Many Americans will pull out their credit cards when the unofficial holiday shopping season kicks off Thursday only a few hours after the Thanksgiving turkey is eaten. But some credit cards may offer better deals than others.
Savvy consumers should find out in advance what holiday promotions their credit cards are running to get the most for their money. But they also should be careful not to become overzealous in getting deals, which could lead to busting budgets.
"There's really nothing wrong with using a credit card as long as you're disciplined enough to stay within your budget rather than overspending," says John Ulzheimer, credit expert at Credit Sesame.
The best way to find out if your credit card features any special deals is to visit the card's website and log on to your account. Keep an eye out for emails or mailings from your credit card issuer, too.
Here's a quick rundown of holiday promotions that several major credit card issuers are offering this year:
American Express cardholders get a one-time $10 credit when they spend $10 or more on a single in-store purchase at a qualifying small business location on Small Business Saturday -- Nov. 30, 2013. The cards must be registered in advance.
Capital One is offering select gift cards at discounted rates -- from 10 percent to 20 percent off -- for the holidays to cardholders who use rewards points to purchase them. Some of the select gift cards include: Barnes & Noble, Bass Pro Shops, Brinker Restaurants, L.L. Bean, Brooks Brothers, Gap, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Macy's.
Chase Freedom cardholders earn 5-percent cash-back on up to $1,500 at Amazon.com and certain department stores through Dec. 31.
Chase Ultimate Rewards is offering 5 percent to 10 percent discounts on select gift cards, including Aeropostale, Land's End and Old Navy.
Each Tuesday between now and Dec. 17., Citi cardholders who make at least $100 in purchases on Walmart.com will receive a $10 e-gift card from Walmart.com.
Citi ThankYou Rewards members can now use their points for online shopping by using a special rewards account number in place of a credit card number at checkout.
Editor's note: This list will be updated as new promotions come in.
What credit card promotions are you taking advantage of this holiday season?
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