Thursday, March 3, 2016

Michigan Girl's guide to getting rewarded for shopping and spending money

There are so many ways to be rewarded for spending money today. Who doesn’t want to receive cash back for spending you are already doing? Most of the time, it’s not too difficult, and if you put a little strategy too it, you can receive multiple rewards for just one purchase by stacking the rewards the same way people stack coupons.

Credit Cards
Most people are familiar with cash back from credit cards. Many cards offer cash back on some or even all purchases. Check your current cards to see what options you have. When I selected which cards to sign up for, I checked closely to avoid any yearly fees and make sure I had some type of reward for my purchases.

Banking

Many banks and credit unions are moving to a reward for purchase system as well. My credit union offers a new type of checking that I’ve recently signed up for. If you meet the monthly qualifications, enroll in and log into online banking, enroll in eStatements, have at least 1 automatic direct deposit, and have at least 15 debit card purchases, you are rewarded with cash back and a reversal of any ATM fees.

Loyalty Cards
Speedway has a very successful program with the Speedy Rewards card. Each time you purchase gas or items in the store, you receive points. They also offer bonus items and special offers each month. If you purchase a particular item or visit a specified amount of times, you can receive extra points. The points can later be used to purchase various items in the store, gift cards at lots of places, or a discount per gallon of gas.

If you log into your account online or through the mobile app, you’ll often see additional deals, including freebies from time to time.

Most locations also offer deals where you receive 3 cents off a gallon when you use your Speedy Card. Additionally, at some locations, if you purchase a Fuel Card and purchase gas using the Fuel Card, you receive an additional 3 cents off a gallon. The Fuel Cards are re-loadable so you can continue to use them to purchase gas as save the additional 3 cents off a gallon.

Online Rewards
There are many companies that offer rewards for online shopping. Two sites that I use are Ebates and Upromise. The process is simple, start on the Ebate or Upromise site, and search for the site you’d like to shop from, ex. Walmart, Ebay, Kohls. After you find the place you’d like to shop, let Ebates or Upromise transfer you to the site. Different stores have different rebates or rewards. Both Ebates and Upromise have optional toolbars that you can install to your browser to remind you to log-in through the site before shopping, so you can receive your reward. This is very helpful, great reminder.

Ebates
Ebates currently has a promotion, if you join from a desktop computer, you can choose to receive a $10 gift card from Macys, Walmart, Target, or Kohls for signing up. I just received mine in the mail. 

If you refer someone to Ebates, you receive $25 dollars. Please feel free to select this referral link.

Every 3 months, Ebates sends a cash back payment for purchases posted during the previous quarter. If you've earned less than $5.01 cash back, they carry over your money to the next check. You can choose to receive payment through a physical mailed check or PayPal. You can also choose to donate your money to another person or charity and a check will be mailed each quarter.

Upromise
Upromise works very similarly to Ebates. Upromise was developed to help people that have student loans. The rewards you received from Upromise can be transferred directly to your student loans, or paid to you through a physical check.

Upromise allows people to sign up and donate their rewards to your student loan debt. So, it’s great to share that with friends and family. They sign up, shop online starting from Upromise and you receive the reward.

With Upromise, you can also choose to link your credit, debit, and store loyalty cards so that you can receive additional rewards when dining or shopping at selected locations. Upromise also offers a MasterCard that rewards you for purchases.


eBay Bucks
If you are an eBay shopper, you are probably already aware of eBay Bucks. If you sign up for eBay Bucks and pay for qualifying items with PayPal, you receive an eBay Bucks Certificate to use toward eBay purchases. You do have to sign up, but it's very simple.

When you earn $5.00 or more in eBay Bucks in a calendar quarter (every 3 months), eBay sends you an eBay Bucks Certificate after the quarter ends. Once they issue the eBay Bucks Certificate, you have 30 days to use it. Qualifying items have an eBay Bucks icon.

Promo Codes
Don’t forget to check for Promo Codes for potential for other discounts or free shipping. I often visit Retail Me Not to find Promo Codes, the mobile app for Retail Me Not is very helpful. It can help you find promos based on your current location.

Checkpoints is another downloadable app that will also alert you of promos or sales based on your location.

Stacking Rewards
With so many options to receive discounts or cash rewards, it’s smart to stack the rewards. I try to combine multiple offers to receive the most discounts or rewards. Always try in for at least one.

Happy Shopping ...

More to come from the mind of ...

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