The holiday season is upon us again, which means it’s time for gift-giving and spending money. Listen, I know you want to make your family and friends happy by giving them all the things their hearts desire, but this year let’s approach it a bit differently.

As you may have noticed, holidays can bring on a mix of good and bad emotions, so before you get all in your feelings and start aimlessly throwing things in your cart, we are going to slow down for a moment and plan this thing out.

You are now on the path to financial freedom and Christmas is not going to come in and throw you off track. This year, we are going to make sure you get the most out of your credit cards by following these simple steps.

Step #1: Use a credit card that offers points and rewards 

If you haven’t already, take time to research credit cards that offer points, rewards or cash back on every purchase. American Express and Chase [HYPERLINK CARD NAMES TO AFFILIATE LINKS IF AVAILABLE] are two of my favorite cards when it comes to incredible rewards and points offers. 

Now, I don’t know about you, but I love getting rewarded for the money I spend with my credit card. Just imagine being rewarded for buying something you planned to purchase anyway. And then being able to use the rewards/points to go on exotic vacations and enhance the overall luxury of your lifestyle.

Step #2: Trade in your rewards for holiday gifts

Did you know you can plan for holiday shopping early in the year by using your rewards credit card to pay for everyday expenses like groceries and gas? Look, those day-to-day purchases will rack up and before you know it, you’ll have hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars in “free money” that you can redeem for gift cards, travel deals, merchandise and other perks you can pass along as gifts.

The best part is, using your rewards doesn’t cost anything extra because there are no fees associated with redeeming them. 

Step #3: Max out “featured” credit card categories

To maximize your reward earning potential, you’ll want to get strategic when choosing the type of rewards that benefit you most. Again, making your money work for you. 

While it’s best to choose cards that offer the highest cash back amount, be sure to do your research on which cards offer rewards in the following categories:

  • Hotel and travel
  • Dining and entertainment
  • Shopping at popular retailers
  • Gas
  • Supermarkets

Nail down the categories that fit your lifestyle, then get to work on maxing them out. I just know your niece would love a gift card for Justice or PINK, and it’ll be no problem for you because it’s already in the bag thanks to your rewards.

Step #4: Don’t Overspend

The key here is to get something for everyone on your list without going broke or putting yourself in a financial bind. You see, it’s all about making smart buying decisions to maximize your credit card perks.

So, no more shopping on impulse. It’s time to hit the stores with a plan and use these 4 strategies I just discussed to get more for less. Oh, and don’t wait – put your plan in motion today so you’ll be all set by the time the holidays roll around!  

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Creating a strategy for holiday shopping may sound tedious at first because you’re likely accustomed to hitting the stores without a solid plan. By following these steps, you’ll have savings in your pocket as well as a group of happy loved ones to enjoy the holidays with. Want more guidance on spending with purpose? Flyy Credit University has you covered right here

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