From Black Friday to the Christmas Eve last-minute rush, holiday shopping will soon be upon us. Here from Bank of Hawaii is Credit Card Product Manager Courtney Hirayasu to offer advice on how to shop smart and easy with your credit card this season.
The holidays can be a very stressful time with all the shopping, crowds at the malls, lack of parking, and family gatherings. There’s just not enough time on your hands! By choosing one credit card to use, preferably the one with the best rewards, you can simplify your spending. For example:
• You won’t have to worry if you have enough cash on hand for shopping trips
• You can easily track your spending
• And you can enable the alert, so that you’ll be notified when you hit a certain amount – ensuring that you stay within budget
While each store has its own return policy, the process is usually fast and simple with a credit card. Using a credit card also protects the buyer when an item is damaged, stolen or even lost. And, if you dispute something with a merchant, some credit card companies will handle the dispute on your behalf. This is in addition to the fraudulent activity protection that credit card company’s offer.
Some credit card promotions offer low or no interest rates, which gives you a little more time to pay off the balance after the holidays. Some cards also offer double points during the holiday season. And don’t forget about the rewards you can earn from all of your holiday purchases. Depending on the credit card, you can get cash back, travel miles or discounts. Rewards can go toward spending on yourself after the holidays, or for someone special on your Christmas list next year.
It’s always best to start your holiday shopping with a budget. Be realistic. Figure out how much you can spend, and spend money you actually have. You want to start the new year on a high note without holiday bills to drag you down.
If you have a SmartMoney question you’d like answered, visit our website to post your credit card questions for this month.
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