7 tips to minimise your financial holiday hangover

7 tips to minimise your financial holiday hangover

Coming back from an overseas trip with enough money in your account to live off something fancier than baked beans is a trick many people have failed to master.

To help you out this holiday season RateCity has compiled a list of our best travel savings tips that will help ease that holiday hangover.

Pack the right travel companion

The credit card you use at home may not be the best card to take with you on the road. Instead, find a card that doesn’t have outrageous international fees and changes. There are currently over 15 credit and debit cards on the RateCity site that charge no currency conversion fee, and 47 debit cards with no international ATM fees charged by the provider. In the 12 months to October, Aussie travellers paid an estimated $378.4 million in currency conversion fees and $157.4 million in international ATM fees so make sure you’re not one of the people being caught out.

Track spending with a travel app

If your someone who’s accidentally blown the budget on a must have purchase and then struggled for the rest of the holiday to get your finances back under control, don’t worry – you’re not alone.  The good news is that there are plenty of apps to help you reign in the dollars and help you keep track of daily spending.  Apps such as Trail Wallet also help you size up big ticket items against your overall budget, so if you do decide to blow it, the app will revise how much you have left to spend for the duration of the trip and help you reign in further spending. Having a good idea of the state of your finances during your trip will help you avoid getting caught out by reaching a zero dollar bank balance.

Use free Wi-Fi to avoid phone bills

Returning home from a holiday is often made all the more difficult when you receive the massive mobile bill from while you were away. To avoid bill shock next holiday try to take advantage of free Wi-Fi hotspots to message people and call loved ones using free apps such as Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp and Skype. With Wi-Fi now even available on Mount Everest and in Space there’s no longer an excuse for paying through the nose to contact home while travelling.

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Look into free travel insurance

Take advantage of the free insurance offered on most Gold and Platinum credit cards when travelling such as BankWest’s Zero Platinum MasterCard. Just be aware that often you will have to book a majority of the trip on your card to qualify for this free service. Even if you don’t have a card offering free travel insurance, it may be worth signing up for one as the annual fee can be cheaper than the cost of insurance from a retail provider if you travel frequently.  Always read the product disclosure statement to make sure you understand the exclusions that apply and find an insurance policy that is right for your needs.

Book ahead and research

Planning your trip and booking ahead is a good way to avoid paying a premium for last minute accommodation or events. That way, instead of having to choose between a night on the streets or bankrupting yourself at the Hilton, you’ll know in advance that you have reasonably priced accommodation waiting for you at the end of your day. Similarly with tickets to events, attractions or concerts you a planning on seeing early bird deals are often available if you book well in advance.

Take advantage of free events

With that said, there are also great free events to be taken advantage of in every city that can save you cash. Most museums and galleries will offer a certain time weekly where entry is free to the public. For example, the Museum of Modern Art in New York has free entry on Friday nights but it’s best to be early to beat the rush. Taking into account these free session times in your pre-planning is essential to cashing in on these bargains. 

Haggle like a local

Depending on where you are travelling to, bargaining for your goods may be a perfectly acceptable way of shopping. Particularly in market places across Asia and the Middle East bargaining is an expected form of trading and it’s worth giving it a try to see how much you can save. Do some scouting before you try it out and see how much the locals are paying for items to give you an idea of what’s an acceptable price range.

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Learn more about credit cards

What does Westpac credit card insurance cover?

If you own a Westpac credit card, one of the perks may be  free travel insurance. If you’re eligible, you may be covered if you get sick while travelling, have lost your luggage, have to cancel a trip or have an accident while you’re on the move.

Besides these standard inclusions, the Westpac credit card insurance policy may also cover you for hospital essentials, emergency dental treatment and alternative transport if your original plans go awry. It may also cover loss of income when you get back home after being sick  overseas and your pets’ boarding costs too.

If you have any queries, the Westpac credit card insurance contact number is 1800 091 710. You can submit a claim online.

