Holiday shopping? Credit cards can stretch your budget, expert says

A little bit of planning can put extra money in your pocket.

The National Retail Federation predicts the average American will spend $1,047.83 this holiday season.

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If that sticker shock has you wondering how you're going to pay for it all, CompareCards chief industry analyst Matt Schulz has a suggestion.

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"With a little bit of forethought and a little bit of advance planning, you can actually use a credit card to extend your holiday budget a little bit," Schulz told FOX Business.

Schulz recommended getting a cash-back credit card like Chase Freedom Unlimited, as it gives credit-card holders $150 cash back after purchases are made.

"Lots of people are going to spend $500 or more at some point during the holiday season, so if you can get an extra $150 for spending that you're already going to do anyway, it can make a really significant difference when it comes to your holiday planning."

- Matt Schulz, CompareCards chief industry analyst

"If you plan ahead enough, it can really extend your budget," Schulz said.

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Schulz said if you already have a credit card, don't be scared to get another one.

"There's really no one-size-fits-all answer for how many cards a person should have," Schulz said. "If you have one card, and you don't feel comfortable getting another one, then you shouldn't do it. If you have 10, and you feel like you can manage all of the comings and goings of the bills, and you want to get another card, have at it."

When it comes to picking which card fits your needs, though, Schulz said it's all about asking yourself what you want to get from that card and how you intend to use it.

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However, some would caution about applying for a retail credit card.

Credit Card Insider recently published a survey that showed 40 percent of retail credit cardholders regretted applying for a retail store card.

The survey also revealed more than half of retail cardholders ended up paying interest charges on their card, thus negating the benefits of getting the card in the first place.

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