Holiday shopping season with UCU credit cards.

Wise Ways To Use Credit This Holiday Season

December 7, 2023

Credit cards make it easy to navigate the additional spending you are likely to encounter this holiday season. For some people, that additional spending may come too quickly. Because credit card purchases can cause financial strain if left unchecked, creating a spending plan for your season and following a few simple tips for using credit cards can be extremely useful.

Create Your Budget

The first and most crucial step in managing your credit cards for holiday spending is to make a budget. Your holiday budget can be as simple as a list of expected purchases and how much you can afford to devote to those expenses – or it can be a detailed spreadsheet of every anticipated expense compared against your income, cash, and credit limit. However you do it, the point is to look at all of the expenses you plan to have during a certain period of time – in this case, the holidays.

Choose the Right Card

Credit cards vary widely from one lender to another, so it is essential to shop with a card that offers you a good blend of competitive rates and other perks. For example, with a UCU Platinum Rewards credit card, shoppers can earn up to five rewards points for every net dollar spent** while having a low rate and no annual fee. Using this type of card for planned expenses is recommended because you have already planned ahead and know you are going to make those purchases, so you might as well benefit from the rewards. UCU Platinum Rewards points can also be redeemed for cash back!

Shop Safely

When shopping in person be aware of your surroundings. This includes checking for card skimmers at the payment terminal, and making sure no one is looking over your shoulder when you are using your card. When shopping online, only use reputable websites. Don’t enter your credit card information in a public or unsecured Wi-Fi network, as hackers can easily steal your information when you do.

Keep Track

Throughout the season, monitor your purchases by checking your receipts and account statements frequently. Be sure to track those purchases against your budget to ensure you don’t overspend in any one purchase category. If you do, you may have to adjust your budget in other areas. Your main goal should be to keep overall spending within or under your holiday budget.

Watch for Deals

You’ll often find credit card specials around the holidays, and taking advantage of these can certainly help. For instance, UCU is offering a timely special rate on their credit cards¹ from now through the end of the year – perfect timing for your holiday shopping.

UCU Holiday Special

From now until December 31st, 2023 purchases made with a UCU credit card¹ have a promotional purchase rate of 3.99% APR² for 12 months! Following the promotional offer period your APR will revert to your standard APR for purchases.

**Rewards points: Earn 5 points for every dollar spent with Streaming and Gaming Subscriptions, Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on Gas purchases, Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on Dining, such as restaurants, carryout, delivery, Earn 1.5 point for every dollar spent for all other purchases. Learn more on our rewards webpage.
¹Promotional rate does not apply to the UCU Business credit card.
²Rates exist as APR, or Annual Percentage Rate. APRs for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances will vary based on Prime Rate and creditworthiness. The promotional APR for purchases is effective for 12 billing cycles. After that, your APR will revert to your standard APR for purchases. Cash advances made with this card are subject to a fee of $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater. Foreign transactions are subject to a fee of 1% of each transaction in U.S. dollars. Membership eligibility applies. Other terms and conditions apply, see representative for details.