Use credit cards for those holiday gift purchaes

As we enter the meat of the holiday shopping season, there are a few tips to follow to protect yourself and the items you buy.

One smart way to add additional (and free) protection to holiday purchases is to use a credit card that will extend a manufacturer’s warranty.

“Most cards generally add an extra year to a manufacturer’s warranty (of three years or less), but some can offer up to an additional 2 years of coverage while equaling the terms of the original manufacturer’s warranty,” from Brittney Mayer, credit strategist at CardRates.com.

Here are some of the "holiday hacks": Buy consumer electronics, toys, and appliances (some) as these items tend to break down in non-accidental manners, quite often.

Save your receipt, the card statement showing the purchase and the manufacturer's warranty, whether buying for yourself or as a gift.

Use a card that also provides Price Protection that will reimburse you for the difference between what you paid and the better price you found.

Use a card that also provides Purchase Protection that covers eligible purchases against accidental damage or theft, or loss.

Use a card that also allows Return Protection of certain items even if the merchant won’t accept it or issue a refund.

A Favorite: Citi Double Cash Back - Get 1% cash back when you purchase any item and another 1% when you pay the bill, plus get 2 years additional warranty protection on qualifying items, and there is no annual fee.