Friday, December 4, 2009

Holiday Credit Card Tips

Posted by: Christina Dove

In the midst of the holiday season, there are several credit tips that must be followed to avoid added financial stress. With so many purchases during this time it is important to keep track of how much you are spending on each credit card. One of the most important tips are not to fall into the trap of buying an in-store credit card. Many retailers offer these cards and try to entice you by offering some inital discount of 10-15% off of your first purchase with the card. However, this superficial offer can get you into some trouble in the future.

"In-store credit cards are structured like subprime credit cards. Even if you start with a low rate, these rates generally go into the low 20s," said John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at "Terms retailers offer, a 24.9% interest rate and a credit limit of $1,000, are terms reserved for high-risk borrowers," he adds. Another trap many holiday credit card users fall into is not knowing how much they are spending or at what rate they are borrowing. Both of these habits can be very dangerous and cause a lot of added stress after the holiday season. Make sure to use the credit card that has the lowest rate as well as remember to only spend as much as you plan on being able to pay back.

Credit card companies can be relentless during this time of year and are looking to take your money, no matter what cost it is to you. So it is very important to be aware of how much you are spending on your credit cards and to be smart this holiday season.


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