BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group
BMO Bank of Montreal

BMO Bank of Montreal

December 24, 2010 07:31 ET

REPEAT-Media Advisory: It's Crunch Time! BMO Offers Tips for the Last Minute Holiday Shopper

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 24, 2010) - As Canadians rush to cross those last names off their shopping lists, BMO Bank of Montreal offers the following Do's and Don'ts for the last minute holiday shopper:

Don't Panic – Although you've run out of weekends, you still have time to get everything done. Keep your shopping list handy and try to pick up one or two items each time -- during your lunch hour or after work. A call ahead to the retailer can confirm whether or not your item is in stock. Ask them to hold it for you so you can get in and out of the store quickly.

Do Cap your Spending – Develop a budget and stick to it. Set a budget for each family member and ask them to make a list of gifts that fall within the allotted amount so you set a realistic expectation.

Do Take Advantage of Store Sales and Coupons – Overpaying is overspending. Retailers are anxious to clear their inventory before Christmas, so watch for significant sales this week. Many retailers will discount their merchandise from 20 per cent to 50 per cent, or more. Comparison shop and look for store sales to ensure you're getting the best price.

Do Use a Credit Card and Debit Card that Rewards you for your Purchases – Even if you pay full price, you can maximize the value of your purchases by using a credit card that offers rewards for every dollar you spend. Some cards offer attractive 'cash back' options while others let you redeem your rewards for travel or merchandise. BMO's MasterCard offers the best of both, with CashBack reward options or AIR MILES Rewards which can be redeemed from a comprehensive choice of more than 800 redemption items from movie passes, CDs and DVDs, electronic merchandise, sports and recreation, travel and more.

Don't get Scrooged when you Shop Online – Shopping online can save you time and money, but stick to the reputable sites and beware of sites you don't know. Pay close attention to shipping dates and build in extra delivery time so you won't be disappointed. For added protection, consider purchasing your gifts with a credit card that offers some form of insurance, which will cover you if gifts you buy get lost, stolen, or broken.

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