It’s the holiday season, so get your wallet ready. According to a report by the National Retail Federation, 91% of Americans will celebrate this holiday season in some way. Celebrations are also about spending.
The Deloitte Center for Industry Insights’ September 2022 study found that the average consumer will spend $1,455 this year on holiday expenses, including travel and gifts. You can increase your credit card rewards earnings by shopping a little more.
You might think the holidays are too stressful without having to jump through hoops in order to get a few extra benefits. You can add significant value to your shopping budget by taking just one or two simple steps. These six strategies will turbocharge your holiday credit card rewards.
1. Get a credit card
Many credit card issuers offer cash back or points. To earn the welcome offer, you will need to spend a specific amount on the card within a specified time period. The holiday shopping season is a great time to meet that spending requirement and get a substantial bonus on your new card.
These bonus funds, which can be earned cash back on your new credit card, can help you stretch your holiday budget. After meeting certain spending requirements, some cards are able to offer $200 to new cardholders. Your new card bonus can earn you a nice collection of travel rewards that can be used to offset future travel expenses. That’s something to be proud of.
2. Online shopping portals
Why not avoid the crowds in your local stores? According to Deloitte, 63% of holiday shoppers intend to shop online most of the time. Shopping portals, also known as bonus malls, can help you earn additional points, cash back, or miles in addition to the regular rewards that your credit card earns.
Shopping portals are websites that offer cash back, points, or miles to customers who click on their links and shop at a retailer’s website. When you shop through the portal’s link, you will receive a commission from major retailers.
Numerous major credit card issuers and airlines have shopping portals. Log in to the portal and search for the merchant you wish to shop with. Click on their link. As normal, shop and checkout with the merchant’s website.
Although it may take a few more clicks to verify your purchase, extra rewards will be automatically deposited into your account. This verification may take several weeks, or even months.
3. Specials in-store
Many mobile apps offer cash back or bonus points for purchases made in person, similar to online shopping portals. Apps like Rakuten and Swagbucks, for example, offer bonus rewards when you shop at hundreds of stores.
The app can be downloaded and used to make your in-store purchases. You will receive your bonus rewards within a few days. The app tracks your purchase. A lot of these apps require that you reach a certain threshold in order to cash out your rewards.
4. Offers that are linked to credit cards
Many credit card issuers offer discounts for customers who use their cards at certain retailers. These discounts include, but are not limited too:
These offers can be thought of as a digital coupon that you can access from your online account to add to your credit cards. Statement credits and bonus points are used to get discounts. Log in to credit card account to find the deals section.
Discounts generally come with a minimum spending requirement and an expiration date. Terms vary from retailer to retailer. Once you have added the offer, there is no harm in using it. If you do end up shopping at one of these retailers, don’t hesitate to load them onto your credit card.
5. Gift cards available
You can get extra rewards for buying gift cards to be given as holiday gifts.
Let’s suppose you wish to gift Aunt Sally a gift certificate to a clothing shop. You’ll likely earn the standard credit card reward rate on the purchase of the gift card purchased from the clothing retailer. If you find a gift certificate for the same clothing retailer on the large gift card rack at your grocery store, you will be able to purchase it there and earn even more rewards. Numerous credit cards have bonus rewards for grocery stores. Some cards offer up to 6%, 4% and 3% respectively. For example, the Blue Cash Preferred(r), American Express card, earns 6% back at U.S. grocery stores on purchases up to $6,000 per year. These terms and conditions apply.
Although it is fine to buy a few gift card in order to lock in your bonus rewards, you shouldn’t do so excessively. Credit card companies may recoup your bonus points if they see a pattern of gift card purchases. This is especially true if you are trying to get an initial sign up bonus.
6. Programs for dining rewards
You can earn more points and miles by dining at certain restaurants, whether you are eating out during the holiday season or any other time. You can join the free dining rewards network of most major airlines and hotels.
Enter your zip code to find restaurants in your area that are participating in the dining rewards program. To earn bonus rewards, you will need to register your credit cards with the dining program. These programs often offer extra points for first-dining and reward customers who leave reviews.
These programs are all managed by the same parent company so you can sign up for bonus rewards with one airline or hotel restaurant program. The old card will be removed if you link it to a new credit card.