Some people prefer to shop for the holidays with cash. This way, they're more likely to limit the amount they spend and avoid racking up unwanted debt. But if you're a responsible credit card holder, charging your purchases this holiday season has its advantages.
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For one thing, you're generally protected if those items are lost, damaged, or stolen. Secondly, you have recourse for returns, even if you lose your receipt. You can also benefit from price protection so you don't get stuck overpaying for what you buy. Furthermore, most credit cards let you earn rewards for making purchases, which means you'll get free money for your holiday spending.
When it comes to credit cards, they're not all created equal. That's why it pays to consider the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card for your holiday shopping. Though there are plenty of other cards that offer their own rewards programs, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards card is particularly generous in this arena. And if you're a big spender, it can help offset the amount you spend this season. Here are three reasons to think about applying sooner rather than later.
1. It's free to use
The appeal of the Bank of America® Cash Rewards card lies not just in its bountiful rewards program, but in the fact that it's free. A lot of the more generous rewards cards out there charge a fee just for a consumer to become an account holder. The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card, however, has no annual fee. As of 2015, the average annual fee for credit cards was $58, which means that, by avoiding that charge, you might actually have some money left over to spend on yourself this season.
2. You'll get a $150 bonus for using the card
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If you're first applying for the Bank of America® Cash Rewards card this month, you could be in luck: New cardholders get a $150 bonus for spending $500 within 90 days of opening the card. Given that the average American spent $929 on holiday gifts last year, you should have no problem hitting that $500 spending threshold -- even if you're an extremely frugal shopper. And once you do, you'll get 30% cash back on that $500, which can help make the rest of your holiday purchases -- think food, travel, and the like -- more affordable.
3. You'll benefit from a 0% introductory APR
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards card offers a 0% introductory APR for purchases made during your first 12 billing cycles, as well as any balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account. Ideally, you shouldn't be charging more on your credit card than you can afford to pay off this holiday season -- or at any point during the year, for that matter. But if you can't pay your bill in full by the time it comes due, you won't get instantly trapped in a vicious interest cycle. Rather, you'll have a full year to pay down that balance before interest becomes an issue.
That said, be sure to make your minimum payment each month, even if you wind up carrying a balance on your card. Otherwise, you could mess up your payment history, which is the single most important calculation that goes into your credit score.
If you have your fair share of shopping to do this season, it pays to look into the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card. In addition to the above-listed perks, you'll also snag 3% cash back on gas and 2% back on groceries. If you're doing a lot of travel or cooking for the holidays, you're pretty much guaranteed to pocket even more free money.
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