Why Credit Cards Are Always Better Than Cash for Holiday Shopping
The holiday shopping season is upon us, in case you didn't know. Our team of retail editors are finding tons of deals for your gifting needs on Brad's Deals, but what should you do when it comes to paying for those purchases? While many of you still use a debit card (or cash for in-person transactions), I'm here to tell you that a credit card is a better option for holiday shopping purchases.
5 Reasons Why Credit Cards Are Better Than Cash
1. Credit Cards Earn You Rewards
Credit card issuers are rewarding consumers more than ever for their everyday shopping. Consider the Chase Freedom credit card, which is giving you 5% cash back on the first $1,500 in purchases at department stores, through PayPal, or with Chase Pay through December 31st, 2019. Plus, there's a $150 sign up bonus when you spend $500 in the first three months of card membership.
If you want everyday cash back, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase, unlimited. For spending outside of Freedom's bonus categories, this card is great for cash back seekers.
2. Purchase Protection
This is one of the most under-utilized benefits with credit cards. Many credit cards offer purchase protection in case an item is faulty, stolen, or accidentally damaged. I used this exact benefit with my Chase Sapphire Preferred card on a pair of Levi's jeans. The zipper didn't function correctly, and a quick claims process online brought me a refund within the week!
Every card is different, so check your terms and conditions, but most offer a 60-120 day window between purchase and filing, and have limits on each incursion from $500-$10,000.
Cash offers no such protections.
3. Return Protection
All Mastercard and American Express cards offer return protection, for 60 days and 90 days, respectively. That means that if a retailer does not accept your item for return, you are able to file a claim with your respective card company to have the price refunded. There are also claim limits on the amount of each claim and how many times a year it can occur, so check terms and conditions on your card before proceeding.
With cash, you're at the mercy of the retailer.
4. Extended Warranties
American Express also offers extended warranties beyond the manufacturer's own warranties for select items. There are item exclusions (think cars, watches, and jewelry), so again, check terms and conditions.
With cash, you're stuck with the manufacturer's warranty.
5. Better Foreign Exchange Rates
Buying an item abroad for a holiday gift? Credit cards will likely have better exchange rates than converting USD to a foreign currency. Why? The credit card network's exchange rate is dynamic, so there isn't a worry about currency losing value after you exchange. In addition, exchanging money has real transaction costs, and those are largely mitigated using a credit card. Be sure to use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred).
So, we hope this guide has helped convince you that you should be using a credit card for all your Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases with Brad's Deals! Happy Shopping!