(BPT) – ‘Tis the season to go shopping. Whether online or in stores, you probably have a list and are checking it twice as you cross off to-do’s. All this merrymaking can quickly add up, not to mention make you vulnerable to digital Scrooges looking to steal your financial information.
Fortunately, with some smart strategies, you can save money, enjoy the best of the holidays and shop securely on the go. Just follow these expert tips for seasonal shopping:
Budget: Before you start holiday shopping, set a budget for yourself. Knowing ahead of time how much you can spend can help direct your shopping and reduce temptation to go overboard. Then, regularly review your budget to ensure you’re in a good place financially for a merry holiday with no big bills looming in the new year.
Shop safely and securely: Help protect yourself against scams, phishing and other security issues while shopping online. The PayPal wallet securely stores credit card, debit card and bank account information in one place so you can safely pay at millions of retailers around the world without sharing full financial information.
‘This year’s holiday shopping season is set to be one of the biggest yet, and we’re here to help ensure that our customers can check out safely and securely, with the added benefit of a chance to win rewards or cash prizes to bring joy to their holiday shopping,” said Bob Rupczynski, vice president of Consumer Marketing, PayPal.
Look for ways to save or win a little money: When shopping with PayPal and spending $10 or more on purchases or donations, you will be automatically entered into the weekly drawing for a chance to win prizes ranging from $25 to $250 to spend on future purchases or donations using PayPal at millions of merchants or charitable causes. Plus, you could win the weekly grand prize of $10,000. In total, the company will give away $20 million to customers this holiday season. Terms apply. Learn more at Paypal.com/US/Giveaway.
Uncover deals: Watch for sales at favorite stores or use a tool like Honey that automatically notifies you if an item you’re interested in drops in price. Honey also searches for discount codes when shopping online, plus you can earn cash back. Utilize free shipping options. Use digital apps that offer exclusive deals, such as PayPal’s new app which provides shoppers access to discounts and offers on hundreds of popular brands. Customers can shop through the in-app browser.
Save receipts: Whether it’s a traditional paper receipt or a digital copy, save all your receipts. It’s always wise to crosscheck charges made against money coming out of your financial accounts. What’s more, if an item you purchased recently goes on sale, you can reach out to the retailer and inquire to get an adjustment for the sale price by referencing your receipt for proof of purchase.
Check out safely in stores: Try touch-free and secure ways to pay when shopping in person this holiday season. QR Codes offer the ability to pay in person with PayPal and Venmo. To use the seamless payment option in store, simply head to a cashier and open the PayPal or Venmo apps, click the ‘Scan’ button, select the ‘Show to Pay’ option and have the cashier scan the QR code at participating stores.
Split payments: Explore options to split costs into smaller, digestible chunks so you can spread out payments, especially when there are no-interest options. For example, look for the option to ‘Pay in 4‘ when checking out with PayPal at millions of online retailers. This is the option to break purchases between $30 to $1,500 into four interest-free payments.