5 Surprising Perks of Using Your Credit Card for Holiday Spending
It is never a bad idea to plan early for your holiday shopping. It is the best means of avoiding the dreaded “panic shopping” that occurs at the very last minute. Holiday shopping while panicked can lead to breaking your budget, and thus holiday debt. Although many people associate credit card use with debt when properly used, it can actually help in getting all of your holiday shopping done while sticking to a budget and reaping all the rewards. Here are five surprising benefits of using a credit card for your holiday shopping.
1. Can Help You Track Your Expenses
Make a list of the people you want to purchase gifts for and then determine how much you wish to spend on each person on that list. If you use a credit card, it can make your life a whole lot easier, as you can then track all of your expenses simply by looking online at your online accounts. There is only a small delay between the time you purchase something and when it shows up on your account online, and so checking your account when you get home from shopping can allow you to keep track of your spending and rein it in if necessary.
2. Earn Credit Card Rewards
As long as you avoid carrying a balance to the next month when you use a credit card, using a rewards credit card to make your holiday purchases can be incredibly beneficial. Before you head to your mall or go online, read up on how your credit card’s reward program works and figure out how you can benefit the most from using it. For instance, if your credit card will give you 10 percent cash back for making purchases at Amazon then ensure that you make as many purchases as possible there.
3. Shop With Consumer Protection
The majority of credit card issuers will protect you by giving you zero liability in the instance of fraudulent purchases. If you utilize a debit card on the other hand or if a retailer’s account is hacked, then your checking account can be drained entirely. The last thing that you want to deal with during the holiday season is a cash flow issue because you were the victim of fraud. It is a good idea to check with your credit issuer before making purchases to find out their exact policy on fraudulent purchases.
4. Have Purchase and Warranty Protection
Besides the fraud protection that comes with most credit cards, you can also benefit from using a credit card that comes with purchase protection and warranties. Although the exact benefits and perks of a credit card vary depending on the issuer, a majority of cards these days do come with warranty and purchase protection. Using a credit card that gives you an extended warranty, means that you can do all of your holiday shopping without worrying about not being able to meet the store’s deadline for their warranty. Additionally, purchase protection will let you return an item if it is broken and get your money back guaranteed.
5. Allows You to Take Advantage of Online Shopping Malls
These online shopping malls are also called “shopping portals” and are an excellent way to do your holiday shopping. The majority of credit card issuers have one of these online shopping malls, which allow you to gain bonus rewards when using the credit card issuer’s card. For instance, if you shop through Citi Bonus Cash Center while using a Citi credit card, you’ll see a bunch of bonuses and good deals from a variety of vendors, which will allow you to save a substantial amount while also earning rewards.