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As the end of the year nears, the has had an impact on many households. Incomes have changed, plans have changed, lives have changed. And November will be no exception.
Later this month, you might find yourself carving a turkey over a Zoom call with family or shopping Black Friday deals online instead of in stores. As you aim to make the most of the season, your credit cards may help you get more value whether you’re sticking with the same budget or adopting a new one.
Here’s how you can tackle your November spending like a Nerd.
Maybe you're staying at home with family this Thanksgiving, planning a socially distanced gathering with a few friends or aiming for a COVID-19-conscious vacation. Regardless, the holiday offers plenty of rewards-earning opportunities for your food-related spending.
This year, NerdWallet credit cards writer Erin Hurd is spending Thanksgiving at home with her immediate family and two parents. She plans to for meal preparations by stacking rewards from her credit card and a grocery chain's rewards program.
"With holiday shopping right around the corner, I can buy a few gift cards at Giant and earn 5X points, and then use those points toward Thanksgiving dinner grocery shopping," she said.
She intends to pay for the gift cards with a credit card that earns rewards at grocery stores, to squeeze even more rewards out of her spending.
If you’re getting takeout or catering through a local restaurant, credit cards that earn rich rewards on dining can help offset some of the cost. The -annual-fee earns 4 points per $1 spent on dining (including takeout and deliveries); 2 points per $1 spent at grocery stores (including deliveries), gas stations and streaming services; and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.
If you’re waiting until the last minute to book a stay at a travel destination, you might be able to score some limited-time offers.
Check your inbox for potential similar deals on your credit cards. And if you have a , you can also guzzle more rewards if you're hitting the road this Thanksgiving.
Whether you’re doing some holiday shopping or treating yourself, November brings plenty of opportunities to save with deals on Veterans Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This month, Hurd has been eyeing a Casper mattress and plans to explore her options on Black Friday. She will be looking to and her credit cards to earn the most rewards.
"One of my favorite portals is Rakuten. I noticed that on Labor Day, they offered 10% cash back on Casper purchases (usually 1%)," she said. "I’ll be looking out for a heightened bonus like that. If Rakuten is my best bet, I’ll charge the purchase on my card and earn an extra 3 points on my spend."
Hurd opts to collect (instead of cash back) via Rakuten, because she plans to use the points toward travel.
And if you have a card that earns 5% back in rotating bonus categories, make sure you opt into those categories, because you may find them useful as you shop: