CREDIT CARDS

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How to be a savvy mobile shopper

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Every few years, technology takes a big leap in our everyday lives. With the success of the smartphone, Australians with credit cards have been able to carry their own digital shopping centre in their pockets.

Google’s survey (the Australia Mobile Smartphone Consumer Study) this year predicted that 37 per cent of Australia’s population are using smartphones – that’s a whopping 8.4 million people.

Out of these millions, one in four is expected to be doing their shopping on their devices. This has spawned a new age of price competition, where we can compare prices across stores all over the country, and buy instantly when we see a great deal.

Smart bargain

So how can you take advantage of this tech trend and start saving on credit card purchases?

Firstly, embrace the culture of online shopping. Compared to going into a store, shopping online can take less time and have fewer distractions because you are searching for a specific item. Plus online advertisements and promotional deals can lead you directly to bargains with just a few clicks.

Secondly, scout out reliable services and websites that you can trust. Brands with longstanding reputations such as Amazon.com, eBay, and iTunes are global veterans of the market, but the wave of smartphone applications have washed up some other gems.

For example, ‘Shopper’ is an app that compares products, promotional deals, and provides store information, while ‘Coupon Sherpa’ collects current coupons on all of your favourite stores to give you instant discounts.

Which card?

It can be hard to choose the right card for your online shopping, among hundreds of options. Think about the way you shop over the net – do you tend to make big purchases and pay them off over time, or do you try to clear your balance regularly? This could affect whether you opt for a low rate credit card, or one with a high rate that charges less fees.

A debit card is another treasured companion of smartphone shoppers because it makes sure that we are never paying interest or gathering debt. Just make sure your provider doesn’t charge you additional fees for online purchases and transactions.

Lastly, you should remember that even if you end up nabbing discounts online, at the end of the day, you are spending your own hard-earned money, so it pays to be frugal with credit card debt.

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