I can see the holidays coming from a mile away. It’s only October, but there they are, off in the distance with all their extra beverages and other unexpected expenses. I don’t want all my hard work toward my finances to fall apart in the final month of the year.
That’s why I’m using my credit cards to my advantage right now to earn rewards for the holidays. It’s a little-known fact that credit cards actually exist to earn you money, not to take it away from you. Or at least that’s how I operate.
Read More: 40 Ways to Save Money Over the Holidays
As long as you pay your balance in full every month, you are maximizing your benefits and earning rewards — rewards that can pay for holiday expenses. Here are some tips for using your credit card(s) ahead of the crazy (expensive) holiday season.
If you have a store credit card that encourages loyalty, concentrating your spending in that card’s store will help you build up points — and dollars — that can be redeemed at the end of the year. Have a Walmart credit card, for instance? Focus your shopping there whenever possible. You have to buy things like groceries, laundry soap and socks anyway, so you might as well turn those household expenses into points that can be put toward holiday gifts for the people you love.
Traveling is often part of the holiday routine, so be sure to cash in on travel benefits. Did you know that some airlines have a portal on their website, and if you order your holiday gifts from well-known websites through said portal, you earn the regular points on your card, plus extra miles? You’ll check someone off of your gift list and get a break on travel arrangements at the end of the year. It’s a win-win.
More on Holiday Travel: The Most and Least Affordable Places to Spend Your Holiday Vacation
Some credit cards offer rewards in the form of gift cards. Though they can’t help you pay your balance, they can certainly take the place of buying an extra gift. Having those gift cards on hand is perfect for people like your little cousin’s boyfriend, who shows up unexpectedly on Christmas Day. This way, you can still make someone feel welcome without breaking into your January budget.
When it comes to credit cards, remember that you are in control, and you should be using them to your advantage. As a savvy credit card user, you can earn rewards that pay for regular holiday expenses, setting yourself up for positivity in 2019.
Read More: Best Credit Card Offers, Deals and Bonuses
More From Our Smart Money Squad
- How We’re Using Travel Rewards for an All-Inclusive Vacation
- I Used My Credit Card Rewards to Get a Kitchen Upgrade
- Credit Card Points Are Our Key to Holiday Planning — Here’s Why
- Watch: Money Matters: Cash vs. Credit
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