Try not to use credit this Christmas; treat credit like cash


Americans are expected to spend more than a trillion dollars this Christmas season, but 35-million of us still have credit debt leftover from last year. Here are some tips to help.

Ted Rossman at creditcards.com says don't ignore it.

"My best tip, if you have credit card debt, is to sign up for a balance transfer credit card. This is a new card that'll give you zero percent interest for up to 21 months."

Rossman says if you have frequent flyer miles use 'em -- don't save 'em.

"The average American is sitting on about $340 worth of frequent flyer miles, about $230 worth of hotel points and about $160 in credit card rewards."

Rossman says it's also a good time to start a new rewards credit card. You can get the most out of one in the first three months and this is the time you'll be paying for travel, gifts and dining out. Rossman says if you're going to spend like the government anyway this Christmas, you may as well be rewarded.

"Credit card sign up bonuses are really attractive around the holidays because they usually require you to spend anywhere from a few hundred to even a few thousand dollars in the first three months to get the bonus."

In a poll nearly a third of consumers say they'll spend less this year than last, but those could be just 'famous last words.'


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