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WalletHub reports: 30% of Americans overspent during the holidays and 2022’s best credit cards

WalletHub today released its annual Post-Holiday Shopping Survey, which revealed that 30% of Americans believe they overspent during the holidays, among other key findings. To help people maximize their savings in the new year, WalletHub also announced its picks for the Best Credit Cards for 2022, selected from 1,500+ offers for their money-saving rewards and 0% rates.

Please find key takeaways below, followed by commentary from WalletHub experts:

  • Debt-Worthy Holidays: 41 million Americans say the 2021 holiday season was worth going into debt for.
  • Covid on Vacation: 56% of Americans say Covid did not affect their holidays.
  • Economy Still Impacted: 68% of Americans think the U.S. economy will not go back to normal in 2022.
  • Poor Year Financially: 54 million Americans say 2021 was a “poor” year for their finances.
  • Worried About Saving Money: Roughly 202 million Americans are worried about saving enough money – almost 4X the number of Americans worried about getting out of debt.
  • Best Overall Credit Card for 2022: Chase Freedom Unlimited®  – Offers a $200 initial bonus as well as ongoing rewards rates of 1.5% to 5% cash back. Chase Freedom Unlimited also has a $0 annual fee and offers an introductory APR of 0% for 15 months on new purchases.
  • Best Credit Card for Bonus Rewards: Citi Premier® Card – Offers 80,000 points as an initial bonus (worth up to $800) to new cardholders who spend $4,000 during the first three months.

Q&A with WalletHub

Did people overspend during the holidays?

“Nearly 1 in 3 Americans (30%) say they overspent during the holidays, according to a new WalletHub survey. This is likely attributable to pent-up demand,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “In addition, WalletHub research shows that consumers likely racked up roughly $57 billion in credit card debt during the fourth quarter of 2021. The final numbers aren’t in quite yet, but all signs point to us having to pay for the 2021 holiday season well into 2022.”
 
Was holiday shopping in 2021 worth going into debt for?

“Holiday gifts, trips and other seasonal expenses are never worth going into serious debt for, as the holiday season is more about connecting with loved ones, celebrating religious beliefs, relaxing and reflecting – none of which requires spending any money. More consumers seem to agree this year, too,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Even though 41 million Americans say the 2021 holiday season was worth going into debt for, according to WalletHub’s new survey, that represents a 59% decrease from last year.”
 
Did Covid affect people’s holidays?

“Despite the emergence of the Omicron variant, 56% of Americans say Covid did not affect their holidays – up from 40% this time last year,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Vaccines have been effective, travel has resumed, and we’re getting used to life with the virus, so it’s understandable that most people report being unaffected by Covid this holiday season.”
 
Was 2021 a good or bad year for people’s finances?

“According to WalletHub’s new survey, 54 million Americans say 2021 was a ‘poor’ year for their finances. Even though unemployment is low and the stock market is high, many people are still struggling financially due to Covid, rising inflation, resurgent credit card debt levels and other headwinds,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The key is to learn from what went wrong in 2021 and try to improve in the new year. For example, using a 0% APR balance transfer credit card to pay off lingering debt and employing a budget to avoid future overspending could help put you on the right track.”
 
Are people more worried about saving money or getting out of debt in 2022?

“Roughly 202 million Americans are worried about saving enough money – almost 4X the number worried about getting out of debt,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “It’s understandable that people are more concerned about savings than debt given the amount of debt we paid off in the beginning of the pandemic and the simple fact that not having enough money in the bank limits your freedom.”

This article was released by WalletHub.