Christmas season is once again here. And as a tradition, gift giving is also just around the corner. Most consumers prefer to use their credit cards when shopping for gifts. They are safer to carry around when shopping and more convenient as well. Nevertheless, credit cards should also be used with care. Consider the following credit card tips for your Christmas shopping and get the most of what your credit cards have to offer:
Take advantage of 0% rate offers. When shopping for a season, its best to use a credit card that has a low interest rate or even a zero APR. Most credit cards offer 0% APR from six months to a full year so if your current credit cards dont give you that flexibility, its smart to get a credit card with a low interest advantage.
Gather your rewards. A reward credit card is best for shopping for the holidays. Since youll be making a lot of purchases, you might as well get incentives out of them. A cash back reward credit card gives you the opportunity to get more savings and more value for your money. If youre thinking about going on a Christmas vacation, you can save a great deal from your travel expenses if youre going to apply for a credit card with a Travel Miles Reward program early in the year.
Check your billing statements. Check your credit card statement for accuracy and make sure that all the charges in your account are purchases that you did make. If you have any disputes about the charges, dont hesitate to inform your bank right away. Remember, you have the right to dispute claims under the Federal Law. If you do have disputes, dont just inform your bank by phone. Send a follow up dispute letter via registered mail as well.
Create a shopping list. Just because youre using your credit card in purchasing gifts means you can splurge all you want. Its best to write down your exact budget for the gifts you plan to give. It will also allow you to think about the best gift that will make someone happy.
Write down all the people who you want to give gifts to and beside each persons name, write down the estimated amount of gift youre willing to spend. Add up the total of all the gifts youll be purchasing so you can have an idea of how much youll be charging on your credit card. Fight the temptation to go over the amount youve already listed in your list.
Dont take out cash from your credit card. Never use your credit card for debiting cash. Always remember that cash advances automatically charge you with interest because its not included in the grace period of the card.
Pay your bills on time. After the shopping is over, make sure that youre prepared to make your repayments. Submit your credit card payment on time and never ever make the mistake of delaying or putting off with your payments.