Shoppers expected to use credit cards more to save on holiday shopping

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SARASOTA - Credit cards are the most used form of payment for holiday shopping in Florida. 

According to AAA, 43% of shoppers say they choose plastic over paper when it comes to purchasing the perfect gifts.  The number one reason many lean toward this option?  The perks that come with the card.

In a recent AAA survey 58% of respondents said reward points are very important when choosing a credit card, a 12% increase from 2011.  

"I will definitely use cards due to all of the rewards whether it be cash back, or a lot of the stores are giving extra discounts if you use their store card," said shopper Chris McKee.

When it comes to making holiday purchases, AAA reports the top three rewards that are most appealing from a card at this time of year are points redeemable for cash back, miles, and triple points, which could be redeemed for things like gift cards or merchandise.

"I use American Express points so we can go on vacation and use our points to get a hotel," said Julie Sheck.

When it comes to choosing the right credit card for holiday shopping, look into their rewards program as well as which card best fits your budget.  With an American Express Card, you can earn points and redeem for gift cards during the holidays.  With a Visa, you can use your points to shop through a rewards catalog.  Mastercard rewards include everything from earning points for free travel, round trip airline tickets and deals on hotels.  With a Discover Card, you can use points to shop online, get cash back, or redeem for gift cards.

It's also a good idea to check in with stores and companies that you have credit cards with and see if they are offering any other additional perks to help with your shopping this holiday season.