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Spending money using a credit card can be tempting and many people feel very guilty when they buy a lot of things with them. One way to ease the guilt of over spending, and also get a little bit back from your shopping, is to use a cash back credit card. These have been taking the consumer market by storm for several years, and there are many reasons why borrowers are turning to this type of scheme rather than using a traditional credit card. Firstly, the rewards are tempting, and tend to be more useful than the air miles or petrol rewards that were offered in the early part of the 21st century. If you are considering a credit card, then it helps to understand what they are, what they can be used for, and what sort of alternatives are on offer.
Cash back credit cards offer users the advantages of a credit card, with rewards and bonuses as additional incentives. Each time a credit card of this type is used, the user will get either a cash bonus on their card, or vouchers which they can spend in particular stores. This cash or vouchers don’t have to be used in particular ways, so they can be very tempting for credit card users.
Credit cards offering cash back can be used in a number of ways. You may choose to use them on all spending, accumulating a lot of points and getting a lot of cash back from your spending. Others prefer to use their credit card for important purchases, such as electronics or high-value items, while still keeping a debit card for supermarket shopping and middle-of-the-week purchases. You may choose to use your card all the time, but you should remember that you will have to repay all of the spending, and that you may not get your rewards until the account is in credit.
Although cashback cards started at the sides of the industry, they are now so popular that many banks are offering similar advantages to their customers. For example, Barclaycard offers a Freedom Rewards card which provides points for every pound spent, and as much as three points for some high-street stores. 10,000 points are worth about £25, and you can get around £30 of points if you spend more than £500 in the first few months of the card being used. The points you receive can be redeemed at other shops, including Boots, M&S and Amazon.
If you don’t want to trust the bank with your credit card, then you might want to seek an alternative such as the Tesco Clubcard credit card, which offers you rewards, including five points for every £4 which you spend in Tesco, either in the supermarket or at the petrol station, and one point for similar amounts spent elsewhere. Points are worth 1p, and you can exchange 500 points for a £5 Tesco voucher. If you regularly shop at Tesco, this can be a great deal, but is not such an advantage if you don’t use the supermarket regularly.
Money is always tight when you are a student, and one solution seems to be to use a credit card for all your immediate debts. In fact, few students use credit cards, but there are some benefits to using a credit card designed for students, including fast access to cash, a quick way to pay for student accommodation or bills, and also a way to carefully budget your spending so that you don't get in over your head. By understanding how you can use a credit card to benefit your studies, you can decide for yourself whether it is a good idea, or if it is something that you would rather avoid in favour of another alternative.
If you are interested in having a credit card, then there are several reasons to do this, even when you are a student. Firstly, credit cards generally have more purchase protection than other kinds of cards, such as debit cards or pre-paid cards. So if you dispute a purchase, or the card is lost or stolen, then you can claim a refund using your card.
Credit cards can also be very useful to students who have not had much use for cards in the past. They allow the user to build up their credit by using the card, and then paying off the debt. If you want to make your own way in the world after you finish your degree, then you will benefit from having a credit history which will help when you come to apply for future loans and credit later on.
Credit cards for students can also be useful for teaching young people how to control their spending. While a credit card can allow you access to extra funds, there is also a credit limit. This means that you have to stick to that limit while spending. A night on the town might mean not having enough money for essential books, for example, so it can start students off on an education in budgeting and juggling financial demands.
Banks put a lot of effort into bringing students into their own company, and this can include offering them rewards on student credit cards. Some benefits provided by banks, including vouchers, points to be spent at stores like Amazon, and even cash back, can be very useful for students, and are certainly worth considering.
As a student, there are several methods that you can use to handle your money more effectively. Combining the credit card with a student bank account, for example, can help you to budget, and may give you more purchase protection than just the card by itself. However, credit cards are not the only option. Instead, you may decide to look at prepaid cards, or student debit cards.
Prepaid cards are very popular with young people, since they allow them the freedom of a credit card, but also provide limits and budget constraints that mean students can't overspend. These prepaid cards allow you to put money onto the card, and spend only to that amount, preventing you from getting into debt, but also ensuring that you are still free to spend money wherever you choose.
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