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Cashing in on credit card holiday shopping deals

By Lucy Lazarony ·
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Posted: 3 pm ET

The holiday shopping season has kicked off and so have the perks and incentives from credit card companies. They want you to use their credit card as you charge your way through your holiday shopping list. Choose your card wisely because the right one could earn you some nifty savings and rewards.

Citibank is offering its Dividend card customers 5 percent cash back on all purchases made at department stores, clothing stores and electronic stores through Dec. 31. Cash back rebates earned with the card are limited to $300 per calendar year.

The Discover More card is offering its customers a 5 percent cash-back bonus on purchases made at restaurants, department stores and clothing stores this holiday season. Customers can earn a 5 percent cash back bonus on up to $300 in purchases through Dec. 31.

The Chase Freedom card is offering 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 spent at department stores, grocery stores and movie theaters through Dec. 31.

Customers continue to earn 1 percent cash back on all other purchases made with the cards. As with many rebate cards, you can earn additional cash back by shopping with these cards online.

Discover offers a 5 percent to 20 percent cash-back bonus through retailers in its ShopDiscover program. You can earn up to 10 percent cash back when you shop online at select merchants through Chase. And with the Citi Bonus Cash Center, you can earn an average 5 percent additional cash back at more than 400 online retailers.

Combining a cash back incentive with a steep holiday discount from a retailer can add up to some serious savings on your holiday shopping bills.

And don't forget about using a store card from your favorite retailer. Many stores love to sweeten holiday deals for card customers with additional discounts and rewards. However, keep in mind that store cards can come with steep interest rates, typically in the 20-percent range. You'll want to be sure you're able to pay off any holiday shopping you do with a store card straightaway. Otherwise, any discounts you receive could be eaten away in finance charges, and your exuberant holiday savings will be transformed into burdensome credit card debt.

The best weapon against overspending is to get organized. Use this holiday spending calculator to help you organize your budget and stay on track with your spending.

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