Using credit cards for additional savings is a smart way to manage your money. But, which cards are the right ones to use?
These days, it seems that every credit card company is offering some sort of reward when you sign up. It can be tempting to take advantage of all of them, but if you don’t use your cards carefully, you can quickly find yourself in debt.
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As long as you are disciplined enough to use credit cards the right way, then you will want to consider different credit cards that offer their own rewards. This is how credit cards can save you money.
Amazon has it’s own Rewards Visa Card and a Prime Store card. Both cards save you 5% off every Amazon purchase every day. In addition, you will earn 2% cash back on purchases you make at restaurants, gas stations and drug store. Then, earn 1% cash back every where else.
Not only do you earn cash back, you can get an instant savings of up to $70 when you sign up*. That is $70 FREE to spend instantly!!!
When you use your Target REDCard, you instantly save 5% off of your purchases both in the store and online. You will also get free shipping on all online purchases – no matter how little you spend! In addition, you get an extended return time for purchases – -up to another 30 days!
What I love about this is you can get either a credit card OR a debit card. Both have the same perks, so you can decide which works better for you. We opted for the debit card, only because we didn’t want to have a credit card bill each month.
You can earn up to 6% back in rewards when you use your Best Buy card. In addition, you earn a $5 reward certificate for every 250 points. You will also get advanced notice of exclusive offers and promotions.
When you you use your JCPenney card, you earn points on each purchase. Every month you rack up 100 points or more, you can earn $10 in JCP Rewards* (free money). You can actually earn up to 10 rewards every month! You will have the chance to earn bonus points and even get in on special savings events limited just to cardholders.
When you sign up and receive the Gap Visa card, you will get a coupon to save 20% off of your purchase*. In addition, you will earn 5 points for every dollar you spend at their stores (in-store or on-line). Once you reach 500 points, you will receive a $5 savings reward. In addition to the points in the stores, you earn 1 point for every dollar you spend anywhere other than their store.
If you apply and are approved for the Gap Silver card, you will also be entitled to additional rewards such as free shipping every day, 20% quarterly bonus rewards and a pick your own sale day!
There are great perks for Old Navy cardholders as well. One of the big (and fun) ones is early access to sales – such as the annual flip flop sale each June.
In addition, when you are approved, you will get an offer to save 25% off of your very next purchase*. Just like with the Gap card, you earn 5 points for every dollar you spend at Old Navy (on-line or in the store) and 1% at other retailers. Once you reach 500 points, you will ear a $5 savings certificate.
They also have a higher level card, called the Navyist. This card earns you a 20% quarterly savings certificate, free on-line shipping and day when you can create your own sale.
When you have a Kohl’s card, you get to use the incredible 30% offer that is extended ever month! In addition, cardholder can use codes for free shipping that are not offered to the general public.
When you sign up, you get an instant savings offer for 25% off of your very first purchase*. You will also receive another 15% coupon savings offer when your card arrives in the mail. If you spend at least $600 annually, you are bumped up to MVC status, which provides additional discounts all year long.
Tip: Use your card for your in-store purchase. As soon as you are done, tell the cashier you want to pay it off and do it instantly. No balance. Ever!
If you need large appliances, you must get a Lowe’s Advantage card. With this card, you will save 5% on every purchase, every day. That can make for big savings on a refrigerator or washing machine!
There is even a Walmart credit card that saves you even more on every day purchases. You will earn 3% back on any Walmart.com purchases, 2% at Murphy gas and 1% on any purchases at Walmart and anywhere the card is accepted.
They offer various sign up bonuses, such as $25 credit back on your account after you charge $75! That is money right in your pocket!
Important Credit Card Tips
Credit cards can be a great way to save a bit more. However, there are things you need to keep in mind:
- Watch your spending. It is very easy to overspend when using plastic to shop. Make sure you keep a total in mind and stick to it. Just “pretend” you are shopping with cash to help keep yourself on track. You can use pretend money in an envelope if you have a tough time with this, so you can see what you are spending before you get to the register.
- Pay it off immediately. Many of these store cards allow you to turn around and pay off any amount charged right away. You can do this at Guest Services at Target and even at the register at Kohl’s. Just check with the other stores to see if they offer this same service. Doing so ensures you get the benefits and never incur a balance.If you this is not an option, make sure you are disciplined enough to pay your entire balance in full each month. If you are not, then the rewards are not worth the increase in debt.
- Never charge more than you have in the bank. Payday is never a guarantee. Make sure you never spend more than the cash you have on hand so you can pay it in full each and every month.
- Watch hidden fees. Some cards offer benefits, but also require annual fees. Make sure you read the fine print so you don’t get slapped with fees you did not foresee.
- Stay safe. With Identity Theft on the rise, using cards can make you a target for thieves. I recently shared some great tips to help you ensure you are safe when doing your shopping with plastic.
Getting rewards are great and I know many people who use cards specifically for this reason. If that works for you, that is great. If not, then sticking with cash will also work. It is just important to make sure you use those cards correctly so that you get the benefit without additional cost.
*All 0ffers subject to change. Read fine print prior to applying for credit. Each company has it’s own requirements for approval.