It’s not only the presents and decorations that can be expensive at Christmas. According to the BBC, the cost of a basket of Christmas food shopping has increased 14% this year – from just under £57 last year to just over £64 in 2016.
This is no small change – particularly if you’ve already had to fork out for gifts and decorations. And the items included in this research are just the basics – if you’re planning to get starters, desserts, lots of festive side dishes and fancy wine too, the bill could be far more.
"Split the total cost of Xmas dinner into manageable chunks."
After all your other seasonal expenses, you may simply not have the cash available to pay for a festive feast as well. Perhaps you’re planning to use a credit card instead.
Providing you manage your credit card responsibly, using it could help you spread the cost a bit. Instead of paying for everything you need for Christmas dinner upfront, you can split the total cost into manageable chunks that you pay back each month.
You may have heard of Section 75 – a form of protection available to credit card users in the event that their purchase is undelivered, faulty or the seller goes bust. So, is this protection available if you pay for your Christmas dinner with a credit card?
Well, the answer is it’s unlikely – but not impossible. To qualify for protection under Section 75, the purchase you’re asking for a refund for must have cost more than £100.
"You may be protected by Section 75 if you took advantage of a promotional offer."
Now, you may have very refined tastes, but it’s unlikely a single dish on your Christmas menu will set you back more than £100. However, you may be protected if you took advantage of a promotional offer, such as a ‘buy two items, get the third free’ deal.
For example, you might buy a few bottles of wine or champagne that total more than £100. If these were bought together as part of a deal and then there’s something wrong and you need a refund, you could qualify under Section 75. If you’re planning to take advantage of special deals on food and drink this year, it may therefore be worth using your credit card to pay.
Don’t forget your bill
As we mentioned above, it’s worth clearing as much of your credit card balance as you can afford to each month. By doing this, you can keep the interest you’re charged to a minimum.
One of the advantages of shopping with a credit card is that you can split your bill into manageable monthly payments. So, if you can’t afford to clear your balance in full, don’t worry too much. While you will be charged interest on your balance, you could look at this as the price you pay for the convenience of borrowing in the first place.
"Always make at least your minimum payment each month."
But what you must do is make at least your minimum payment each month. Not doing so can land you in hot water.
When you miss your minimum payment, not only could you be charged more by your lender, but you could also lose any promotional deals you’ve been enjoying. And on top of this, your credit history will be damaged. This could make it harder to borrow in the future.
If you’re planning to use your credit card to fund this year’s Christmas dinner, we hope you’ve found this blog useful. For more tips and hints on using your credit card, visit us again soon.
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Intelligent Lending Ltd (Credit Broker). Capital One is the exclusive lender.