In your Black Friday plans, you’ve likely scoped out the “leaked” deals, made your list and checked it twice, and budgeted your holiday shopping. But have you decided how you’re going to pay on the big day? Here are five reasons why you should choose plastic over paper on Black Friday.
1. Price and purchase protection
Is there anything more frustrating for a shopper than making a purchase only to see the item go on sale a week later? Price protection is a perk that reimburses you the difference in price when a covered item goes on sale within a certain time frame. Check your card’s terms to find out the limits on reimbursement amounts and time periods.
Another shopper fear is getting an item stolen, or even damaging it, right after buying it. Purchase protection is a credit card perk that reimburses you for the cost of your purchase if it’s damaged or stolen within a certain period of time. Again, check your card’s terms for any restrictions.
2. Fraud protection
When you make purchases, you have the option to use cash, debit or credit. Out of these three, credit cards are the safest. If you lose cash, you’re out of luck. If your debit card is stolen and used, or its information is stolen and used, you will be liable for between $50 and all the money in your account, depending on when you report the card missing:
If you report:
Your maximum loss:
|Before any unauthorized charges are made.||
|Within 2 business days after you learn about the loss or theft.||
|More than 2 business days after you learn about the loss or theft, but less than 60 calendar days after your statement is sent to you.||
|More than 60 calendar days after your statement is sent to you.||
All the money taken from your ATM/debit card account
However, if you use credit cards, you’ll be liable for much less. If the card is still in your possession when its information is used, you won’t owe anything. If the card has been physically stolen, the most you’ll owe is $50. The most important thing, whether you choose debit or credit, is that you report the fraudulent activity as soon as possible.
3. Extended warranties
Many credit cards add up to an additional year warranty to the manufacturer’s warranty on purchases like electronics. This will save you from spending on the expensive extended warranty the salesman will inevitably talk you into buying.
Protections and warranties are nice, but let’s be honest, everyone loves credit cards for the rewards. Whether you prefer cash or travel rewards, using a rewards credit card for your holiday shopping will help you rack up serious points to use on whatever you want. You’ll be spending a lot on gifts and holiday decor anyway; you should be rewarded for it.
5. Bonus malls
If you prefer to stay home and do your Black Friday shopping online, you should take advantage of the bonus mall if your issuer has one. A bonus mall is a website from your issuer that allows you to get back extra rewards, statement credits or discounts on your purchases. All you have to do is go to the bonus mall site and click on the link for the store you want to make your purchase from.
The takeaway: Use your credit card this Black Friday to take advantage of price and purchase protection, fraud protection, extended warranties, rewards and bonus malls. You’ll be spending anyway, so you might as well enjoy protection benefits, rewards points and discounts while you’re at it.
Couple holiday shopping image via Shutterstock