 

How to increase your Qantas Premier credit card limit

When your income or spending habits change, you might wish to increase your credit card limit. The Qantas Premier credit card allows you to do this over the phone. You can contact Qantas Premier Card Support by calling on 1300 992 700. Unlike some other credit providers, Qantas doesn’t give you the option to increase your limit online.

Qantas will only accept your application if you have a good history of repayment and have not increased your credit or bought another credit product from Qantas in the past six months.

Before approving your Qantas Premier credit card limit increase, Qantas will perform a credit assessment on your current financial circumstances and ask why you would like to increase your credit limit.

To ensure that there are no bumps in your application process, you must provide accurate and recent information about your financial situation. You should also account for any future changes you’re anticipating which could hinder your ability to repay the loan.

Once the assessment is complete, Qantas will either approve or deny your application. If they approve it, you will need to sign a credit limit increase agreement - and you can request a written copy of the credit assessment. However, if your application is rejected, Qantas can opt not to provide a copy of the assessment.

How to get a free credit card

There's no such thing as a free lunch. All credit cards come with associated costs when used to make purchases, even if it’s simply the cost of making repayments.

However, many lenders offer incentives for customers such as a $0 annual fee or 0 per cent interest on purchases during an introductory period. Additionally, paying off your balance in full during an interest-free period means you could only have to pay back the cost of purchases without interest. You could also be eligible for additional rewards such as cashback during that time, saving you more money.

What does ANZ credit card insurance cover?

ANZ offers complimentary insurance on some of its credit cards, which can provide some protection against unforeseeable incidents, like the theft of your card. Depending on the type of credit card you own, you may be eligible for different insurances. For instance, most ANZ credit card customers may qualify for Purchase Protection Insurance and Extended Warranty Insurance. Customers who own premium credit cards may also be eligible for Guaranteed Pricing, Rental Vehicle Excess, International Travel, and so on.

Consider checking your ANZ credit card insurance features listed in the Insurance Policy Information booklet to know which items are covered. Also, while ANZ issued the credit card, they are not the insurer. For this reason, you may need to send your insurance claims - and get your ANZ credit card insurance refund - to the insurance provider.

How do you cancel a credit card?

It’s important to cancel your old cards to avoid any additional fees. Unless you’re doing a balance transfer, you’ll need to pay the outstanding balance before you cancel your credit card. If you’ve opted for a card with reward points, make sure you redeem or transfer the points before you close your account. To avoid any bounced payments and save yourself an admin headache, redirect all your direct debits to a new card or account. Once you’ve done all the preparation, call your bank or credit card provider to get the cancellation underway. Once you receive a confirmation letter, destroy your card and make sure the numbers aren’t legible.

How do you use a credit card?

Credit cards are a quick and convenient way to pay for items in store, online or over the phone. You can use a credit card as a cashless way to pay for goods or services, both locally and overseas. You can also use a credit card to make a cash advance, which gives you the flexibility to withdraw cash from your credit card account. Because a credit card uses the bank’s funds instead of your own, you will be charged interest on the money you spend – unless you pay off the entire debt within the interest-free period. If you pay the minimum monthly repayment, you will be charged interest. There are many different credit card options on the market, all offering different interest rates and reward options.

How do you use credit cards?

A credit card can be an easy way to make purchases online, in person or over the phone. When used properly, a credit card can even help you manage your cash flow. But before applying for a credit card, it’s good to know how they work. A credit card is essentially a personal line of credit which lets you buy things and pay for them later. As a card holder, you’ll be given a credit limit and (potentially) charged interest on the money the bank lends you. At the end of each billing period, the bank will send you a statement which shows your outstanding balance and the minimum amount you need to pay back. If you don’t pay back the full balance amount, the bank will begin charging you interest.

Can a pensioner get a credit card?

It is possible to get a credit card as a pensioner. There are some factors to keep in mind, including:

  • Annual income. Look for credit cards with minimum annual income requirements you can meet. 
  • Annual fees. If high fees are a concern for you, opt for a card with a low or $0 annual fee. 
  • Interest rate. Make sure you won’t have any nasty surprises on your credit card bill. Compare cards with a low interest rates to minimise risk.

