Sunday, December 16, 2018

Thrifty Thinking: Do's and Don't's for Last-Minute Shopping

A new Holiday Gift Shopping Survey* conducted by reports that credit cards are the most frequent method of payment consumers use to make gift purchases in December with 61% saying they’ll use credit cards for some, if not all, of their holiday purchases this month.

If you’ll be using credit to purchase Free Shipping Day deals or last-minute store purchases before Christmas, Brittney Mayer, credit strategist at has these suggestions:

Do’s and Don’ts for Buying Last-Minute Gifts

  • Credit card rewards offer instant savings — Cash back, points, and miles add up quickly with big holiday purchases, so use a card that maximizes rewards.
  • Take advantage of extended warranties — Most credit cards offer extended warranties up to one year for free on electronics, toys, and other in-demand gifts.
  • Use a card that offers Return Protection — Insure the return of unwanted gifts even if the merchant won’t accept it or issue a refund.

  • Avoid carrying a big balance — Big balances can accrue big interest charges. If you know you’ll carry a balance, try to use a 0% intro-APR card for gift purchases.
  • Avoid maxing out your cards — Carrying high balances relative to your credit limits can hurt your utilization ratio, potentially lowering your credit score.
  • Avoid using too many credit cards — Buying gifts with multiple credit cards creates a challenge paying monthly minimums, let alone paying off the balances after the holiday.

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