Have you asked yourself, “why do I keep overspending?” This especially happens during the holiday season. There is pressure to buy the best gifts, to arrange the best meal, to host the best parties – we often succumb to this. Add to the feeling, the access to credit cards, and you have a financial disaster waiting to happen.
If you are feeling stressed and bummed out with the pressure, keep reminding yourself that debt is not the answer. Instead of maxing out on your credit card and harming your credit score, try using your card as the helpful tool it is meant to be, try using it to save money.
1. Tailor Your Purchases to Your Reward Program
Maximizing rewards with your purchases throughout the years will benefit you when you have to spend more than you earn. Check your card company’s reward structure, and understand the tiered rewards.
Make a note of the category purchases that increase your rewards for certain types of purchases like essentials – gas and groceries. Banks have tie-ups with businesses, so you can get more reward points, discounts, and cashback for specific retailers, see how you can use that your benefit.
That being said, don’t get obsessed with collecting reward points. Do not buy an expensive product over another because it will get you extra reward points. Use it as a bonus for expensive shopping, do not use it as a reason to overspend.
2. Cash in Those Existing Reward Points
Now that you have collected those reward points, it is time to redeem them. Holidays are the best time to cash in on your reward points. You can use them for purchases, not only that you can weave them into your holiday travels.
Use airline miles for holiday travel, then for hotel stays. It will help you avoid excessive holiday expenses, all you have to do is be strategic about your reward points planning. It is a gift that you give yourselves over the holidays, by making smart decisions throughout the year, to help you save money.
3. Make Friends with Price Refund Programs
There are companies that offer you a price refund through your credit card company. They search for different price ranges online to issue you the cashback within a certain time period.
For example, if you have a Citi card, then their rewind program will search for lower prices on your purchase and then you will be refunded the difference within 60 days of your purchase.
4. Partnership in the Holiday Spirit
As I talked about earlier, banks have tie-ups with businesses that help you get better deals. This is why you should list down the partnerships and then use it as a guide.
For example, VentureOne cards usually offer 1.25X miles rewards when you book hotels, but when you book it with its partner hotel, you get 10X miles, which is obviously a better deal.
Credit cards are supposed to make our lives easier, don’t pile up debt for things you do not even need right now. Use the perks that having a credit card offers. Research and plan extensively so that your holiday shopping goes smoothly.
The key to keeping your holiday spendings on the budget with credit cards is to research your card issuer for their reward programs and partnerships and then use them to your benefit.