2016 holiday shopping and credit guide
Wise use of cards can put money in your pocket and keep debt off your back
By Sienna Kossman | Updated: December 9, 2016
Statistics enthusiast focused on data-driven content.
Temperatures are falling, store displays are changing and credit card bills may be climbing, all in preparation for the fast-approaching holiday season.
American consumers are expected to spend an average of $589 on holiday gifts this year, and total holiday spending is expected to rise 3.6 percent from 2015, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual forecast. Many people are already racking up holiday bills, too, according to CreditCards.com poll. Approximately 34 million Americans had already started their holiday shopping by late September, and 1 million were finished before October even began.
Whether you’re still checking items off your seasonal shopping list or just looking for deals, CreditCards.com has compiled resources you need to get you – and your credit – through the 2016 holiday shopping season:
- 2016 holiday card perks and rewards: If you’re putting holiday expenses on your cards this year, here’s a sampling of the current card specials that may help you get something back while you’re giving so much.
- 6 cash back cards to use for holiday spending: Depending on what you’re buying, here are six cash back credit cards that will reward you the most as you shop this season.
- 7 ways rewards
cards can trim holiday costs: Use rewards cards to pay for gifts with points, save
at shopping portals and fly home to visit friends and family using airline miles.
- Purchase protection survey 2016: Which cards offer them: Using credit cards to buy holiday gifts? Your purchases are likely protected, as 83 percent of cards boast added purchase benefits, according to a new CreditCards.com survey.
- How four families rein in their holiday spending: With pressure to reciprocate gifts and give kids magical holiday memories, how will parents make ends meet – and stay within their holiday spending budgets? These are the stories of how four American families rein in their finances while celebrating the season.
- Rev up holiday rewards with your card's shopping portal: Credit card shopping portals can help you leverage your holiday spending to gift yourself extra rewards, but before you shop, learn how to use them.
- Compare best sign-up bonus rewards cards: Want extra funds to put toward holiday gifts or travel? Check out these six credit cards currently offer sign-up bonuses worth $1,000 or more.
- Video: 4 ways to save money shopping online for the holidays:If you are holidau shopping through a device, be sure to cash in on the savings available with these four tips.
- Discounts: 8 ways to get gift cards for less: Few gifts can beat the ease and appeal of a gift card -- small enough to slip in an envelope and a crowd-pleaser for those hard-to-buy-for friends and relatives.These tips can help you get these handy gifts for less. (See also: How to replace a lost, stolen gift card)
the gift of flight with airline gift cards: For the travelers in your life, airline gift cards can be a great present. However, gift card terms and conditions vary, so do your homework first before making a purchase. (See also:
Airline gift card comparison chart)
- 6 end-of-year steps to protect your credit: As the big spending months close in, take steps to keep your credit under control before you ring in the new year.
- 7 ways to unstuff your family budget: To plan for the upcoming (and often unexpected) extra expenses the holiday season brings, try unstuffing your budget as much as possible now so you can avoid debt later.
- 2016 retail card survey: APRs climbing, sign-up deals fading: While popping in and out of stores during the holidays, you may be tempted to sign up for retail card offers. Read our latest research about these cards to find out if they are really worth a purchase discount.
See related: Poll: Holiday retail season starts too darn early
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- 8 strategies to resist impulse buying – Buying something new gives you a buzz, but can break your budget if left unchecked ...
- Stack card rewards with tax-free weekends for back-to-school shopping – Sales tax holidays and rewards cards cut costs on clothes, shoes, computers ...