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For many, what's often a festive holiday shopping season looks a little different this year. Check out these tips on making your holiday shopping a little easier - and even find some savings along the way.
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1. Shop local and support small businesses

Introduce your friends and family to your favourite shops or restaurants with gift certificates or gift cards. You'll not only give a great gift, but you'll help keep small businesses afloat business at a time when they truly need support. #CanadaUnited

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2. Shop online or at off-peak times

Health experts advise against spending time with crowds indoors, so if you're shopping in person, try to go at off-peak times. Or, take your shopping online.

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3. Shop safely online

Fraud and identity theft may increase during the holiday shopping season. Take some simple steps to protect yourself:

  • Make sure you're familiar with the online retailers you shop.
  • Shop on secured sites only.
  • Don't complete transactions on public Wi-Fi.
  • Check your statements carefully.
  • Shred or otherwise destroy receipts when you're finished with them.
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4. Don't want to leave home? Ship it!

If you shop U.S. retailers online, you can find some great bargains, but the cost of shipping can eat into the savings. Canadians can now get a break on shipping fees, thanks to
1. Here's how it works:

  • Sign up to get a U.S. shipping address.
  • Shop online at thousands of U.S. retailers, and ship your goods to the U.S. address.
  • combines your packages to deliver to you in Canada in a single shipment, saving you up to 80% on shipping costs.
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5. Use a U.S. based credit card

If you're shopping U.S. retailers online, a U.S. based credit card — issued by a U.S. financial institution — may help you save with U.S. retailers. For one, you'll save on foreign transaction fees, which can range from 2.5 - 3.5 per cent of your purchases. With a U.S.-based credit card, you won't be hurt by currency fluctuations, which can be especially helpful if you bought the wrong piece and have to return it.

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6. Focus on the home

Look for gifts that make staying close to home a little more comfortable, like cozy items to make the most of a snowy winter north of the border or fun additions to a remote learning or work space.

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7. Use your Rewards Points

Don't forget about your RBC Rewards Points. If you've been building them up over the course of the year, this could be a great time to redeem them for gift cards, merchandise or cash back.2 Use them for gifts, or to treat yourself.

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8. Consider charitable gifts and donations

Charities have been hard hit during the pandemic, and many people are in need, so your gift or donations will be especially welcome. Making a donation to a cause close to a loved one's heart in their name can be an extremely meaningful gift.

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9. Do the math

Not every deal is as good as it looks. Before you buy something “on sale," make sure you're truly getting a bargain. Do a little research to find out the prices pre-sale to see what kind of deal you're really getting. And take a minute to think whether that item is something you need. It can be easy this time of year to get sucked in by sales and then suffer buyer's regret afterwards.

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10. Follow your favourites

One of the best ways to stay up-to-date on late-breaking deals is to follow your favourite retailers on social media. Many retailers use Twitter and Facebook in particular to promote new and big sales. Signing up for newsletters is also a great way to get ahead of upcoming bargains. Plus, many brands regularly send out codes with extra savings to loyal customers.

With widespread health and economic concerns as a result of COVID-19, the holidays are probably going to look a little different than they have in years past. However, there are still ways to spread holiday warmth and cheer safely.

These tips can help you make the most of your holiday shopping — on either side of the border.

Save more than $143 USD this year on your U.S. online purchases.

For a limited time, apply for a U.S. based Direct Checking account and no annual fee3. Visa Signature Card from RBC Bank™.

  • Save the annual banking fees of $39.50 USD for the first year4.
  • Receive a one-year membership – free, with no set-up fee. That’s an additional savings of $104 USD.
  • Save on foreign transaction fees5, state taxes and shipping for all your online U.S. purchases.

Learn More

1 This company is not affiliated with RBC Bank and RBC Bank is not responsible for the offer provided by this company.
2 1.00% cash back from the Visa Signature/Platinum Rewards and 1.25% cash back from the Visa Signature Black/Platinum Rewards Plus credit cards can only be redeemed with RBC Rewards Points.
3 All loans and lines of credit are subject to credit approval. Additional credit card transaction fees will apply as follows: Balance Transfers – Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater (after the end of the introductory period, the maximum fee is $99). The Balance Transfer fee has no maximum during the introductory period (first 6 monthly billing cycles); thereafter, this fee will be a maximum of $99 per Balance Transfer. Cash Advances – Either $5 or 3.5% of the amount of each Cash Advance, whichever is greater. Foreign Transaction Fee – 1.5% of the U.S. Dollar amount of the foreign transaction if the transaction is conducted in foreign currency. Platinum: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of the transaction if the transaction is conducted in a foreign currency. Late Payment Fee- up to $35. Returned Payment Fee – up to $35. Annual Fee Visa Platinum Rewards Plus – $55. Annual Fee Visa Signature Black Plus – $75. Annual Percentage Rate is 9.99% to 19.99% for Visa Platinum and Visa Signature Accounts based on your credit worthiness. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Prime Rate: As published in the Wall Street Journal; current rate is 3.25% as of April 1, 2020.
4 Offer period is November 1st, 2020 through October 31st, 2021 (“Offer Period”). Offer is available for new clients of RBC Bank (U.S.) only. A new client is defined as an individual who has not been a primary or secondary account holder on any RBC Bank (U.S.) checking account for the 18 months prior to the start of the Offer Period. To qualify, client must open a new RBC Bank Direct Checking account and apply for an RBC Bank credit card at the same time before the end of the Offer Period. Employees of Royal Bank of Canada do not qualify for this offer. RBC Bank Direct Checking account must be funded according to the Personal Schedule of Fees. For eligible clients, RBC Bank will waive the Direct Checking monthly or annual fee for 1 year from account open date. All other checking account fees apply. If a client applies for a RBC Bank Visa Signature Black Plus/Visa Platinum Rewards Plus credit card, the annual fee of the credit card is not waived. Offer is available for a limited time only and can be withdrawn at any time.
5 While there are no foreign transaction fees for purchases in the U.S. or in USD, there are foreign transaction fees for purchases conducted in foreign currency. RBC Bank Foreign Transactions: RBC Bank Signature Black/Signature Black Plus credit cards: 1.5% of the U.S. dollar amount of the transaction if the transaction is conducted in a foreign currency. RBC Bank Platinum Rewards/Platinum Rewards Plus credit cards: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of the transaction if the transaction is conducted in a foreign currency.