The right credit card can be a great shopping tool no matter the time of year. But during the busy holiday shopping season — especially one rife with concerns about supply chain shortages and inflation — credit cards can provide valuable protections and savings on your spending.
But other holiday shoppers may find using cash or debit instead of credit cards is a smarter option. If you have high-interest debt already, for example, or a strict budget to adhere to, cash can make it easier to avoid spending more than you plan to.
With Americans expected to spend an average $997.73 per person on holiday gifts and items in 2021, according to National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates, it can pay to choose the right spending method for your goals and budget. On one hand, that’s enough spending to quickly qualify for a credit card welcome bonus worth hundreds of dollars. But on the other hand, nearly $1,000 in holiday shopping debt is also enough to leave you paying down a balance for years to come.