Find Your Best Credit Card for the Holiday Season

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Well, ladies, it’s that time of year when the holiday season creeps up on us. I’m sure you’ve already snatched up the holiday décor at Target, so let’s be proactive by spending wisely. We can begin by looking in our wallets right now and reviewing what credit cards will give us the biggest bang for our buck.

If you’re not sure, then call your credit card issuer or go to their member benefits page online. Once you determine what you’re dealing with, then you can head to Siftswift.com. This website will provide you with a plethora of credit card options that will help you get cash back, travel rewards, and the best merchandise credit this holiday season and beyond.

At Siftswift, in less than five minutes you can quickly customize and filter results based on your own personal spending patterns. For instance, I entered what the average American spends on groceries, fuel, and other common expenses and found that the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card is a good contender.  Currently, it offers 3% cash back on purchases for the first year then 2% thereafter. The annual fee is only $59. Not bad, considering the current average is $95.

For those globetrotting families out there, look for cards that will give you a nice bonus when big purchases arrive or when buying a bunch of gifts this season. That’s because travel reward cards are often best when you initially sign up.  Some provide a considerable amount of miles after spending a certain amount of money in the first few months. 

Right now, the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is offering 50,000 miles for spending four thousand dollars.  I hear ya, four grand is a lot of money, but if you bundle purchases like your insurance premiums and gifts this year…voilà!  If planned right, that’s enough miles for five roundtrip tickets!  Maui here we come! As long as you’re planning on spending that money anyway, why not? 

For those of you with little or no credit, head to your local credit union or community bank. There are many that offer what they call a “fresh start” program where you deposit a small amount of money in exchange for a credit card with a modest spending limit to begin building your credit.  There are many credit unions in the City of Corona, like Altura Credit Union and Navy Federal.  Sometimes banks won’t mention this program online, so give them a call to find out more details.

Above all, don’t forget to pay off that credit card balance and remember, people tend to spend more when they swipe versus paying with cash. I’m a big proponent that cash is king and no one wants a holiday hangover when they open up their statement in January. So spend wisely! There’s no need to go into debt to buy your daughter a Barbie Dreamhouse.