Holiday Credit Card Strategies
According to the National Retail Federation, about 20% of total retail industry sales occur during the holiday season. With consumers spending so much during such a short time at the end of the year, it makes sense to start considering your credit card strategy as early as possible.
Credit Card Strategies to Manage Debt
About half of all American credit card users tend to carry a balance on their credit cards, and they are more likely to do so during the holidays and afterwards. If you are already carrying a balance or don’t think that you’ll be able to pay off your statement balances after the holidays, then you need a credit card strategy that will minimize your interest charges while helping you to pay off your debt as soon as possible.
One way to do this is to open a new account with a 0% APR offer for new purchases, balance transfers, or both. With one of these offers, there will be no interest on your eligible balance for at least six months, and often for 18 months or longer. Nearly all of these interest free balance transfer offers have a balance transfer fee of 3-5%, so it’s better to use a promotional financing offer for new purchases rather than transfer a balance after the holidays and avoid the fee.
Here are some of the top cards available with promotional financing offers:
This card offers new applicants 15 months of 0% APR financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, and it is one of the only interest free offers with no balance transfer fee. After the intro offer, a 16.49% - 25.24% variable APR applies. Other benefits include a free monthly FICO score and access to Chase’s innovative Blueprint program. Blueprint allows you to save on interest by paying off some charges in full, while carrying a balance on others. Blueprint also contains powerful budgeting and goal setting tools. There’s no annual fee for this card.
Citi Simplicity® Card
The Citi Simplicity® Card from Citi, a Credit Cards House advertiser, offers an outstanding 21 months of 0% APR financing on balance transfers, with a 5% balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever is greater). This card also has no late fees, no penalty interest rate, and no annual fee. After the intro offer, an APR of 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable) will apply.
Credit Card Strategies to Maximize Your Rewards
If you always avoid interest by paying your entire statement balance in full, then you can feel free to choose the credit cards that will offer you the most rewards for your spending. During the holidays, you’ll want to have the credit cards that will offer you the most valuable rewards for the kind of purchases you plan on making.
Here are some cards that can offer the most rewards for your holiday purchases:
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, a Credit Cards House advertiser, offers 3% cash back for spending at select US department stores where you might do your holiday shopping. It also features 6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent each year at U.S. supermarkets, which often sell a variety of gift cards. You earn 3% cash back on gas and 1% cash back on all other purchases. This card also offers new applicants a $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 within three months of account opening.
New accounts also receive 12 months of interest free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a $5 or 3% balance transfer fee, whichever is greater. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card. After the intro offer, a 18.49% - 29.49% variable rate applies.
Citi® Double Cash Card
The simple Citi® Double Cash Card from Citi, a Credit Cards House advertiser, offers you a very high rate of return on all your holiday purchases. You earn 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and another 1% cash back when you pay for your purchases. There’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.
It also features 18 months of 0% APR financing on only balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. There’s no annual fee for this card. After the intro period, a variable APR of 18.49% - 28.49% will apply.
Editorial Note: The information related to Chase Slate® has been collected by Credit Cards House and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
First published , last updated
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.