateSupermarket.ca. Launched in 2008, RateSupermarket.ca is Canada's largest and most comprehensive rate comparison site, offering visitors transparent access to the best mortgage rates as well as credit cards, bank accounts, insurance quotes and GIC rates.