We'd all like to say we have a certain amount of money to use on the holidays, and stick to it.
But that doesn’t happen. We’re going to go over whatever budget we have, whether it’s buying the kids an extra toy they wanted, an eBay bid that went way over what we wanted it to be, or deciding at the last minute to host a holiday party (did that last year).
You may already have gone over your budget with a spontaneous Black Friday splurge.
When you do go over budget, chances are you’re going to be using a credit card to do it.
There is a slightly good side to this. Because of all the credit card competition — the average cardholder owns 3.5 credit cards, according to faircredit.org — there are holiday deals out there to help you stay at least a little closer to your budget:
Discover is offering 5 percent “Cashback Bonus” on all online purchases up to $1,500. The offer started on Oct. 14 and runs through Dec. 31. At the maximum $1,500 in purchases, a cardholder would get back $75.
Chase Freedom is offering a similar deal of 5 percent off online purchases up to $1,500, but only for purchases at select online retailers. The stores are Amazon.com, J.C.Penney, Macy’s, Nordstrom’s and Sears.
Citi has a pretty nice deal with Wal-Mart. If you use your Citi card to buy at Walmart.com (and only Walmart.com) and you buy at least $100 worth of merchandise, you get a $10 gift card from the store to be used for online purchases. The deal is only available on Tuesdays, however. Not bad if you plan on shopping at Walmart already.
Citi also has price rewind, since it’s annoying as all get out when you find something you bought yesterday that goes on sale tomorrow. If you bought it with your Citi card and you see it go on sale for a lesser amount within 30 days, Citi will refund the difference. There are approximately 576 disclaimers that go along with this, but bottom line is the new price has to be at least $25 lower than what you paid, and the limit is $250 per item and $1,000 for the calendar year. That could be useful for the after-Christmas price drops.
Now go and be one with your budget.