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Maximize Credit Card Rewards and Avoid Debt This Holiday Season

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The holiday season can bring financial strain and stress as budgets get stretched with holiday shopping. But luckily, the TPG team has five tips to help you shop and earn rewards like a pro while avoiding debt.

Set a Budget and Stick to It

Map out your holiday shopping plans and set a general budget for spending. Ask yourself: who are you shopping for? How much do you plan to spend on gifts? Factor in other expenses like groceries, dining, gas, and transit costs. Keeping track of your spending and budgeting with a spreadsheet or premade template can help prevent impulse buys and overspending.

Use Shopping Portals for Extra Savings

Rewards cards often come with perks that help you save money. During the holiday season, don't forget to use shopping portals when doing your online shopping. By using a portal, you can earn bonus points or cash back at a wide range of online retailers. You can use shopping portal aggregators like CashbackMonitor to find the best portal for each purchase. Downloading a browser extension like Rakuten can also notify you of cash-back offers while you browse.

Consider Cash-Back Cards for Immediate Savings

If you're looking for more immediate savings on non-travel expenses this holiday season, consider using a flat-rate cash-back card like the Citi Double Cash® Card or the Chase Freedom Unlimited. These cards allow you to earn rewards on every purchase, which can then be used as a statement credit to offset your bills.

Finance Larger Purchases with 0% APR or New Financing Options

If you need to finance larger purchases over time, some rewards credit cards offer a 0% introductory APR period for new purchases. By budgeting to pay off your holiday shopping before this period ends, you can avoid paying any interest. Alternatively, some credit cards have released new financing options that allow you to choose a set payment plan with a flat monthly fee, saving you money compared to paying interest over time.

Maximize Earning and Rewards Potential

While overspending on a credit card is never a good idea, you can still maximize your earning and rewards potential by setting a budget, using the right card for purchases, and taking advantage of card perks and shopping deals. By following these tips, you can make it through the holiday season without worrying about debt in the new year.