How to increase my Commonwealth credit card limit?

Commonwealth Bank credit cards are extremely popular in Australia for everyday purchases and big ticket items alikers. A number of the card’s functions can be customised, depending on your needs and desires. If you wish to increase your Commonwealth credit card limit using the CommBank, you can usually do so on the app or via NetBank.

In the CommBank app, tap on the ‘Cards’ icon and choose your credit card. Then, click on ‘Credit Limit’ and select the ‘Increasing your limit’ option. If you don’t have the CommBank app, you can also increase your Commonwealth Bank credit card limit through NetBank. Simply log on and go to Settings, then click on ‘Product Requests’ and then choose ‘Credit Card Limit Changes’. 

Once the bank has received your application, they will review your account and payment history. Based on this assessment, your application will either be approved or denied. If approved, your new limit will be applied to your card instantly. 

While increasing your credit card limit may be an easy process, it’s important to remember that you should only request limits that you can manage. A high limit increases the risk of having a larger debt, even with cards that provide low-interest rate options. So, it’s important to think carefully and seek advice from people you trust before increasing your Commonwealth Bank credit card limit.

What's the best credit card for rewards?

There is no one-size-fits-all best rewards credit card. It's best you research what type of rewards program you'd like, as well as the fees, interest rate and conditions associated with those types of cards before making a choice. 

Rewards credit cards can also come with high annual fees that may end up nullifying the rewards, so think how often you use the card to decide whether the benefits outweigh the extra cost for you. A card with a lower annual fee might require a lot of spending to get any useful rewards, while another card with a higher annual fee might need fewer purchases to get a reward. 

How does CBA credit card insurance coverage work?

If you have a Commbank credit card, insurance may be one of the benefits on offer. 

You may be eligible for overseas medical and travel coverage, as well as coverage for interstate flight cancellations, transport accidents, extended warranty and price guarantees. You may need to check which types of insurance coverage you can access, as some types are not available to all customers. 

To apply for CBA credit card insurance, you can contact the bank via its website. It’s also worth checking which types of insurance are available automatically and which require you to fulfil some conditions. 

The  Commbank credit card purchase insurance - called Purchase Security -  is available to most CBA cardholders. You can find out more about the different types of insurance, their coverage limits and inclusions and exclusions in the Product Disclosure Statement.

How can I increase my credit card limit on my American Express card?

If you want to increase the credit limit on your American Express (AMEX) credit card, you will need to apply through the AMEX Online Services, or by calling the number on the back of your card. You may need to share personal information that the bank can use to assess whether the requested limit is suitable for you and your current financial status. Once your application is approved, your new limit will be ready for use within an hour.

Does ING increase credit card limits?

You may want to increase your credit card limit for many reasons, such as having access to more spending money. However, if you are using the Orange One credit card issued by ING, you may not be able to do so. 

ING customers can choose a credit limit of their preference when applying for the Orange One credit card. Depending on your financial situation, this limit can be anywhere between $1,000 and $30,000. If you qualify for a Rewards Platinum card, the minimum credit card limit will likely be $6,000. 

Ideally, you should set your credit card limit knowing how much you can afford to repay each month and keep your expenses lower than this level. With most credit cards, you should have the option of requesting a credit card limit increase at a later time, although you will need to qualify for any increase. With an ING credit card, limit increases are out of the question (at the time this was published), which means you may want to apply for a higher credit card limit from the beginning. Remember that you have the option of decreasing your ING credit card limit at a later time.

How to make a credit card online

If you’re wondering about how to make a credit card online application, here are some steps to follow:

  • Test the market. Many credit card options are available online. Compare providers by fees, interest and perks to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
  • Complete the application. Once you’ve selected a card, head to the provider’s website and complete the online credit card application form. Forms vary by providers.
  • Provide details. Most cards require you to meet age, residency, income and credit status condition, and you need to provide details like a bank account statement to prove this.
  • Review details. Ensure the information you’ve entered is correct.