Two For Tuesdays #5
Last week, we covered two tips for saving money on car insurance and life insurance. Today, we’ll delve into online shopping sites that endeavor to help you save your hard-earned dough as well as show you a credit card that can earn you $500 or more in cash rebates.
Online shopping, if you’re not careful, can blow your budget big-time. It’s so convenient to order from Amazon that it’s easy to overspend or spend money you didn’t plan on spending. I cannot help you with self-restraint, other than to tell you to keep your goals in mind whenever you pull out the credit card.
It’s also easy to lose sight of the reason you’re shopping online — better prices (that, and convenience). Here’s a site that can help you save money by using coupons that you may not know exist or that aren’t widely available or publicized:
Type in the store for which you need a coupon, and RetailMeNot.com looks up all available coupons. It has a database that is populated by readers of the site. It’s kind of a social networking site for online coupons.
You may not always find what you’re looking for, but you’ll be surprised by the number of times you use the site and get really great coupons.
We all know that credit cards, if not used wisely, can kill your finances. A late charge here, a missed payment there, next thing you know you can’t pay your bill, your credit score has just taken a hit, and you’re maxed out.
My take on the credit card companies is to beat them at their own game (if you read this blog regularly, you’ll know that I work for a bank who makes a ton of money from credit cards). The industry is so competitive that you’re bound to find a credit card that offers you just what you need without all the associated hassles.
Remember this, though: Pay off your balance each and every month. Don’t get suckered by incentives the credit card company may offer you to carry a balance.
There are hybrid strategies for combining two or more cards that offer what I’m about to tell you so that you can maximize your savings, but remember that I want the money hacks that you use to be easy to implement. I certainly don’t want you to have to keep meticulous track of each credit card transaction you make. I also don’t want you to think too much about this. Remember, the $500 you earn in cash rebates from this card is the easiest money you’ll ever make from a credit card company.
So don’t complicate this easy money with a strategy that takes a lot of work. Oh, sure, you could save another $100 or $200, but at what cost in terms of time?
Finally, before I get to the punchline, I think you should carry only one or two cards in your wallet, firstly because I want you to maximize the utility of the cards, but also because of the real threat of theft. No need to complicate your life by losing your wallet and having to call 3 or 4 credit card companies.
Money Hacks wants to help you simplify your finances.
So, without further delay, go get yourself Up to 5% cash back with Blue Cash® from American Express.
Here’s how it works. On every day purchases, like at supermarkets, gas stations, and drug stores, you get 5 percent cash back after you spend $6500 (up to this limit, your cash back rebate is 1 percent). On all other purchases, you get .5 percent to 1.5 percent (subject to the same threshold). If you follow my “Automate My Finances” philosophy, you’ll easily spend this amount of money in a given year (after all, it’s only a little over $500 per month, and with the price of gasoline and groceries, you’ll spend this in no time).
Like I said before, there are hybrid strategies for maximizing your cash back rebate. Here’s how you can make it work (though I think you still ought to try to simplify things as much as possible). Use the American Express Blue Cash card for “every day purchases” (gas, groceries, drug store) and another rewards card for everything else. You could, for example, combine use of this card with a frequent flyer card.
As icing on the cake, Kiplinger and Money magazines and a lot of other financial blogs (Free Money Finance, for one) have proclaimed this card as the best credit card to carry for cash rebates. American Express is highly-regarded as a credit card company.
One more thing: There is currently no limit on the rebate you can receive.
That concludes this edition of Two For Tuesdays. Come back next week for two more money hacks that will save you money.