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3 reasons to use a credit card for holiday shopping

How to pay for your holiday purchases? There are plenty of good reasons why it makes sense to use your credit card.

How to pay for your holiday purchases? There are plenty of good reasons why it makes sense to use your credit card.

As the holiday season approaches, there’s a good chance you’ll be spending money. Whether it comes in the form of travel, entertainment, dining out, or gifts for loved ones, you’re probably looking to pay a good chunk of change.

When you’re doing all those vacation expenses, remember to pay with your credit card rather than other methods such as cash or a debit card. There are plenty of good reasons to use your card for the holidays – with the caveat that you always want to pay the bill when it’s due before you have to pay interest on holiday purchases.

So why should you use your credit card when you’re spending this festive season? Here are some key reasons.

1. You can earn rewards for spending

The potential to earn credit card rewards is one of the best reasons to charge purchases to your credit cards. After all, why not earn points, miles or cash back for spending you have to do anyway?

If you don’t already have one good loyalty card, consider applying before the holiday season. Look for a card that is well suited to your spending. If you tend to spend a lot of money at restaurants during the holidays, for example, opt for a rewards card that offers bonuses for restaurant spending. Or if your big expense is your plane ticket to see distant family, a travel card would be a better bet.

The holiday season can be a particularly good time to sign up for a new card. Many card issuers offer bonus rewards to new cardholders who meet spending thresholds within the first few months of opening their account. If you’re considering buying a lot, your vacation spending could potentially help you qualify for those big bonuses.

2. You may be able to repay large purchases over a longer period of time without paying interest

Ideally, you’ll have the money saved to cover all of your vacation expenses this season. Unfortunately, many people do not live in an ideal world and end up in debt. If you do, and you’re stuck paying interest, your vacation expenses will cost you a lot more.

If you qualify for a credit card offering a 0% promotional APR on purchases, you may be able to avoid additional borrowing costs. You can use your card at 0% to buy what you need and pay no interest charges as long as you pay off the balance before the promotional rate expires. This can save you months more to find the money for your vacation expenses.

Of course, you don’t want to find yourself in the same situation next year, so also be sure to budget to start saving early for the holiday season. This way, you’ll be able to pay for your purchases as soon as the first credit card statement arrives – and you won’t need to open another credit card.

3. You can get extra protection on your purchases

Many credit cards offer extended warranties, purchase protection, or price protection as benefits for cardholders. If your card does this, you’ll definitely want to use it to reduce your risk when paying for expensive gifts.

Extended warranties extend the manufacturer’s warranty, which means your products are covered for a longer period. Purchase protection can cover you if your product breaks down or is stolen within a limited time after you buy it, and price protection can reimburse you if the price of a product you buy drops soon after.

All of these added perks can provide extra assurance that you won’t be shelled out if problems arise with expensive holiday gifts you’re buying for loved ones — or yourself.

There are many good reasons to use your card for your holidays

As you can see, there are many good reasons why you should consider using your credit card when shopping for vacation. Remember to always have a plan to pay off what you owe before the interest is due. Vacation spending is quite expensive, and credit card interest could negate the benefits of any rewards you receive.

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