There are several ways to maximize savings on purchases and I’d like to share what works best for me on a regular basis. By using my credit card and cashback portals, I’ve been able to save hundreds of dollars each year and I can assure you that it works. I’ve been doing this for several years and it has changed the way I make purchases and my wallet seems happier. The amount of savings will depend on the following:
- Credit card cash back (statement credit, points, miles)
- Cashback portals
- Online vs. In-Store
Credit card will be a given base of savings in all purchases. Not only do many credit cards offer benefits such as price protection, extended warranty, most offer 1% or more back in either statement credit, points, or miles. From credit card cashback alone, I received as much as 20% back in the past with a promotion with Discover Deals. Assuming you’re able to pay off your balance on time, try to use credit cards instead of debit cards or cash. (I’ll share more about credit cards in a future post.)
Great, you shaved at least one percent off so far. Next step is to check if any of the cashback portals have your choice of retailer, and if so, which has the highest cashback. There are too many places to check so I like to check this one site called Cashback Monitor where it has lists of which portal offers higher cashbacks. But it’s not a good idea to sign up for too many because many have payout minimum, so I’d recommend signing up for Honey, Ebates, or Befrugal – you’ll get $5-15 to start off, with a generous store offers from Honey that I’ve seen go up to $50 from Dell. You can go to their sites, find the retailer of your choice, and go through it to proceed with your purchase, or you can install Honey’s Chrome extension that will conveniently notify you with available Honey Gold (form of cash back redeemable for gift cards) when you’re on a participating retailer’s site. Oh don’t forget to run Honey to see if any coupons can be applied too.
It’s also worth checking out Jet Anywhere as they offer cashbacks on so many retailers, as much as 30%. The only thing is that you’ll get cashback in something called “Jet Cash”, which is credits for future purchases. I personally like to go with Jet when the cashback is significantly higher. They may not have as much products as Amazon but they have all the basic essentials that come in just two days too. (Edit: Jet Anywhere’s no longer available but I still use Jet to this date to compare prices.)
It’s important to not go through multiple portals because only the last one you went through will be valid, or even mess up getting any cashbacks at all. Usually buying things like gift cards won’t qualify for cashbacks and you’ll probably see that on the fine prints. When I look at my history of cashbacks, there may be cents to no payout transactions sometimes, but that’s okay because it simply didn’t meet the merchant’s requirements.
To quickly explain how they work, these websites go through a form of affiliate sales where the retailers pay them a cut of the customers’ transactions, and you’re getting a varying cut of that. This wraps up what I go through and I hope you’ll be able to earn some cash back too. Enjoy!