Holiday shopping sales rose this season with shoppers favoring the convenience of online stores over visiting retail locations. Total U.S. retail sales for Nov. 1 through Dec. 24 grew 3.4% from last holiday season, according to a Mastercard SpendingPulse survey that tracked retail spending trends across all payment types, including cash and check.
The area that had the greatest spike in sales was e-commerce, rising 18.8%, up from 18.4% in 2018. And holiday e-commerce sales made up 14.6% of total retail spending.
"Due to a later than usual Thanksgiving holiday, we saw retailers offering omnichannel sales earlier in the season," Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard, said in the press release.
Department stores saw overall sales decline 1.8% but online sales grew 6.9%, which emphasizes shoppers' e-commerce preference.
If you're still shopping for gifts, a credit card is a great asset that can earn you rewards for holiday shopping and help offset the cost of presents. Here's how to use a credit card to your advantage when online shopping.
Here are some credit cards CNBC Select recommends for holiday shopping:
2% cash back: 1% on all purchases and an additional 1% after you pay your credit card bill
No current offer
0% for the first 18 months on balance transfers; N/A for purchases
13.99% - 23.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
4X Membership Rewards® points when you dine at restaurants worldwide and shop at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases
35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
See Pay Over Time APR
See rates and fees
5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 2X points on travel and dining worldwide, 1X points on all other purchases
80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening — worth up to $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
15.99% to 22.99% variable on purchases and balance transfers
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater