Over the past few years, I’ve started doing the majority of my holiday shopping online. And since Black Friday and Cyber Monday are rife with great online deals, my family now knows that Thanksgiving is the hard deadline for submissions of Christmas wish lists.
While the Thanksgiving deadline makes things easier in a lot of ways, it also means I have to start thinking about my holiday shopping… well, now! But I’ve already figured out how I’m going to make the most of my shopping this year, and today I’ll be telling you all about it!
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How To Make The Most Of Your Holiday Shopping
One of the easiest ways to make the most of your holiday shopping is by using a rewards credit card to make your purchases. If you’re already planning to buy gifts for family and friends, using a rewards credit card to get something in return is simply a no-brainer!
There are two main types of rewards you can earn with credit cards: cash back and travel rewards. Both types have their own advantages, and understanding those advantages can help you decide which type is right for you!
4 Benefits Of Cash Back Credit Cards
1. Easy To Redeem
Once you reach a certain threshold of cash back rewards, it’s quick and easy to redeem them as a credit toward your account. Some cards offer the option to redeem cash back for gift cards or even a direct deposit into your bank account.
2. No Annual Fees
Most cash back credit cards don’t charge an annual fee, which keeps more money in your pocket.
With cash back rewards, there are fewer mysteries to unravel about how much you’ve earned. You’ll typically see your earnings as either a straightforward dollar amount, or as points that can be easily converted (1,000 points equals $10.00, etc.)
4. Cash Bonuses
Many cash back credit cards have bonus offers of around $100-200 for spending a certain amount after signing up. If you use it for purchases you would have made anyway, it’s an easy way to earn some extra cash!
4 Benefits Of Travel Rewards Credit Cards
1. Better Value
While the value of travel rewards vary from card to card, redeeming your points or miles often provides more value than you’d get with a cash back card. (Of course, that value may be limited to airfare and other travel expenses, so that’s worth considering.)
2. Encourages Travel
If travel is important to you and you’d like to do more of it, choose a travel rewards credit card! Using your points or miles to cover airfare can make a huge difference in turning your dream vacation into a reality!
3. Bonuses & Features
While travel rewards credit cards often do have an annual fee, they offer plenty of bonuses and features that can make that fee worthwhile. Common features include no foreign transaction fees, anniversary bonuses, airline perks, travel insurance, and more!
4. More Options
There are lots of different travel rewards credit cards to choose from depending on your preferences and goals:
- Bank-branded cards like the Capital One Venture and Chase Ultimate Rewards cards are more flexible, since you can redeem miles for travel purchases or transfer them to the airline of your choice.
- Co-branded cards like the Southwest Rapid Rewards cards offer great value for airline loyalists, and they come with added perks like free checked bags, priority boarding, and more.
Regardless of whether you choose a cash back card or a travel rewards card, using it for your holiday shopping is a smart way to make the most of your money. As long as you use it responsibly, there’s no reason to leave money on the table this holiday season! :-)
For more information on credit cards, rewards programs, and more, check out The Points Guy. It’s a great resource for any questions you may have about specific cards and their benefits!
Do you have a favorite rewards credit card?