6 credit card tips for happy holiday shopping
1. Use your credit cards
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says: “It’s best to use a credit card…” That’s especially true online, but it often applies across all sorts of shopping. You tend to have better consumer rights and be better placed to dispute shoddy or undelivered goods if you use a credit card rather than, say, a debit card or cash. And many credit card companies have policies that protect their customers in the event of card details being stolen–or hijacked online–and misused.
2. Take care online
Use your commonsense and instinct when shopping online. If a deal sounds too good to be true, that’s usually because it is. Try to stick with reputable sites that you already know, but if you need to go elsewhere then look for signs that the trader’s honest. If there are BBB or trade organization logos on display, click on them or visit the issuing site to make sure they’re valid.
3. Use only secure sites
If you look now at the URL line at the top of your browser page, you’ll see that this website begins “http”. When you are on the payment transaction page of any site, don’t enter your credit card details until you’ve checked that the URL address begins: “https” (note the “s” on the end). There should also be an icon showing a closed padlock in the bottom left hand corner of your browser window. Together, these mean that you’re on a secured page, and that your card information will be encrypted when it’s sent over the web.
4. Plan your credit card use; protect your credit score
Plan your December budget now, before the holiday spirit overtakes you. Then stick to it. When you’re budgeting, bear in mind your credit card limits. You should try to avoid carrying forward balances that represent more than about 30 percent of those limits or you risk damaging your credit score.
5. Protect your credit cards
Sorry to state the obvious, but you need to remain aware of where your credit cards are at all times. That applies when you’re vulnerable to pickpockets wandering around the mall, and when you’re in the process of making a payment. Don’t let a card out of your sight: there’s a chance that the charming assistant who has it under the counter is swiping it through an illegal reader that could allow him or her to make a clone.
6. Take advantage of credit card rewards
Now is the time to make the most of your credit card rewards program. Shop carefully, and you could get genuinely worthwhile benefits.
Be sure to review the issuers online application page for terms, conditions and restrictions that apply.
Disclaimer:The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.
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