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How to Responsibly Use a Credit Card for Holiday Shopping

A woman's hand holding several shopping bags and a credit card.

It’s the most wonderful (and sometimes expensive) time of the year! Between all the gifts, food, and decorating, your bank account can take quite the blow. You may want to make the season cheerful for your loved ones, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of your budget. 

Before the holidays leave you feeling like a financial Grinch, consider using your credit card. If managed properly, your credit card can become the ideal tool for making holiday purchases. 

Only Pay with One Credit Card

Assuming you have a holiday budget (and you should), using a single card for your spending ensures it’s easier to track your festive purchases and adhere to that budget. Additionally, using one card allows you to quickly sift through your statement, pinpoint any suspicious activity, and help you maintain your credit card balances.

Prioritize Internet Safety

A lot of holiday shopping is done online. Unfortunately, nowadays hackers and scammers seem to be everywhere, looking for their next victim. Fortunately, you can cover a lot of your bases with a few simple tips:

  • Do not click unrelated pop-up ads, contest announcements
  • Avoid shopping online through publicly-accessible wireless hotspots
  • Use password-protected, private networks
  • Download or update your computer’s antivirus, anti-malware, and firewall software 

Additionally, never rely on the presence of “https” and a padlock symbol to verify a website is legitimate. Scammers often take advantage of these features to lull in unsuspecting shoppers. To verify a website is not a scam, look for the following:

  • Look for poor grammar and spelling
  • Research the website’s social media presence
  • Inspect the contact page
  • Check for incorrect domains (e.g., “.net” for a commercial website)
  • Contact or call the company tied to the site

Find Excellent Cashback Rates

An exceptional cashback credit card plan can save you an incredible amount of money over the holidays. However, you’ll need to do some research to determine which card will be best for your needs. With a Maximum Rewards® Visa Signature® Card from Landmark National Bank, you can enjoy 1.5% cashback on every purchase, every day. 

Apply for a 0% Introductory APR Credit Card

An application for a 0% introductory APR credit card can earn you a holiday season of interest-free, long-term financing. The standard length for a credit card with a 0% introductory APR is 12 months.

Know How to Utilize Your Credit

Regardless of what credit card you choose for the holidays, remember to keep your credit utilization rate low. “Credit utilization” refers to the money you owe on the credit card, divided by your credit limit. The ideal credit utilization rate hovers just below 30%

Whether you adhere to the 30% or go a little higher for the holidays, consider how quickly you can pay off the balance. If it’s not feasible to pay off the holiday purchases within a couple of months, resist the urge to overspend. 

The longer you owe money on the card, the more time its interest has to accrue, ultimately costing more money than if you paid the card off right away.

Take Advantage of Landmark’s Personal Banking Cards

Now that you’ve learned how to manage a credit card in the holiday season, discover how Landmark National Bank can help you manage your financial plans for the holidays, We understand how easily stress can overtake the cheer of the holiday season. That’s why we want to give you the financial tools you need to stay merry and bright. 

Our personal credit cards are engineered to make managing your spending easier. From little to no annual fees to bonuses and rewards, you’ll enjoy the many benefits of using a credit card when you choose Landmark National Bank. Our credit card options include the Maximum Rewards® Visa Signature® Card and Secured Visa® Card.

Fine-tune your holiday shopping skills with Landmark National Bank—apply for a credit card today!

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