Is your credit card or debit card starting to feel the burn from all your shopping over the weekend? Are you still going strong today on Cyber Monday? Do you even know which card it makes the most sense to use? Guest author Micah Moon has a few tips to help you figure out how to maximize the results you can get while fueling the economy today!
The Great Holiday Shopping Debate: Credit vs. Debit Cards
Whether you plan to get a head start on your holiday shopping or end up waiting until the last minute, consider establishing a budget ahead of time. Even if you are one of the many who start your shopping before Thanksgiving, it may be wise to consider how you are planning to pay for the many items on your gift-giving list. As you consider how to budget for your gifts, it is also important to understand the advantages of using either a credit card or a debit card. To decide which one is the right one for you, assess your holiday needs and goals by asking yourself one important question, “Do I have the necessary cash on-hand to buy this year’s gifts?” If the answer is no, then using a credit card may be your only choice. However, if you do have the money available to make your immediate holiday purchases, then use the following tips to help you decide whether to use your debit card or credit card when doing your holiday shopping.
Credit vs. Debit Cards – Which is right for you? There are a few key differences to consider when deciding between using your debit card and your credit card for the bulk of your holiday spending.
Rewards – Credit cards, like many debit cards, offer an array of rewards from which to choose. While some companies offer points and frequent flyer miles for the purchases you make using your credit card, others like Nationwide Bank, feature attractive cash back rewards. Rewards can be a great incentive to use your credit card to do holiday shopping. Whether you have cash available for all of your seasonal purchases or not, in order to make the smartest choice for your situation, you should consider all of your payment options before you start this year’s shopping.
Interest – Debit cards don’t charge you interest each month, since the money is immediately withdrawn from your available funds. However, you may be able to avoid accruing additional interest and finance charges on your credit card if you pay off the balance in full each month. If you are concerned that you may be unable to pay off your balance, you may want to reconsider using your credit card when doing your holiday shopping.
Payments – If you don’t want the hassle of regular payments, then a debit card may be the right payment alternative for you. However, if you are confident that you can make timely payments each month, a credit card may be the right choice for your individual situation. Once you find the solution that works for your budget and your lifestyle, you’ll be on your way to enjoying financial flexibility all year long.
Consumer Protection – Debit cards offer consumer protection to a point. Banks often ask that you fill out paperwork when you think the safety of your checking account has been breached. Sometimes restoring missing funds can take weeks in order for the bank to research the fraudulent activity, often leaving you low on cash until everything is settled. Most credit card companies, however, offer fraud protection and immediate refunds. If you find suspicious or fraudulent charges on your account, simply contact the credit card company and they will likely reverse the charge immediately. This way, you always have available funds when doing your holiday shopping.
There are many reasons you may be debating between credit vs. debit cards for all of your holiday shopping needs. Although debit cards may seem like a hassle-free choice, you may want to consider using your credit card to do most of your gift buying. Benefits such as cash-back rewards make using credit cards an attractive decision. Also, if you do decide to use a credit card this holiday season, consider a Nationwide Bank credit card. This convenient Visa cash back card offers a 0% introductory APR for six billing cycles, no annual fee, 1% cash-back rebates and more. Complete your online credit card application in as little as 15 minutes, and get ready to enjoy this holiday season of gift-giving and generosity.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.