Maximize Holiday Rewards With Your Credit Card’s Online Shopping Portal
Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now is the time where holiday spending goes into overdrive. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend between $678.75 and $682 billion on holiday purchases this year.
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If you’re planning to do some or all of your shopping with a credit card, your card’s online shopping portal could be a gold mine for snagging deals and extra savings. Not sure how to maximize holiday rewards? These tips can help you get more bang for your holiday spending buck.
1. Use the right card to maximize holiday rewards.
Rewards credit cards aren’t all the same, and neither are their online shopping portals. For example, Discover Deals allows you to use any Discover card to shop, but other card issuers may limit you to earning rewards through their portal when using only certain cards. Knowing which cards you can shop with helps ensure that you’re positioned to reap the most benefit possible.
Once you’ve logged in to the portal, take time to familiarize yourself with the different shopping categories and merchants available. An easy way to navigate offers is to search by category, or by the retailer’s name, if you have a specific store in mind. After you’ve narrowed down your search, pay close attention to the terms of the offer and its expiration date. You don’t want to let a great deal get away because you missed the cut-off for taking advantage of it.
2. Compare discounts and deals carefully.
Your card’s shopping portal may offer several ways to save on holiday shopping, including exclusive online discounts from selected retailers, online and in-store coupon codes you can apply at checkout and the opportunity to earn an extra rewards bonus — on top of any bonus you’re already earning with your card. That’s three ways to maximize holiday rewards, and the best part is, you never have to set foot in a crowded store.
The key is to make sure you’re finding the right deals. For example, say you find the same item at two different stores. Store A offers $5 off of $50, while Store B offers 5% cash back. If you’re only going to spend $50, then Store A’s offer might be the better choice. If you’re planning to spend $200, on the other hand, you’d earn double the cash back with Store B’s deal. Doing the math is important, especially if you’re focused on getting the most savings so you can stay on-budget.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend between $678.75 and $682 billion on holiday purchases this year.
3. Scope out free shipping offers.
Shopping through your credit card’s online portal can help you avoid having to fight the crowds, but if you’re stuck paying for shipping, it can add to the cost of holiday gifts. To add insult to injury, many rewards credit cards and bonus malls don’t allow you to earn rewards on shipping costs. If your goal is to maximize holiday rewards, stick with retailers that offer free delivery for your purchases. That way, the value of any rewards you’re earning isn’t diminished by the added cost of shipping fees.
4. Read the fine print.
Credit card shopping portals often have specific guidelines you need to keep in mind, and breaking the rules could cost you some of the rewards you’re earning. For example, some portals may have exclusions on when and how you can earn bonus rewards. Others may not allow you to use promo or coupon codes from third-party sites. Or, using a promo code from another site may disqualify you from earning a bonus through the shopping portal.
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Making sure you have all the details on your card’s portal can help you maximize holiday rewards without sacrificing any savings. It’s also a good idea to check the fine print if you’re signing up for a new rewards card to land an introductory bonus or take advantage of a promotional annual percentage rate. Knowing how much you have to spend to qualify for a bonus — or how long you have to enjoy an introductory APR — can help you decide if the card is a good fit.