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With a limited amount of time in the day and money in the bank, efficiency is key. Getting the most for our money is always an appealing concept. By shopping smart with four simple steps, you can maximize the amount of cash back you earn. It takes one credit card of your choice, a few minutes and a couples clicks. That’s it.
First off, always shop online.There are many reasons why this is the more efficient way to shop. The electronic shopping cart helps you stay in your budget, as the automatically updating total ensures you are never surprised when it comes time to pay: it’s easy to remove items from your e-cart that send you over your spending limit. There is also little or no temptation at checkout for those unneeded impulse buys. There’s virtually no pressure from the sales staff. Lastly, there’s an easy ability to use online coupons plus earn more cash back from a cash back rewards website (and there’s no potential embarrassment of pulling a coupon out of your pocket at the store, only to find that it’s expired).
Second, be sure to use a coupon code.With just a few clicks on a savings website, you can locate great coupon codes to save more money. Check out all the offers for the store you are shopping at, then go with the offer that can help you save the most.
Tip: Compare coupons offering a percentage off, a certain dollar amount off or free shipping. Use a calculator if you need to compare the offers and also look at the shipping fees before completing your purchase so you make an informed decision.
Example: Your $100 purchase with a 20% off coupon equals$20 saved, and all you had to do was type in a coupon code and invest 60 seconds finding it.
Third, earn cash back from a savings website. Like credit card cash back rewards earnings, online shopping cash back programs award shoppers with a portion of their transactions. These online shopping earnings are deposited into an account, then are paid out at no cost. The best kept secret is: Because these programs reward shoppers for buying online, consumers can stack cash back earnings by getting it in two places, from the savings site and from a rewards credit card.
In this example, on your $80 purchase (after your 20% coupon off your $100 total) with a 5% cash back rate offered by the savings website, you’d earn $4 cash back simply because you clicked a link from the savings site to the store’s website.
Fourth, pay with the best rewards credit card in your wallet.You’ll stack two cash back earnings which do not interfere with each other by following the steps above and using a card with a great cash back rate. If you have multiple rewards credit cards, consider which one provides the most benefit before completing your payment details at checkout. Personal finance tip: Always pay your balance off and consider annual fees before signing up for a credit card.
In this example, with a rewards card providing5% cash back, you can earn another $4 cash back from your credit card on your $80 total, for a savings grand total of $28 on a $100 purchase. That’s $8 from two forms of cash back and $20 from a coupon. Saving 28% was pretty easy and painless, wasn’t it?
Author bio: This is a guest post from Jon Lal, founder of coupons and cash back website BeFrugal.com and couponing and savings expert. BeFrugal.com offers cash back for online shopping at 3,000+ online stores with a current average rate of 7%.