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Norwegians use credit cards strategically for cashback

Advantage of using cashback is that it allows you to save up points or even cash

More Norwegians have begun to use their credit cards strategically, as a means to take advantage of cashback offers. One popular goal is to harness enough points to travel for free by air on business class.
Beyond the standard benefits, such as deferred payment and extra payment security, they also take advantage of offers related to travel insurance, free lounge access and certain hotel benefits.
Credit card benefits present themselves in the form of discounts, flight miles, bonus points and a multitude of other advantages.

Yet, it is not always easy to navigate the landscape of credit card offers, at least in Norway. Whether the deal fits you, depends on various criteria, such as your own usage pattern. For that reason, you have to put some effort into gaining an overview.

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Strategy is key. The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten recently published an article in which it discusses Norwegians’ use of credit cards. The paper interviewed one woman, who claims she now purchases business class tickets onboard airlines, merely by using her credit card to pay for daily purchases, such as groceries.
However, as the article points out, there can be disadvantages to following such strategies. If the outstanding balance is not paid back in full by the end of the APR-free period, the cardholder will be charged high interest rates (which can often exceed 20% or more).

Bonus and cashback. Several credit cards offer what is called cashback. It works in the following way: You pay the full price in the store, and from that amount, a predetermined percentage is deducted and refunded to your account. In aggregate, it can help the cardholder save up a considerable amount of money over time.

The advantage of using cashback is that it allows you to save up points, or even cash over time. Some credit card companies then let you convert those points into cash on your balance.
Some cards have a fixed cashback percentage for certain goods and services. Classic examples include categories such as groceries, gasoline or clothing. But there are also cards in which the percentage and category that apply varies from month to month. It may be a bit of a job to keep track of such “discount calendars”, but with the right timing one can save considerable amounts of money.

Airlines’ bonus programs. Here are some basic rules to remember:

  • Be sure to collect points from a company you use frequently.
  • Use the points for travel, as it gives you the best value.

Also keep in mind that some forms of marketing can be “deceptive”. One strategy employed is to equate 1 card mile with 1 mile travelled by air. One website that helps norwegians compare airline bonuses is: kredittkortinfo.no/reisekort-flybonus/.

It creates the impression that for every point you earn, you can travel 1 mile by air. However, in reality that single mile only equates to the base point that you earn (typically the monetary value of 1-2%) of your purchase. Yet, there are exceptions, so make sure to read the small letters at the bottom of the offer.
Almost all airlines have some kind of bonus program. For Norwegians, SAS Eurobonus and Norwegian Reward are the two most popular programs. In both cases, you can save bonus points, not only on flights, but also on credit cards that are linked to the program.  The disadvantage is that one has to keep track of what each point corresponds to in NOK.

Miscellaneous benefits. Another benefit employed by Norwegian credit card holders, are travel insurances. Several Norwegian cards offer free travel and cancellation policies, given at least 50% of the trip is paid by the respective credit card. That in turn equates to free travel insurance for the card holders.

In addition to collecting points, there are some other special advantages that follow the ownership. With some cards you can sometimes get benefits in the form of special offers on travel. You can read more about special benefits on credit cards in Norway through Kredittkortinfo.no. With more expensive and exclusive cards, such benefits include free stays at airport lounges, hotels and even free concert tickets.

Fuel discounts. As more Norwegians adopt electric vehicles (EV’s), discounts on fuel may not be as sought after as it once was.
However, there are still a number of credit cards that you either get cashback on, or that give you a fixed discount when purchasing fuel at specific locations. So for those who own fossil fuel cars, there can be advantages to owning such cards.

About the Author:

Philip A. Nortvedt
I use to rent a studio in an Italian village and pop up to watch the history and architecture for inspiration. My favourite bar is next to the central Piazza, they do surprisingly fruit drinks and delicious pizza. One day I will tell you the exact location

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