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5 Things to Consider When Using Your Credit Card for Holiday Purchases

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Advance Personal Finance

Advance Personal Finance

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Black Friday and Cyber Money have come and gone which means the holiday shopping season is now in full swing. It’s this time of year that most of us increase our budget in order to buy the perfect gifts for our friends and family. As long as you have planned for the season over the past 12 months then it shouldn’t be all that stressful for most.

If you are planning to do your shopping with a credit card so that you can earn extra credit card miles then here are a few tips to make sure you follow.

Stay Within Your Budget

Before you start your holiday shopping make sure you have a set amount that you want to spend on each person from your list. Keep a commitment to yourself to not go over this amount. By sticking to your number you will be able to fully pay your credit card statement off at the end of the month, which means you will avoid any finance charges.

Maximize Your Rewards

Make sure you are strategically using your credit cards for your holiday purchases. If you are shopping at an office supply store for a new computer, make sure you use a credit card that offers bonus points on office supply purchases. Just remember that just because you are earning extra points, it’s no excuse to spend more than you should.

Be Careful With Store Credit Card Offers

It’s almost guaranteed that nearly every large retailer you visit this holiday season will offer its store branded credit card. Be very hesitant with these offers. Most of them will offer you around 10% off your purchase, but these cards come with very high interest rates. Some of them are upwards of 25%.  There are a few good store cards and getting them for a large purchase might be a good idea if you are going to save a substantial amount of money. Just take your time to research the card before you make your way to the store.

Watch Out For Bonus Holiday Rewards

Most credit card issuers offer special discounts for their cardholders. American Express has Amex Offers, which offers several different discounts on purchases made at select retailers.

Understand the Card Benefits

Most credit cards come with a handful of benefits that protect shoppers against different things. Most cards will offer you an extended warranty outside what you receive from the manufacturer. Some cards will also offer you accidental damage and theft protection in case something were to happen to your purchase between now and Christmas. One of the best benefits available from some issuers is price protection. If you purchase an item and find it cheaper within a certain amount of time then the issuer will refund the difference to you.

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