As retailers rejoice about a robust holiday shopping season, consumers may soon regret the day they lost the rein on their credit cards.
Credit card bills from the holidays will soon start arriving in people's mailboxes or, more likely, in their inboxes.
The National Retail Federation has estimated that holiday spending will reach $451.5 billion, about 3.3 percent more than last year.
If that figure holds true — spending numbers through Dec. 24 won't be available until later this week — it would be the biggest increase since 2006, and the largest total since a record $452.8 billion in 2007.
Chances are you contributed to that increase, and chances are you used at least one piece of plastic to do so, although early reports showed that consumers were trying to cover gifts with cash this year.
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