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Holiday Shopping Hype: to Use Credit or Not?

2012/11/12 by

I came across this article from MSN Money today and experienced some very mixed feelings while reading it. The essence of the article is a “compare and contrast” of several credit cards to determine which is the best for holiday shopping in terms of discounts, cash back, and other perks. Putting purchases on a credit card which you are able to pay off each month, good. Racking up excessive credit card debt buying countless gifts under the guise that you’re saving money, not so good. I think before determining which credit card you’ll be shopping with, consumers need to take a good hard look at their bank accounts, set some budgets for holiday shopping, and determine whether they’ll be using cash or debit (both of which keep finances in line because you literally cannot overspend without going broke,) or credit. Nonetheless, if you are planning on using credit–and paying it off ASAP–this might be a good guide for you. Odysseas Papadimitriou at Card Hub guest writes for MSN Money

“Anyone who’s ever shopped during the holidays knows it can be a battle. High prices, aggressive crowds and the need to do so much in so little time make things tough on both you and your wallet. But having the right credit card will help. You can save hundreds of dollars simply by using one of the best credit cards for holiday shopping.

The credit card market’s upper tier boasts unprecedented value, as issuers compete for the business of the roughly 45% of consumers who have excellent credit. They’re offering sign-up bonuses, 0% introductory interest rates and great ongoing rewards. You just have to figure out what you’re looking for in a credit card.”

Click here for a comprehensive breakdown of at least five cards that have significant perks for borrowers.

Again, I would strongly (STRONGLY) encourage consumers to sit down now, as in before all the Black Friday hooplah and the holiday shopping gets heavily underway, to set a reasonable budget for gift giving. Take into consideration that your paycheck may be smaller, if you don’t get paid holiday time off, and that you will likely be spending more money on things like food and going out around the holidays as well. Bottom line, holidays = expensive — if you let them– and you need to have a plan to stay out of debt so that come January 1st, your new years resolution isn’t spending the entire rest of the new year trying to dig out of debt.

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