PHOENIX — The countdown to Black Friday is here, but due to the coronavirus, it is going to look a lot different. To start, many people have been left with limited income, and stores are spreading out deals over several weeks and sharing them online to prevent long lines.
"You don't even have to leave the house or put on real pants to buy all of your holiday gifts, you can stay home and stay safe," said Sara Rathner, a personal finance expert with Nerdwallet.
She says despite these changes there are still deals to be had, especially with people looking to spend less and more people relying on credit cards to cover their costs.
"Using a credit card can be really helpful because they come with purchase protections like extended warranties. You can even get your money back if you ordered something online and it gets lost or stolen during shipping," said Rathner.
If you don't have a card yet, or you are looking for a new one, Rathner says to start at the stores you shop at most.
Target, Amazon, and Walmart have retail cards that offer a percentage back. That percentage can be stacked on top of coupons and store sales. If you shop through sites like Rakuten you get even more back on each purchase.
Other cards like Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and American Express's Blue Cash Card are offering more time to pay off your purchases with 15 months at 0% APR.
Rathner says one thing you may not find this year is a good card where you can transfer an existing balance to.
"The economy is a little bit shaky. Credit Card issuers are not granting these cards out as frequently as they might have done in the past," said Rathner.
If you are still not sure about what card to use, especially a card you already hold, the Nerdwallet App has a feature that can recommend a card based on your personal spending habits all to maximize cashback.