5 Credit Card Tricks to Use This Holiday Shopping Season

‘Tis the season to take out your credit card and shop at the nearby mall to get all of your Christmas shopping completed. Unfortunately, this usually leads to an enormous credit card bill by the end of January. This is why a large percentage of people get the winter blues at that time of the year.

A new infographic by Landmark Cash found that nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of people have at least one credit card and 20 percent have four or more cards – only seven percent were rejected for new cards. In addition to the large amount of credit cards, the average debt per adult is more than $8,000.

credit-card-statistics

Most financial experts will urge consumers during this period of the year to put away the plastic and only bring with you to the store a list, cash and a level head; in other words, spend within your means and don’t get carried away with buying gifts for your friends, family and colleagues. However, consumers can use credit cards if they do so responsibly and wisely.

Here are five credit card tricks to employ for the next few weeks while you shop in stores or online.

Cash back rewards

If you’re one of the many Americans who own two or three credit cards, be sure to opt for the one credit card that has cash back rewards, which are usually heavily promoted around November and December. The rate is likely one point for every $1 spent, but during Christmas that number is sometimes increased to five points for each dollar.

Furthermore, companies will offer you bonuses for using these kinds of credit cards.

Spending limit

Indeed, this requires self-restraint and responsibility. Before you embark on a journey of consumption, create a list of gifts you wish to buy and set up a spending limit. As you continue your shopping trip, write down how much you have spent and how much more you have left. By doing this, you’ll have less debt to worry about come January and February.

0% intro APR

For many, the Christmas season can be a stressful time because they know they will be spending an astronomical sum of money, which equates to a heavy debt load. Therefore, if you know this ahead of time, it would be prudent to find a credit card that has a special zero percent introductory APR – there are numerous reward credit cards that have a six-month zero percent intro APR. Take advantage of this to avoid the interest charges on a $500 bill.

Reality, or how I learned to buy inexpensive gifts

Unfortunately, this is the season that we forget about the thought and only worry about the price-tag of the gift. At the present time, the economy isn’t going too well and the cost of living is soaring. When you shop, buy only what you can afford even if that means the gifts are inexpensive or cheap. There is no reason to go beyond your means for only one day of the year.

Balance

If it is at all possible, pay off large chunks of your credit balance each week before the following month’s bill comes in your mailbox (or inbox). It’s better for you at the end because you can focus on saving and investing or allocating your money into other debts, such as a mortgage or car loan.

3 thoughts on “5 Credit Card Tricks to Use This Holiday Shopping Season

  1. Keeping an upper limit on my spending helps in curbing down additional or meaningless expenses. When I do get out to shop for Christmas with my family, I make it a point to tell them to jot down their requirements and the budget is discussed together. We avoid discussions in the shop itself, saving time and spending wisely as per our plan at home.

  2. We are religiously following the tradition of paying back every penny by the end of the month. This helps us be more aware of our expenses and we do think twice before grabbing a new pair of jeans or buying an expensive piece of jewelry here and there.

  3. Rather than shopping at one time, me and my family takes advantage of the occasional clearance sale and discounts. We buy general gift items that could be packed and given as gift at Christmas time. This way, we save ourselves from spending a huge amount in one month. This way, paying back our credit card bills becomes easier and is not a burden anymore!!

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