We are all looking to get the most for our money and that's one of the biggest reasons Black Friday is such a great day. From besieging a store all night in preparation for midnight deal-grabbing to foraging the internet trying to find the best discounts, in the world of shopping nothing really beats Black Friday. But there is more to saving than just beating the competition to get great deals. The best way to start to saving this Black Friday is by getting yourself the right credit card.
This year, credit card companies are offering better and bigger rewards, which is great news. For example, a top cash back card could give you up to 5% rebates on your Black Friday shopping, or up to 20% cash back if you shop online through a credit card mall. The huge sign-up bonuses (up to $200) offered by some of these cards could put you way into the black right ahead of your shopping. Add to that the long 0% intro APR on purchases that you get with most of these cards and you've got a super saving tool for Black Friday. Here, we at GET.com will show you how to pick the best credit cards for this year's Black Friday.
When choosing the best card for your Black Friday shopping, there are a few important things to consider:
1. How Do You Want To Save?
There are two main ways to save more money by using a credit card to pay for Black Friday shopping. The first is by earning rewards such as cash back, miles or points when you pay.
Another way you can save is by getting a credit card with a low intro APR period on purchases. That way you can pay off your Black Friday purchases over a long period of time without having to worry about the APR. This saves you money because you can avoid the interest you would pay if you were to carry a balance on your regular credit card.
Even if you have the cash to pay for your purchases, taking advantage of a long intro APR period for your purchases can help you save by letting you keep the bulk of your cash in interest-earning accounts or other investment channels.
2. Where Do You Shop?
You might be one of those people who doesn't head to specific shops to catch deals, but just goes around picking the fruit. But then, you may be a dedicated customer at specific retailers.
If you do your shopping at many different stores and types of retailers, then look for a card that gives you a good amount of cash back on all eligible purchases rather than purchases in set categories.
Department store shoppers should take advantage of cards that offer higher cash back at department stores. Some cards give you high cash back for supermarket shopping or Amazon.com purchases.
If you shop at one or two stores only, then a store rewards card may work fine. But bear in mind that many store cards have high APRs, and don't necessarily give you more rewards than other more flexible rewards credit cards. You may also be limited in how you can redeem the rewards you earn, and might not actually save much money.
3. How Much Time Will You Need To Pay Off Your Black Friday Shopping
There isn't any point missing out on great deals and then paying more for the same thing a month or two later. If you don't have handy cash to pay for the things on your shopping list, then paying off your purchases over time is a good solution.
You will want to avoid most store installment payment plans, as these usually come with nasty strings attached and high interest.
A much better idea is paying for those amazing deals using a credit card with an introductory low APR period. Good low interest cards will offer 0% intro APR on purchases for up to 18 months from the time you open your card account.
That means if you open your new card account just ahead of Black Friday, you can pay off your purchases over a long period of time. Just bear in mind that once the card's intro APR period ends, you will have to pay the regular APR. So make sure to pay off your balance in full well ahead of the end-date.
4. What Type Of Rewards Do You Want?
The most common rewards you earn with credit cards are points, cash back and miles.
- Points can be redeemed through a points program. Each points rewards program is different, and provides different options when you redeem your points. Depending on the rewards program you may be able to redeem your points for merchandise, experiences, travel, gift cards and even cash back.
Some points rewards programs give you a lot of value when you redeem your points for a certain type of reward.
The main downside of points is that the value you get when redeeming points for merchandise, travel or gift cards is decided by the credit card company. So it can be a bit of a hit and miss setup.
- Cash back is a much less complicated type of credit card reward. Basically, you earn a certain percentage of what you spend on eligible purchases back.
Some cards redeem your cash back automatically as a statement credit, check or deposit into your bank account.
Other cash back cards let you choose how you redeem your cash back, and may let you redeem for gift cards, travel or merchandise in much the same way as points cards.
The main benefit of cash back is that your rewards have a fixed value in cash. If you earn $100 of cash back, this will normally convert into $100. So you know exactly what you are getting with a cash back credit card.
- Miles credit cards let you earn miles for eligible purchases. Some cards let you earn actual frequent flyer miles. Other miles cards, let you earn "miles" that you can redeem towards travel purchases at a miles to dollar rate. Using a miles credit card that lets you earn miles on all your purchases is one of the easiest ways to save on travel.
5. Online Or In Brick-And-Mortar Stores?
Some credit cards let you earn extra rewards when you shop at big retailers through the card's deals program. Make sure to choose the card that suits your Black Friday shopping style.
Remember that the card you use can mean the difference between getting up to 20% extra savings on stuff you buy and enjoying interest-free credit, or getting hammered with interest payments for the next year or more.