Every November, Americans flock to their favorite stores to take advantage of Black Friday savings. A few days later, online retailers drop their biggest holiday shopping deals. Though the day after Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday already offer shoppers the chance to score huge discounts and special offers, you can reap even more rewards by leveraging a new credit card.
Opening a credit card account is not something that should be taken lightly, and it may not be the best route for everyone. However, there are several situations where applying for and using a new credit card is appropriate and even beneficial, especially during the fast-paced holiday season. Here’s what to keep in mind if you want to win Black Friday.
Pros of getting a credit card for your Black Friday shopping
Pay off large purchases over time with a 0% intro APR period
Whether it’s the living room set you’ve had your eye on, the new iPhone or something special for a loved one, a new credit card can be helpful when making larger purchases. Many credit cards offer a 0 percent introductory APR period – where you won’t pay interest on any balances that carry through the period. Just be sure to pay off the balance before the intro period runs out to avoid additional interest fees.
Take advantage of welcome bonuses
If you’re planning to spend big during Black Friday doorbusters, definitely take a look at credit cards that come with enticing welcome bonuses. For travel rewards, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. If you make purchases that total $4,000 or more in the first three months after opening your account, you’ll earn 60,000 bonus points. That’s $750 you can use toward qualifying travel purchases.
Maximize your cashback rewards
If you’re partial to cash rewards, the Discover it® Cash Back credit card offers 5 percent cash back each quarter when you spend money at gas stations, grocery stores, dining establishments, Amazon.com, and more. You also get 1 percent cashback on all other purchases.
Cons of getting a credit card for your Black Friday shopping
You can’t pay it off the following month
Unless you open a credit card account that includes a 0 percent APR intro offer, it’s imperative to avoid spending more on Black Friday than you can afford to pay off when the credit card statement arrives. Failing to make a payment can negatively affect your credit score and cause you to incur late payment penalty fees. If you’re doubtful about staying within your monthly budget, it’s probably best not to open a new credit card account for Black Friday.
Your credit is shaky
If your credit score isn’t great or you have a lot of debt, you might want to pump the brakes on applying for a new credit card just for Black Friday shopping. Work on lowering your current account balances and be sure to cash in on any points or rewards you may have accumulated.
You already have a rewards card
You may not need a new credit card to reap the best benefits on Black Friday. If you already have a decent rewards credit card, it may be smart to continue utilizing it and building upon your current awards balance. Unless you need to make a large purchase that will require several months to pay off, it’s healthier for your credit score to keep using the rewards credit card you currently have.
Best ways to maximize your credit card spending on Black Friday
Whether you use your current credit card or open a new credit card account, keep an eye out for these particular opportunities to earn more rewards for your credit card spending.
Look for a card with a 0% Intro APR
Purchase big items you can pay off over the course of a few months, rather by the end of the next billing period. This will keep you covered just in case you spend a little more than expected in the fervor of the holiday season.
Choose a card with cashback rewards bonuses for retail stores
When you’re shopping around for a new credit card for Black Friday, examine the kinds of purchases that get the highest percent cashback or the most points. Look for places that overlap with where you plan to shop and spend the most.
Consider what perks you want most
Think about how you’d like for your spending to pay off. Would you prefer to earn travel points or cashback? Keep the benefits that matter to you in mind while looking around for a new credit card for Black Friday shopping.
Look for special bonus reward offers the fourth quarter of the year
We already mentioned that the Discover It Cash Back card features impressive 5 percent cashback rewards for purchases at places like gas stations and restaurants. Even better, during the fourth quarter of the year, card users the bonus rate at some of the season’s most popular shopping destinations like Target, Walmart.com, and Amazon.com. If you shop up to the quarterly maximum of $1,500 at qualifying retailers, you’ll receive $75 cashback. The card also features a 0% Intro APR† for 14 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 13.74%-24.74%.