The holidays are upon us, which means traveling, spending time with family and all the delicious food you can eat. For many of us, it also means the return of another one of our favorite traditions: spending money.
Maybe that includes booking a flight home, or perhaps buying a giant present for someone in the family. Like it or not, spending a bundle this time of year might be unavoidable. However, if you are smart about your spending, you can make those holiday purchases sting a little bit less.
For example, credit cards have many advantages for consumers, and there are certain holiday transactions you should always put on a card. This will let you take advantage of credit card perks and consumer protections that you won’t have if you spend with cash.
Advantages of Using a Credit Card
You might have been told you should always pay with cash to spend within your means, but sometimes, paying with a credit card makes more sense. For one, credit cards usually come with purchase and fraud protection, meaning they help keep you and your money safe.
Credit cards also come with incentives like cash back and credits toward popular purchases in some cases. While some credit cards have annual fees, their perks can more than offset their fees for the right person. Of course, you should be aware of the interest and other fees associated with credit card purchases.
4 Holiday Purchases To Put on Your Credit Card
Some purchases are inevitable during the holidays, but if you’re going to spend money, consider putting these purchases on a credit card.
Travel is always one of the best things to put on a credit card. If you are booking a flight or a hotel (or both) for the holidays, consider paying with a credit card instead of cash.
Travel credit cards and co-branded hotel/airline credit cards give you the most value when booking travel arrangements. Often, these cards let you earn extra points or miles and might include extra perks, like seat upgrades or free nights. You won’t get any of these free perks when paying with cash.
Appliances and Electronics
We mentioned purchase protection earlier, and that can come in handy when buying appliances and electronics. These are often expensive items, so it’s helpful to have some added protection in case something goes wrong.
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Purchase protection lets you file a claim with the card issuer to receive a reimbursement, repair, or reimbursement if any items are stolen or damaged. The last thing you want around the holidays is never to receive your item or the new TV you ordered to have a cracked screen. But if that happens, your credit card may offer some recourse.
The protections credit cards offer can be invaluable when you purchase something online. That includes not only the purchase protection we mentioned, but also fraud protection. For instance, if you use a debit card and your information is stolen, it can be difficult to recover money that mysteriously disappears from your bank account.
Plus, if you have any issues with a transaction, credit cards let you dispute charges if you don’t agree with them. This can be especially useful for online purchases since you are dealing with someone who might be halfway around the world. It can also be helpful to have that peace of mind.
Purchases at Stores With a Store Credit Card
Store credit cards aren’t always the best deal, and it’s probably not a good idea to open a department store card just to get a discount on a single purchase. However, if you already have a store credit card at a place you shop year-round, it makes sense to put these on your store credit card. These cards can offer certain benefits, such as high cashback rates, bonus points and free shipping.
You might think buying things with cash is the best decision for one reason or another. While buying with cash can make sense in some cases, there are certain items you should always buy with a credit card. These include travel arrangements, appliances and electronics. Any online purchases are also worth putting on a credit card, as are any purchases you make at a store where you already have a store credit card.
Credit cards have many benefits, such as cash back, purchase protection and fraud protection. Certain items, such as those mentioned in this article, benefit from those perks. The result is you should always put them on a credit card if possible.
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