Christmas Credit is a Critical Mistake

December 4, 2007

Today, as I went through my mail, I was expecting bills. Instead, I got more than one offer for Christmas money. I should be excited, right? Wrong!

Credit card companies and financial institutions are not being generous lenders. Running a business, they count on you and me jumping at the chance to write checks on our credit cards, or applying for cash to go shopping. After all, how many people pull out the plastic to purchase a gift? LOTS!

In excitement and the desire to buy the perfect presents, Christmas creditors are counting on you to believe the advance is critical, and not a critical mistake. They hope you will see it as free money today, and not think about the bill that will be in the same mailbox next month.

Christmas credit is a critical mistake because it is anything but free money. In fact, the same-as-cash credit checks usually have an additional cash advance fee, on top of the high interest rates. By the time you can afford to pay the bill, you can conceivably pay two or three times more than the actual cost of your Christmas gifts.

If you do not watch out for your financial stability, who will? Bankers do not have your financial well-being at heart. They are making money at your expense-literally! They want you to rack up a credit bill that will take a year to pay off. Depending on the credit advance, you will be paying between 12-22% interest, and any applicable service fees.

So, do not be tempted to accept the plethora of credit offers that come to your mailbox this holiday season. File the paperwork right where it belongs- the trash! You may still wish you had a little extra money this December, but in January you will be very proud of yourself for staying within your holiday budget. Personally, I am already glad my trash can is a little fuller tonight.

Have do you resist the temptation to spend money on credit, especially during the holidays?



Will this article help you save or earn more money? Get others like it simply by entering your email address below. Your email is used only for delivering daily money tips and you can opt out of delivery at any time. Click here to see all your free subscription options.



All posts by


7 Responses to Christmas Credit is a Critical Mistake

  • Tina

    Great comments!

    I love the idea of a credit card offer free opt out. Great advice!

    Thanks for sharing your ideas and great information.

  • bill

    I never respond to promos that come with my credit card bill, especially those checks. I tear those up immediately and send them only my payment for the current bill.

  • Dividend Machine

    I used this and now I am credit card offer free

  • Joel

    I was told by a mortgage broker that all those “preapproval” letters come after these companies actually pull your credit. It doesn’t show on your actual report, but it does actually affect your score. I imagine they just ask the credit agencies for lists of people with a score greater than some cut off point, and then mass mail the offers.
    That’s a lot of junk mail, and a lot of trees that are cut down for them.
    If you’re annoyed by these offers, go to and fill out the form there. You can choose to just do the electronic five year opt-out or the mail in permanent opt-out. If you choose the permanent, it will automatically start the 5-year electronic opt-out, and you just have to mail in the form that prints out.
    If at some later time you lose your mind and want to get those offers again, you can opt-in from the same site.

  • Fred333

    That is a great post. Christmas is rough time of year for credit users.

  • JB @ GetRichOrDieTrying

    Like you said, Credit Card companies are a business… you can’t look down on them for trying to make a profit. Of course people are going to sign up for the free Christmas money… otherwise the CC companies wouldn’t send out that mail at this time. Consumers just need to get smarter.


  • Friday Finance Findings for December 7th