8 Ways to Use Credit Cards Wisely This Holiday Season
In the rush to get gifts for everyone on your list, you may be tempted to put it all on credit. While credit cards can be very handy for your holiday shopping, especially on Cyber Monday, there are some precautions that should be taken. Here are some tips for using credit wisely this holiday season:
1. Don’t use credit on Black Friday. Save it for Cyber Monday. This way, you are not using more than you need to and are not tempted to buy more than you can afford in the pressure to buy the best deals that are getting snatched up. Instead, take cash or debit only.
2. Set a budget for your credit. Just like cash, you should decide how much you can reasonably charge in order to allow yourself not to get in over your head. Make sure you can afford to make the payments once the holiday is over.
3. Don’t sign up for numerous store lines f credit just to get that extra 10% off. If you charge too much, you may leave yourself unable to handle it once the bills come in January and unless you honestly think you will need that card after the holidays are over, it is a waste.
4. Look at the cards you have already. Do they have bonus points for shopping certain retailers? Use this to your advantage and try to shop these places.
5. Don’t max out cards and then make minimum payments. This can actually hurt you more than help your credit. Instead, make larger payments or keep your balance low in comparison to your credit limit.
6. Ask for a lower interest rate before you shop. If you have had the card for a good amount of time, and have been using it in a responsible manner, there is no reason not to tell the card issuer that their interest rate is too high for you. Have notes on reasons why you think so handy so you have some ammo for this conversation. Don’t get mad, though, simply end the conversation if it doesn’t work in your favor. Try calling on a different day or time and do it again.
7. To make sure you stick to your credit card budget, Hide some cards from yourself. Don’t take them with you if you do holiday shopping at all in brick and mortar stores. If you don’t have it on you, you are forced to use cash and the temptation won’t be there.
8. Start putting money away for the bills that will come in January, now. This way, you will already have a head start and it won’t seem so scary when you get the bill in the mail.0