Nearly 80% of consumers have indicated they do not plan to use their credit cards for holiday shopping this year. Since more than 13 million Americans are still paying off credit card charges for holiday purchases made last year.. it is not difficult to understand why shoppers are hesitant to run up more credit card debt this holiday season.
Although paying cash may seem like a better way to assure that you do not get into debt.. paying with cash does not offer you many of the benefits of using a credit card for your purchases.
So long as you stay within your established budget and only charge what you can comfortably afford to pay off when the bills come due.. using a credit card is actually a much wiser option.
Considering the above statistics, it is certainly understandable why many may be trying to avoid using their credit cards this holiday season. However, there are some reasons why using a credit card might actually make good sense.
For example, if you have a cash back credit card, you may find that you are able to save money for those purchases you would like to make after the holidays when the clearance sales take place. Here are some other reasons why it may be a good idea to use your credit cards for your holiday shopping.
Credit Cards are Safer than Debit Cards for Holiday Shopping:
While it may be tempting to purchase only using your debit card, there are additional protections that credit cards offer which make them a better choice than using debit cards.
Although most banks offer fraud protection on debit cards, this protection may not apply to every dollar that is lost through fraud. Most credit cards offer 100% protection from fraudulent transactions. This is especially important for those who shop online as the potential for fraudulent transactions is much higher.
Credit Card Discounts and/or Coupons:
Prior to the holiday shopping season, it is a good idea to read any additional information which may accompany your credit card statements. Often times there will be information as to holiday shopping offers, coupons, discounts at particular stores, etc.
Most credit card issuers offer discounts during the holiday season for a specific amount of savings either at traditional stores, which they identify, or with online shopping merchants. These specials can provide additional savings for your holiday shopping sprees.
Credit Cards Offer Protection for Holiday Shopping:
While most stores have liberal return policies on holiday purchases, many credit cards offer additional layers of protection. For example, many credit card companies offer longer return policies than some retail stores. While most retailers will offer a thirty day return policy, your credit card may offer an additional buyer protection plan.
Benefits of Cash Back Credit Cards:
It is important to not overlook the benefits of cash back or air mile rewards on your credit cards when doing your holiday shopping. Even if you have cash to pay for all of your purchases, getting cash back means that the final cost of your shopping can be up to 5% less.
While the rewards are usually not paid immediately, nevertheless they can help you save money for additional purchases you might like to make after the holiday season.
Airline rewards plans on your credit card can help you plan early for your summer vacation. While you may not be thinking about your vacation while holiday shopping, these airline miles can add up very quickly if you use your credit card for all your holiday purchases.
While there is little doubt that using credit cards may easily result in spending more during your holiday shopping trips, there are some significant benefits that are associated with using credit cards as opposed to cash.
Buyer protection, fraud protection, and cash back on all purchases are just as few of the benefits of using your credit cards for holiday shopping.
There is no doubt that we must use our credit cards responsibly during the holiday season. Everyone is aware that the temptation to overspend is much higher than at other times of the year. However, those who set up a solid budget for holiday shopping and use their credit cards may find that there are benefits they had not considered.