In the personal finance community, there are a lot of mixed feelings about credit cards. Some people sing their praises, others wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole. In short, shopping with plastic isn’t universally practiced, and it’s probably safe to say that many of the people who refuse to use credit cards have been burned by them in the past.
However, it should be noted that when credit cards are used responsibly they act as powerful tools for building credit, accruing rewards, and keeping shopping simple and convenient. But in addition to all these benefits, credit cards are especially advantageous when shopping for holiday gifts. This is because credit cards offer a whole host of protections and bonuses on your most important purchases.
Unfamiliar with these benefits? Check out the information below for three good reasons to shop with a credit card this holiday season:
While this benefit isn’t offered by every credit card on the market, many cards provide customers with price guarantees. This means that if you make a purchase with your card but then find the same item for a lower price shortly thereafter, the credit card company will refund you the difference between what you paid and that bargain price. This is not only much more convenient than returning the item and repurchasing it, but could also save you major cash over the course of the holiday season.
There’s nothing worse than buying a holiday gift for a loved one, only to have the item break or malfunction a few months later. Well, if you made the purchase with your credit card, that item might still be under warranty. This means that your credit card company might reimburse you for the cost of the faulty merchandise, thereby ensuring that the money for the gift didn’t go to waste.
This is a relatively common benefit offered by most credit card companies, so it’s worth looking into the specifics provided by your card.
Unfortunately, the holidays are a time of year when rates of thefts and break-ins start to tick upward. It would really stink to purchase a bunch of gifts and end up having them stolen from your home or car. Luckily, though, many credit cards offer purchase protection. This means that if the items you bought with your card are stolen or damaged, you’d be reimbursed for their cost by your credit card issuer. Again, these programs vary quite a bit from card to card, but be sure to check with your credit card company to see if you’re entitled to this benefit.
Using credit cards might not be for everyone, but if you know that using plastic won’t cause you to overspend, they’re the safest way to shop for your holiday gifts. Be sure to contact your credit card company to see what special perks they offer – you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised!