Student Credit Card Tips for the Holidays

If you own a student credit card, use the following tips as your guide on how to spend smarter this holiday season and avoid post-holiday headache brought about by bad debt.

Watch out for store cards. Many retail shops offer exclusive discounts during the holiday season to encourage customers to sign up for a store card. While the opportunity to save 10% to 20% on purchases can be tempting, but if you’re just going to get one to buy things for Christmas, forget about getting a store card. Having a store card in your wallet will only tempt you to overspend and the penalty fees are known to be steep.

Make the most of your student credit card privileges. There are some advantages to using a credit card for purchase. While most vendors only provide a 30-day return policy, credit card issuers typically offer 60 to 90 days return policy which is a valuable protection for consumers. If there is something wrong with the product you bought, don’t hesitate to return the item and get a refund or a replacement.

Avoid ID theft and fraud. Watch out for fraudulent merchants that use unsecured websites! If you plan to purchase online, check the reputation and credibility of the seller. See to it that the site is secured with at least 128-bit encryption technology. The URL of a secured web page must always begin with “https”, instead of the common “http”. You should also see a locked padlock icon at the bottom of your browser.

Check your limit. If you plan to use your student credit card for purchasing, you should check your account first and make sure that you have sufficient credit left. Financial experts recommend not using more than 30% of your available limit. Doing so will minimize the risk of debt build-up and is a smart way to keep your credit score in good shape.

Avoid the holiday rush. If you want to buy gifts for your friends and family, you should do it at least a few months before the holidays. Give yourself enough time to plan and prepare a budget. If you shop in a hurry, you won’t have the chance think about what you’re buying and you’re more likely to just buy whatever is in the store.

Compare prices. Some items are sold at a cheaper price, depending on the seller so it’s a good idea to do your research first and compare deals. You can easily compare shops and prices using a product comparison website. Purchasing from the internet is also a great way to save money as prices are usually lower from online retail shops than at brick-and-mortar stores.

Be responsible for your debts. If you decide to use your student credit card to buy a few items for the holidays this year, that is your decision. However, you should be committed to pay the debt yourself. How will you able to pay back your charge? Can you afford to pay back your balance in full and on time? If you have doubts, then it’s best to use cash instead.


About the Author

Samantha Wilson is a consultant for credit cards for students. For years she has written student credit card articles that would help build student credit.

Copyright 2010

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