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The Resource Center Credit Fraud & Credit Monitoring | article

Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas by Sticking to One Credit Card

After the holiday season has passed, chances are you'll have a whole bevy of bills that you'll need to organize and pay. These may include charges you incurred purchasing gifts, ordering party rental items, racking up increased electric bills or reserving lodging when visiting loved ones. When it comes to taking care of all of these bills, pay them using the same credit card. This will not only make keeping track of bill payment easier, but it will also help protect against identity theft.

The card with the most flexibility is the one to go with
If you have multiple lines of credit, it can be beneficial to choose the card that has the best options for you as a consumer. Make sure it's the account that has the lowest interest or the highest line of credit so you don't run into excessive fees or overage charges. By sticking to this one card, you won't have payments scattered across several different accounts and you'll only have to pay particular attention to one statement. Using this one card for purchases will also give you an advantage in building up your credit score by helping you keep track of payments easier.

Should your identity get stolen from your credit card, recovering it will be easy
Any time that you use a credit card there is a risk that your identity may get stolen, whether through an online scam or physical theft of the card itself. However, it'll be easier to challenge fraudulent purchases and root out the source of irregular activity on your credit report during the holiday season if you only stick to using one account. As well, one credit card statement is much easier to sort through than several after splurging throughout the month of December on holiday gear.

You have more flexibility if this piece of plastic gets stolen than a debit card
If your card gets compromised by a thief, credit companies give a lot more leeway than banks should a criminal make purchases using your account. As well, if a thief gets access to your checking account because you opted to stick with your debit card, they will be able to actually spend your real cash. A thief may also potentially order checks in your name and even access personal identification information through the bank that they could use to open up other accounts.

With a credit card, you have almost three months to report fraudulent activity, compared to roughly 30 days afforded by most banks, and your actual funds won't be touched. Sticking to one card will not only help you keep track of the mess of post-holiday bills, it will also help you maintain your credit.

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