I'm getting holiday shopping started now with credit card rewards
It might be the end of the hottest summer on record, but I'm eying my credit card rewards points with a much cooler goal in mind: holiday shopping.
This year, I'll do most if not all of it through gift cards "purchased" by my credit card rewards.
Those points will go toward gift cards that I will use to buy gifts or hand over to the person who is hard to shop for.
I did half of my shopping like this last year. It worked really well, because it made an expensive event much more affordable.
Sure, I could use those credit card points to book a flight somewhere or pay for a new pair of jeans, but I'd still need to go out and spend to buy toys for my three nephews.
Plus, I'm getting more bang for my buck than if I used the points to apply a cash credit to my account, because my rewards programs with Discover and Chase make gift cards more lucrative than cash.
I already pay off my balances every month just fine, so I'll take the extra bonus, even if it's $5.
It also helps me stay on budget. I'm less likely to go over the dollar amount I set per person if I have a finite amount of money in hand.
Why do this now?
First, I'm an early shopper. Second, it gives me time to compare gift card offerings and plans so I can decide now which card to use more often to get the points required for the gift cards.
Best of all? I'll be done by Thanksgiving, and then I can really relax when the holidays roll around.