Black Friday is one of the most popular shopping events of the year. Whether you prefer making purchases online or visiting the mall, you may already be writing out a list of what to get. Or, you may even be in the camp of consumers who started holiday shopping weeks ago (with inflation weighing down budgets, it’s no surprise that consumers want more time to shop!). Retail giants responded to this consumer trend by rolling out Black Friday deals early. Below are a few to consider taking advantage of–as well as what you should skip this year.
- Electronics. It’s no secret that Black Friday is a hot time to buy electronics. TV deals are synonymous with the holiday, but you can also expect great prices on laptops, Apple products, tablets, speakers, and more. The iPhone 15 is an especially hot commodity this year, so look for deals from major retailers and phone networks.
- Gaming systems. Black Friday is a fantastic time to purchase consoles and video games, like the PS5 or Nintendo Switch. Look for savings from retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, and GameStop. Often, retailers will have gaming bundles that include the gaming console along with accessories or games for even steeper savings.
- Home appliances. Do you need a new washer, dryer, refrigerator, or major kitchen appliance? Look for a replacement on Black Friday to score a great deal. Smaller appliances like coffee makers, toasters, and robot vacuums are available, too. For the latter, the iRobot Roomba is a popular option many homeowners love!
- Travel deals. Do the holidays have you in the traveling mood? Lucky for you, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fantastic times to strike bargains on hotel rooms, airfare, and excursions. Visit the websites of major airlines and online travel sites to see what’s available during this limited time. Note that deals may come with exclusions, such as booking the trip or scheduling travel during a set window.
- Tip: Get 24/7 access to Concierge Services1 for travel, dining, and entertainment; special event perks; and no foreign transaction fees with General Electric Credit Union’s Visa Signature® card.2 But it’s not just for travel–you’ll earn 2x the points on all purchases, whether your state-side or abroad!2
- Toys. Historically, you’ll discover bigger savings on toys closer to Christmas. But, note that in waiting you run the risk of a product going out of stock. This is important to consider especially if your child asked for one of this year’s most sought-after toys, like the 2023 Barbie Dreamhouse or a Furby interactive plush toy.
- Winter wear. The best time to shop for clothes is out of season. Currently, fall and winter clothing isn’t priced as low as it’ll go. One exception is women’s boots, which are sometimes featured in doorbuster sales. Outside of that, try waiting until after the new year. By this time, most people who need a new coat have already bought one and retailers adjust the price based on the lower demand.
- Holiday décor. The best time to buy holiday décor is right after the holiday in question is over. While this is a bummer if you wanted to add to your collection, it pays to hold off. Use what you already have this year then buy wrapping paper, yard decorations, and other seasonal trimmings at steep discounts after December 25th. Both craft stores and big-box stores are likely to have the best deals.
Get the most out of shopping
Earn cash back or points
There are two ways for you to earn cash back during Black Friday. The first is to use a low-rate, cash-back credit card. Each swipe helps you earn cash back that is then applied to your statement balance. Or, another option is to download a browser extension like Rakuten or Honey. Note that these services won’t apply cash back to your statement balance. Instead, they may cut you a check, allow you to redeem cash back for gift cards, or allow you to transfer the balance to a linked Paypal account—depending on the service being used. Want to rebound from shopping even faster? Enlist both methods and layer on the cash back.
Another great payment option is a points-based credit card. These offer a bit more flexibility because the balance can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, or cash back. But whether you opt for a cash back or points-based credit card, these payment methods will allow you to earn off purchases you were going to make anyway and build your credit at the same time! Just be sure to pay the balance in full each payment cycle to avoid accruing interest on the balance.
- Do you know the common red flags of store credit cards? While they may appear enticing at the register, don’t get distracted by temporary perks. Learn what to look out for from Neil Peterson, GECU’s Chief Credit Officer.
Online shopping’s popularity has been on the rise for years, and this trend will continue for Black Friday 2022. Scammers know this, so it’s important to stay vigilant and protect your personal information with some proactive safety measures. Update weak passwords to online accounts, only shop on secure sites (you’ll see the padlock symbol in the address bar), and enroll in eStatements to keep tabs on your transaction history and spot fraud quickly.
Use a digital wallet
Digital wallets make holiday shopping fast and secure because they remove the need to even have your debit or credit card on hand! Instead, Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, and Samsung Pay™ encrypt your cardholder information and store it for use on your device. This keeps card and personal details safe, even in the event of a hack or data breach, because merchants are only given the encrypted information.
Ring in the holidays feeling confident you got a good deal. Whether you want to rack up the points with our Visa Signature® card2 or earn unlimited cash back (yes, we said unlimited!) with our Gold card,3 you can get more out of Black Friday shopping with GECU in your wallet. Don’t have a credit card with us yet? Apply for one online in minutes!