Train in stationIt’s that time of year again when many of us need to think about renewing our season tickets and travel cards.  The annual ticket option is usually the best value for money, but is a big initial outlay at any time of year. If like me, your renewal date coincides with Christmas, that debit from your account can certainly sting a bit.

So what are the options when it comes to paying for your season ticket?

  1. Get a season ticket loan from your employer.  Some companies will pay for your season ticket upfront and then deduct monthly payments from your salary to spread the cost over a year. It’s a great option for helping you manage your money, as the payment is taken from your salary before it even hits your bank account.  It’s definitely worth checking with your Human Resources (HR) department to see if this option is available.
  2. But your ticket on a 0% purchase credit card.  Take out a credit card which has 0% interest on purchases for as long as possible, which will give you some breathing space after Christmas. You can then pay it off at your own pace in more manageable chunks.  The downside is that if you don’t pay off the outstanding balance before the 0% period runs out, you’ll start paying interest on the balance, which can quickly cancel out the saving you made by buying an annual ticket.
  3. Pay on a rewards or cashback credit card.  If you already have the money to pay for your season ticket, use a rewards or cashback credit card rather than your debit card so you can get something back on your purchase.  Make sure you pay it off as soon as the bill comes in so you don’t incur any interest charges.

If you decide to apply for a credit card, always check your credit report beforehand to make sure it’s accurate, up to date and that you have a decent credit rating.  It’s damaging to your credit score if you apply for credit cards and get rejected, so don’t take the risk!