I’m not a fan of incurring debt for holiday shopping. In fact, I’m very much against it. I believe that if you don’t have the money, you shouldn’t buy it.
However, there are exceptions to the rule.
Using 0% APR Credit Cards
Using a credit card that has 0% interest for a year or more can be a useful tool to purchase something you can’t currently afford. My husband and I used 0% cards after we bought our first house. We purchased new floors and a sprinkler system with 0% interest and paid off the balance during the promotional period.
A few years ago, we did it again. My husband wanted a new bike to use over the summer. He had a bonus payout coming, but not until a few months after the prime cycling season was over.
We decided to charge the bike to a 0% card. We made monthly payments until he got the bonus, and then we paid it off in full.
Over the holidays, Americans rake up on average more than $1000 of credit card debt. Some people take years to pay that off. If you have to incur debt for holiday spending, at least do it on a 0% APR credit card.
Keep in mind that you still must make minimum monthly payments even on 0% APR credit cards. Take your total balance and divide by the number of months with 0% interest to determine what monthly payments you should make to pay off your balance during the promotional period.
Best 0% APR Credit Cards
If you don’t currently have a credit card that is offering 0% APR, it’s not too late to get one for your holiday spending. Note: Credit card offers are constantly changing. Check out our Best Credit Card deals here.
Chase Freedom Unlimited currently has 0% for 15 months and 1.5X points on all purchases. The card comes with a $200 bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
Capital One Quicksilver also offers 0% for 15 months, 1.5% cash back and a $150 bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
Citi Simplicity offers 0% for 12 months AND 0% for 21 months on balance transfers.
Each of these cards has $0 annual fee. See New Card Approval Restrictions by Bank.
Don’t go into debt for holiday shopping. But if you do, at least use a 0% APR card and pay it off during the promotional period.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.