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5 credit card tips to help get you through the holiday season

An expensive time of year is the holiday season. Many people end up spending a lot more money than they intended to during the holidays, possibly incurring debt because of everything from gifts to travel to the constant stream of parties (some of which you may be required to host). In light of this, here are a few pointers for managing your credit cards over the holiday season while also maximising the benefits they provide.

1. Track your spending every week

During the holidays, your credit card usage may increase by 2X or 3X, especially if you have a lot of things to buy. Checking the balances on your credit cards once a week is a wonderful idea because of this. You can take efforts to reduce spending or alter your gift-giving technique if those numbers rise uncomfortably so that you don’t find yourself in debt.

2. Pay attention to rotating rewards categories

During the final 3 months of the year, several credit cards provide additional cash back on specific retail store purchases. If you anticipate doing a lot of holiday shopping, pay attention to those rotating categories so you can use the appropriate cards when necessary.

3. Apply for a card with a sign-up bonus before doing your holiday shopping

Many credit cards offer sign-up bonuses that can net you a tonne of money if you hit a specified spending threshold within a predetermined time frame. For instance, you can be qualified for a promotion that gives you $200 after spending $2,000 in the first three months after opening your card. Search around and see what deals are available. The holidays are a wonderful time to pursue sign-up incentives because that’s when your spending may increase.

4. Know what interest rates your various cards charge

It would be nice to finish the holiday season debt-free. But it’s possible that’s not the boat you land in. Pay attention to the interest rates your various credit cards have if you want to accumulate credit card debt throughout your Christmas shopping. A card with a 16% interest rate is preferable to one with a 20% interest rate if you plan to carry a balance on it.

5. Use the right card to book your travel

During the holidays, a lot of individuals probably end up travelling. If you intend to follow suit, using a travel rewards card makes sense. If you don’t already have one, you should apply right away. With free checked bags for domestic flights and discounts on in-flight purchases, these cards frequently have a tonne of perks that can help you save money on vacation.

Our editorial opinions are our own and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by featured advertisers since we firmly believe in the Golden Rule. Not all deals on the market are covered by The Ascent. The Ascent’s editorial material is distinct from that of The Motley Fool and is produced by a different analytical team.

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