With so many consumer purchases shifting to online channels this year, it should come as no surprise that credit card usage is much higher than in past years. For that reason, using the right card for your particular needs and protecting the card from data thieves are two important considerations.
A new survey from Generali Global Assistance (GGA) found that 86 percent of consumers plan to do most of their holiday shopping online this year and 62 percent of shoppers plan on using just one card to make purchases.
Not only does using a single card make it easier to keep track of spending, security experts say it’s also safer.
"The pandemic has created the perfect environment for scammers, who are exploiting uncertainty and our more digitally focused reality, said Paige Schaffer, CEO, Global Identity and Cyber Protection Services at GGA. “Thirty-six percent of shoppers we surveyed this year indicated that their credit card provider experiencing a data breach was a top concern this holiday season.”
Best cards for security
If you’re using a single card, having one with robust fraud protection, as well as other consumer-friendly features, will work to your advantage. The personal finance site MoneyUnder30.com recently ranked credit cards for their security features.
While security is very important, consumers also consider perks and benefits when choosing a credit card. But consumers should consider their needs. Do they need to transfer a balance or do they need cashback? In the era of COVID-19, travel rewards may be less important than they used to be.
Rating the cards
In its recent analysis of the best credit cards for 2021, CardRatings.com offered choices in 11 different categories. Some of the picks for next year include:
Best Flat-Rate Cash-Back Rewards – Citi Double Cash Card
Best for Families – Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
Best General Travel Rewards – Chase Sapphire Preferred
Best Balance Transfer Offer – Citi Diamond Preferred
Best Student Credit Card – Discover it Student Cash Back
Best for Small Business – Ink Business Preferred
The editors say they consulted consumers as well as experts, scoring cards on customer service, rewards, usability, and other factors.
ConsumerAffairs has also dug deep into various credit card offers, looking for the best fit for a wide range of needs. You’ll find our results here.