Holiday Perks For Using The Right Credit Cards For More Benefits
Wander around any store this month and you will find parts of the store are already decorated and deck out with Christmas season decorations, festive greeting cards, and delicious holiday food and of course sales on all of your favorite Christmas gifts. While many shoppers use cash or their debit card for holiday shopping, savvy shoppers know to use their credit cards for the holiday season. There are many perks and savings to be had by using your credit card on your holiday shopping! Perks and savings that simply cannot be had by using cash or your debit card. Here is our list on why you should consider using your credit card this holiday season.
This is a major perk for using your plastic when out holiday shopping. How many times in the past have you bought that perfect gift for that someone special on your holiday shopping list only to find out a week later that it is being sold for 40% off when you paid full price? Some credit cards offer price protection where if another merchant sells the same product for a cheaper price during a certain period of time. The specific period of time varies according to your specific credit card provider. If the product you purchased is found at a lower price within this period your credit card will refund you the difference!
How many times in the past have you had difficulty returning merchandise someone did not like or fit into or already had? While many merchants are very good with taking returns, some do not allow returns or exchanges or have extremely short periods of time that you can return an item, sometimes as low as 2 weeks, after which you cannot return the merchandise. Some credit cards such as the Amex EveryDay Credit Card and the Discover It card allow you to return any item, if the merchant refuses to accept the return the credit card will refund your money directly.
This is the most obvious advantage to using your credit card for the holiday season. While many cards only offer 1%, 1.5% or like the Citi double cash card 2% cash back some credit cards offer you as high as 5% and 6% on certain categories or merchants. 5% cash back really mutes the sales tax burden for those of you like myself residing in a state with sales tax.
Intro 0% APR Offers
Many credit cards this holiday season are offering the perk of all perks, a 0% intro APR which will give you anywhere from 6 months to 18 months (meaning all of 2015!) to pay the balance off interest free. With interest rates on credit cards often 13% or higher this is a great deal and a good reason to shop around for new credit card. 0% APR intro offers are a great way to put your holiday expenses on what amounts to an interest free loan, provided that you pay the balance off completely by the end of the intro period.
Some credit cards offer their customers great rewards for just using their credit cards. The Citi ThankYou Premier Card for example offers you points for every dollar spent and those points can be redeemed for a nice gift for someone at Citi’s ThankYou points reward portal. You could do the shopping for everyone else this holiday season and then treat yourself with a nice treat such as a Brookstone Active Sport Handheld Massager for only 8,100 pts.
The things we buy can get damaged on accident or worse yet stolen. Some credit cards such as the Amex EveryDay Credit Card offer purchases protection on any purchase made with your credit card. This can help protect eligible purchases made with the Card against accidental damage and theft for up to 90 days from the date of purchase. Think of it as insurance for your purchases, free of charge!
If you have ever made a big purchases chances are you have been asked to pay for an “Extended Warren” by the sales clerk, and these can be quite expensive. Credit card companies are offering a free alternative to the expensive extended warranties offered by the stores. With a credit cards extended warranty, you can get a free one-year extension of the manufacturer’s warranty just by using your credit card to fund the entire purchase. The Citi Double Cash Card is just one of many credit cards offering this perk.
Why fight the crowds looking for the best sale? Shop from home using your credit cards shopping portal! Many credit cards have shopping portals which offer card holders exclusive deals, price breaks, sales, and special rewards for shopping through the portal. You simply click on the stores link directly from your credit cards website and receive the special perks for doing so. Also keep in mind that if your credit card offers price protection this will apply as well so if you find it cheaper after shopping through the portal you will receive the difference cash back.
Gift Cards for Reward Points
Savvy shoppers have been using credit cards all year long that provide their members with gift cards from their reward points. These savvy credit card users simply give out gift cards for gifts that had cost them nothing, as they were free from their rewards program. Purchasing gift cards is most often one of the highest returns value wise when you use your points, as credit card companies receive a price break on these gift cards and pass those savings on to you for their rewards programs.
Check back to America’s Choice for more information on personal loans, credit cards, consumer financing and lending where we cover a variety of financial topics to help consumers save in 2015 and beyond.