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Hi everyone! Don't forget to check out your credit cards that offer cash back to see how much reward money you've earned. After looking at ours today I'm happily surprised to find that I now have an extra $130.00 to spend on Christmas!
By Lisa from Kouts, IN
Make sure to check your monthly statements to see if you can redeem any of your reward points. Many credit cards accumulate reward points based on the amount you spend. Eventually those reward points expire, so use them before you lose them. You can earn everything from gift cards to cash!
By Lewis from Port Orchard, WA
First, a warning. ONLY do this if you have the cash on hand to pay off your credit card balance at the end of each month. Otherwise, you will be paying interest, which defeats the point.
Don't be fooled by a credit card company's claims that credit cards can help you save money. Finance charges quickly erase any benefits that credit cards offer in cash back incentives unless you pay your credit card off at the end of each month.
Credit card rewards can, if used regularly, add up to some valuable rewards. This is a guide about getting the most out of your credit card rewards.
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
I always pay my credit card off monthly. I don't have any "perks" with this card. What card has the best perks offered? I don't fly! I also like paying by direct debit from my checking account.
Brenda from Port Matilda, PA
Apply for Citi credit cards. They offer 5% cash-back on gasoline, supermarket & drugstore purchases, and 1% on anything else. TJMax credit card offers 5% reward if you shop at TJMax & Marshalls, and 1% elsewhere. I have both of these cards and loving it. (05/26/2006)
This is an easy one - LL Bean!! Go to their website and you'll see where you can apply. If you have an LL Bean credit card (through MBNA of America), you automatically get free shipping or monogramming on any items from them. I do the same as you do - I do not carry a balance and I pay the bill off 2 days before it's due (on-line). I use it for the basics: Groceries, cell phone bills, general spending. I must receive $300/year in LLBean dollars, which can be spent on sale items or regular. They aren't just a 'camping store'. There's my idea. (05/26/2006)
I read Money and Kiplinger's faithfully. Both magazines have had articles touting the cash-back cards as the best value in the reward-card category. Here is my suggestion, based on the articles I read:
Definitely get the Citi card... as suggested in the other post. However, you can max out at $300 in cash back during the year. I put everything, and I mean everything, on the card so I will be done by August... maybe earlier considering i just bought a house.
Get another cash-back card - BLUE cash from Amex or the card offered by Chase. My understanding is that the rewards are similar (5% back for drugstore, grocery, gas... 1% back on other purchases) but after you max out the $300 on the Citi card, you can use the other cards. Also, the Amex card gives you the money at the end of the year... I don't know if the "year" starts from when you get the card or in Dec! So far, I have received $150 back from Citi this year... It's great!
GOOD LUCK! (05/29/2006)
I, too, have the Citibank Platinum Dividend Rewards card-- actually we have 2! One in my name, one in hubby's name, so that when $300 cash-back limit is reached on one, we start using the other one!!!! 5% back on gas, groceries, drug stores. CAREFUL HERE!
Not good for those with debt!!! (pay off every month only!!)
Have just started using again because of price of gas-- had stopped using cause we charged too much and were carrying revolving balance :(
Sometimes the problems with tempting (overspending) outweigh the benefits-- you should know yourself and your tendencies-- GOOD LUCK!!! (05/29/2006)
American Express Blue and Citibank Platinum Dividend Rewards are two of the best. AT&T Mastercard was in there too but they're dropping the business as of 6/30/06. (05/30/2006)
We love going on Carnival cruises. They offer a SeaMiles card that is a MasterCard or Visa. You get 5,000 seamiles for signing up, and then I believe up to 5,000 seamiles for balance transfers from other cards in the first 30 days. Also, for every dollar spent, you get a seamile. This card is great for purchasing vacations on any of Carnival's cruise lines (they also own Royal Carribean, Holland America, etc.). You can earn a complete cruise, or use seamile points to earn discounts on cruises. They also have resort vacations that you can use seamiles for. We love this card b/c we can usually get at least one of us a free cruise every other year, and I get a discount towards the second ticket! Hope this helps! (05/30/2006)
We have the Citibank Platinum Dividends reward card that a few people have mentioned already. It had the best rewards when we researched cards 2 years ago, but there may be something better now. Maybe it is time to start looking again... (06/01/2006)
We use Citibank American Airlines for the frequent flyer miles. We took our daughter, husband & 3 children 2 years ago to Disney World in Florida & our flights were free. I also use Discover to get cashback & instead of getting cashback get the gift cards. You can get $50 cards for 40 cashback dollars & other savings. Remember to payoff monthly, if you need to carry a balance use a card with a low interest rate. I also use my cards to pay bills online such as the water bill, cell phone, etc. You have to pay them anyway & you may as well earn a perk for it but do not do it if there is any charge from the company. I just deduct the amount from my checking balance & when the bill comes in the money is available right then to pay. I just check them off. Also, with the money sitting in your account waiting on the bill to arrive, if you get your balance up you can get an interest bearing account & your bill money etc. can earn interest while waiting for your bill to arrive. If you deduct from your checking account any charge etc. you can make money by using a credit card. (06/02/2006)