What's the Best Credit Card for Christmas Shopping?
Financial implications of Christmas spending are a big issue for many of us. Those who rely on cash and have a special budget worked out in advance are relatively safe. Those who use a credit card for daily purchases cannot but take its advantages to finance Christmas gifts during the holiday spending season.
And it is often the rule with cardholders that they think of their payment obligations only after they rack up loads of debts. Many end up trapped in January, when the bill comes in and strikes by its huge numbers. With the rising credit costs and festive period coming nearer, we wonder how we can save rather than overspend and get in debt. There are two principle ways to do it this holiday season.
One is through saving on low card costs, or teaser interest rates. The great news on the eve of Christmas, 2008 is the launch of special Christmas credit card offers with 0% intro rates on purchases. Some of the newer Capital One applications allow a 0% intro period until October, 2009 which means you have up to 10 months to pay off Christmas presents for free. That's a great chance to save for those who already have such a card in their wallet. Those who don't might apply online and receive a 0% Capital One credit card in January - the right time to clear the consequences of impetuous Christmas spending. Find a special Capital One offer with 0% intro APR on balance transfers and apply online if you know you'll have to deal with Christmas debt after all.
The other way is to make use of credit card rewards, points or gift certificates earned during this year. This Christmas it is the right and best time to put the rewards work for your holiday budget. If you've been accumulating reward points throughout the year, waiting for the appropriate moment to redeem, do it now and redeem them for free merchandise or gift cards for your relatives and friends. With American Express Blue or Preferred Rewards Gold cards, you can redeem the points for high value gift cards and use them as presents or buy presents on them without taking cash out of your pocket. Christmas is also a good time to save the value of gift cards - many of them charge maintenance fee if you keep them unused for over a year.
If you're trying to achieve the greatest number of reward points to redeem them for something really valuable, use the remaining few days to pick them up at rewards partners. Participating retailers such as Target, usually offer extra points for purchases made with affiliated credit card.
Frequent flyer cardholders may also benefit from miles rewards this Christmas holiday. If you haven't collected enough miles for a free ticket, you can use them to buy merchandise and offer it to someone as a Christmas present.
Credit card companies offer unforgettable Christmas shopping this year. If you want to save while preparing something special for your close people, see how rewards programs and introductory rates can benefit you. With the tight economy and higher living costs, Christmas is certainly not the time to end in debt.