Credit Card Owners Manual: An effective guide to help you this holiday season

Friday 5 December 2003 14:51 CET | News

Almost half of all Canadians plan to use credit cards for their holiday shopping needs, and that most of them will have their credit card balances paid off within two months. Historical data on credit card spending shows that while most Canadians will carry a balance on their credit cards from holiday spending, a majority of them will have their holiday spending paid off by the end of February.

Credit card use typically increases during the holiday season, as Canadians take advantage of the flexible repayment terms credit cards offer. To assist Canadians in making the most of their credit cards during the holiday season, Visa Canada is launching an updated version of Credit Cards: An Owners Manual, a publication designed to help consumers manage their credit card use responsibly. The Owners Manual was originally published in 1995, and has been distributed to more than 850,000 consumers across Canada. The educational tool covers topics that consumers want, and need, to know about credit cards. From benefits of owning a credit card, to how credit cards work, to interest rates, to protecting credit card information, the credit card owners manual covers a variety of topics that everyone who owns a credit card should know. In addition to launching the updated Credit Card Owners manual for the holiday shopping season, Visa and Credit Counselling Canada have teamed up to provide consumers with the following tips for successful, and responsible, holiday shopping: Plan Your Shopping. Making a list, setting and sticking to a budget reduces anxiety and protects against impulse buying. Decide How Youll Pay - Credit, Cash or from Savings. If credit is your preferred option to make purchases, no interest charges accrue if the statement is paid within the allocated grace period, and there is no existing balance on your account. And, credit cards offer flexible payment terms, allowing you to pay off holiday expenses, at your own pace, when you make the minimum monthly payments. Comparison Shop. By going to several stores and looking at prices, guarantees, and service agreements, you are more likely to find the best value. Avoid Impulse Buying. Re-examine purchases before buying. Ask yourself: do you need to purchase that item? Can you afford it? Is it the best price? Is it on your holiday gift-giving list? Always Check Your Billing Statement. Keep all your credit card receipts and compare your purchases against your billing statement at the end of the month. Check the amounts to ensure you were charged correctly and also look for transactions that you may not recognize as yours. The Visa Credit Card Owners Manual builds on Visas ongoing efforts to provide consumers with information on personal finances. The manual is available, free of charge, through credit counselling agencies, such as Credit Counselling Canada, or by downloading a copy on the Internet at A French version of the resource will also be available before the holidays. Other Visa initiatives that provide consumers with information on financial management include Choices & Decisions, a resource aimed at teaching high school students the value of financial responsibility.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
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Payments & Commerce