Take Advantage of Sign-Up Bonuses
If you haven't racked up many rewards points this year (or already spent them all … oops), it's not too late to get in on the holiday rewards game. Some major credit card issuers offer sign-up bonuses to attract new customers. You usually have to meet a spending minimum within a certain period of time. For example, you may need to spend at least $1,500 within 90 days to qualify for a $200 sign-up bonus. By putting all your expenses on your new credit card — and paying off the balance each month, of course — you can earn extra cash to put toward holiday gifts, in addition to whatever rewards you'll be earning for use later (ahem... summer travel-planning perhaps?).
Use Cash Back to Pay Yourself Back
Another way to save money is by taking all the cash back you earned and applying it to your credit card balance. This will reduce your balance when the shopping bill arrives, which helps take the pressure off.
Start Racking Up Rewards Now
If you're a newcomer to the world of credit card rewards, don't feel left out. You can still take advantage of them to ease your budget and stay out of debt as you move into 2024. Pick out the right credit card for you and take advantage of all the holiday spending you have to do anyway by putting it on your new card. Come January, you should have a good amount of points available to reduce your credit card bill. But also research whether it's the right move to tap into perks.1 Additionally, see if it makes sense to put gift purchases on a credit card.2
Remember, credit card rewards aren't worth a dime if you use them as an excuse to spend more than you can afford. Rewards cards can be a useful tool or a debt trap, depending on how you use them. Be sure to use your rewards card strategically, so you can come out ahead entering 2024.