According to reports based on a survey (Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions), conducted by the National Retail Federation, more than 25% of consumers are planning to pay with credit cards for purchasing gifts this holiday season. This is by far the lowest since 2002. 40% of consumers will be using their debit cards and around 25% will pay with cash. So, there has been an overall increase in other forms of payment and a decrease in credit card usage. However, the ones that plan to use their credit cards will certainly spend more this holiday season.
Here are a few tips to keep holiday spending in check this holiday season.
- Check the web and get some tips on how to cut down on holiday spending, and plan expenses accordingly.
- No matter how tempting, avoid signing up for store credit cards. They will fleece you with sky-high interest rates. Store credit cards charge an average of at least 9 percentage points higher than standard credit cards. If it is possible to pay off the holiday purchases within a few months, then it would be wise to go in for a low interest credit card, which offers 0% APR for the introductory period rather than signing up for store credit cards.
- Redeem cash-back and reward points that have already been accumulated on the credit card, and save some cash this holiday season. Chase cardholders who have access to Ultimate Rewards Program will receive a gift card as bonus for every 5,000 points that are redeemed. The bottom line is not to spend more in order to “save”.
- Utilize the cash back or rewards points that are redeemed, to purchase a gift card or cash that could be used as a gift.
- If one has a really tight budget this season, then it is wise to check out the different gifting options on the net – ideas that will not break the account in the bank.
All the information gathered is based on different surveys. A recent survey conducted via e-mail, revealed that at least half the people would spend an additional $100 to $500 more this holiday season, and at least 50% of them revealed that they never prepared for the increase in spending.
Overall, there has been a decline in the number of credit card users, and an increase in other forms of payments this holiday season which is a good sign so far.