It’s the season to play Santa once again, and while we relish this role, there’s one thing we’re already dreading: the horrendous holiday traffic.
How do you survive the holidays without “reindeer and a sleigh?” Here’s our secret: online shopping. You can get great finds for the boys and girls on your nice list without braving through crowds and being stuck in your car for hours.
Mastercard wants to be your Santa’s helper this holiday season. We at Super love our Debit Mastercard and have used it for shopping everywhere, online and in stores, even in different parts of the world. It’s accepted in over 44.4 million Mastercard locations worldwide in over 210 countries, giving you quick and ready access to your money no matter where you are.
Here in the Philippines, BDO, Bank of Commerce, BPI, CITI, Metrobank, PNB, PSBank, PBCOM, RCBC, RCBC Savings Bank and Security Bank all issue Debit Mastercard.
A good Santa is a smart Santa. When shopping online, safety should always be top of mind. Here are tips and tricks to make sure your hunt for gifts goes smoothly. Remember, a stress-free Santa is a happy Santa.
Begin with a list. Write down every person you want to buy a present for and jot down gift ideas for each person. Not only will you be sure that you don’t forget anyone, a list will help you keep track of what you’ve bought for whom. A little organization is key.
Don’t go generic. Pick a personalized gift for each person on your list—presents that show them how well you know them. They don’t have to be expensive. A little thought goes a long way.
Set a budget and stick to it. The beautiful thing about using a debit card is you can only spend money you already have.
If your bank offers the service, sign up for text or e-mail alerts so you can keep track of your purchases.
Set strong passwords. Mix it up. Use both letters and numbers and make sure your password is at least eight characters long. Don’t use one password for all your accounts. Yes, it’s a hassle to remember multiple ones but it’s essential for security.
Shop only from trusted websites and retailers. If you’re not big on online shopping, get recommendations from friends who are. And make sure your connection is always secure. Spot that padlock icon—it should be next to the website URL in your browser. Shop only on sites that use secure payment methods. Whether you use your phone or your computer for shopping, make sure you only shop when using a private connection.
Be wary of e-mail scams. Don’t click on links and don’t open any attachments from companies or people you don’t know, even if it looks like a really good deal. And don’t just look at the name of the sender, check the e-mail address they’re using. Always play it safe.
If you’re using a mobile banking application, don’t use it when connected to public Wi-Fi either. Unsecured connections make you more vulnerable to hacking and theft, exposing your sensitive data including passwords and billing information. Update your application regularly to make sure you have access to the latest security measures.
Download apps only from trusted sources. And installing mobile antivirus software isn’t a geeky thing to do—it’s necessary. Keep yourself protected.
Lock your devices, making your personal info and mobile wallets safe from thieves.
Start shopping early to make sure your gifts are delivered on time.
Try to buy multiple gifts from each website. That way, you can get the most out of the delivery fee or even take advantage of free shipping offers (if the website you’re buying from offers it).
Scout for holiday sales and coupon codes.
Make sure you check the online retailer’s return and exchange policies before buying.
Switch to the Mastercard Debit Card with EMV chips. These chips add a layer of security to your spending and prevent hackers from accessing your card.
If you ever misplace or lose your Mastercard Debit Card, report it immediately. One call is all it takes for your card to be blocked. (So yes, keep your bank’s hotline saved in your contacts.) That way, your money is safe, even if your card falls into the wrong hands.
And most importantly, enjoy the experience. There is so much joy in bringing cheer to our loved ones during Christmas. Seeing their eyes light up when they open your thoughtfully chosen present makes all the effort totally worth it.