gift cards http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2008/all en-US Top 5 Ways Thieves Use Your Stolen Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-thieves-use-your-stolen-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/top-5-ways-thieves-use-your-stolen-credit-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit_card_phishing.jpg" alt="Credit card phishing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It can be a shock. You go online to check your credit card statement, and you're presented with a series of hefty transactions you know you didn't make. Thousands of dollars, gone in the blink of an eye.</p> <p>Luckily, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards-vs-debit-cards-a-comprehensive-comparison" target="_blank">credit cards have fraud protections</a> not offered by debit cards. As long as you report the errors quickly, you're covered for these fraudulent charges. But it does make you wonder &hellip; how do the thieves do it, and how might they have used your stolen card? Here are the five most common uses for a card that has been &quot;liberated.&quot;</p> <h2>1. A blowout shopping spree</h2> <p>Once the thieves have a working copy of your credit card information, they are off to the races. Timing is paramount for thieves, because they know the second you realize what's up, you'll call and cancel the card. Plus, credit cards these days will stop working on their own if the bank's algorithms detect suspicious activity, such as purchases of many high-cost items in one go, or purchases made out of state.</p> <p>So, credit card in hand, thieves hit up several different stores in a mall, or anywhere else that has a variety of stores close by each other. They pick out items that they can sell easily with a good return, such as electronics, designer clothing, and jewelry. They are lightning-fast &mdash; they can rack up thousands of dollars in purchases in under 30 minutes. By the time the card is shut down, they have already made off with quite a haul. Sadly, the stores and the credit card companies rarely catch them.</p> <h2>2. ATM withdrawals</h2> <p>Most people assume that a stolen credit card won't be used for ATM withdrawals because those require a PIN. However, depending on how the thief got your card, that may be wrong. If the thief stole your entire wallet or purse, they can often get clues from the contents, including your birth date (still a common PIN used by many people) and house number.</p> <p>Your best defense here is to choose strong passwords and PINs. If your PIN is still somehow compromised, report the card stolen as soon as possible. Luckily, you won't be on the hook for the money withdrawn, as long as you can prove it was a result of theft.</p> <h2>3. Sold to other criminals as part of a bulk lot</h2> <p>When your card details are breached, it's not always the thief's intention to use the information on goods or cash withdrawals. More sophisticated thieves will collect a large number of cards and then sell those details to cybercriminals as part of a &quot;job lot.&quot;</p> <p>Interestingly, these cybercriminals price the cards in different ways, depending on how much information is provided. If it is simply the card number and expiration date, it will not bring much money. These cards are sold for a few bucks, because the chances of successfully making off with a chunk of money is slim. If the security number on the back is added, the price goes up. If the PIN is known, the asking price is higher. The highest price goes to sellers who can provide additional data, including purchasing behaviors and security question details.</p> <p>Of course, once cybercriminals have the info, they either use it quickly, or resell it again. The black market for card numbers is vast.</p> <h2>4. Gift cards</h2> <p>A simple form of money laundering is for criminals to use the stolen credit card to buy up a large number of high-denomination gift cards. If you think about it, it's the simplest way to turn a liability into cold, hard cash.</p> <p>The thief will hit a local grocery store and pick up handfuls of different gift cards. If the store clerk questions the large purchase, the thief simply says it's a great way to buy goods and services from merchants that won't take credit cards.</p> <p>By the time the stolen card is reported and canceled, the thief has made off with thousands of dollars in gift cards. Now, the criminal has all the time in the world to spend them, or sell them to someone else, because these cards are 100 percent legit and won't be shut down. Even if the thief only gets half the face value of the gift cards, it's all profit for them.</p> <h2>5. Online shopping</h2> <p>Thieves have many options when it comes to buying merchandise online with a stolen card. Only the dumbest thief will actually use a stolen credit card to have a big-screen TV delivered to his or her own home. Instead, the criminal can have the products delivered to an address they know to be vacant. They can use a mail drop scheme, which is basically a remailing service that makes the final destination of the product impossible to trace. They can also set up an intricate &quot;triangulation&quot; scheme on auction sites like eBay.</p> <p>All in all, if you think your stolen credit card will not be used online, you're in for a rude awakening. Thieves are always thinking ahead.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-thieves-use-your-stolen-credit-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-you-suspect-a-scam">What to Do When You Suspect a Scam</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-up-remaining-balances-on-prepaid-gift-cards">How to Use Up Remaining Balances on Prepaid Gift Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-signs-your-identity-was-stolen">9 Signs Your Identity Was Stolen</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-stash-your-money-besides-a-savings-account">10 Places to Stash Your Money Besides a Savings Account</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-quick-and-simple-scams-that-could-happen-to-you-today">Five quick and simple scams that could happen to you today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance atm withdrawals black market crime gift cards online shipping prepaid cards shopping spree stolen credit cards theft Tue, 06 Jun 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 1958435 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save Frequent Flyer Miles That Are About to Expire http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-578090012.jpg" alt="Couple saving frequent flyer miles that are about to expire" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many of us, earning enough airline miles for that free trip can take a while. Sometimes using a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">co-branded airline credit card</a> can help speed things up. But while we're waiting to collect enough, we might risk losing what we've already earned. While each frequent flyer program has its own set of rules, most will erase your miles if you don't use them or earn new miles for a period of 12&ndash;24 months.</p> <p>Check your airline's loyalty program to see how long you have before your miles disappear. And if your expiration date is looming, consider one of these strategies.</p> <h2>Join an airline dining program</h2> <p>Since you can &quot;reset the clock&quot; on your frequent flyer miles with even a small purchase, airline dining programs offer an easy way keep your miles alive. While each airline's program includes different restaurants, and the number of miles you'll earn will vary, they all work similarly: You sign up for the program, dine at a qualifying restaurant, then earn bonus miles for each dollar you spend. (See related: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</a>)</p> <h2>Shop through an airline shopping portal</h2> <p>If you don't want to deal with a complicated dining program or dine at specific restaurants, using a rewards shopping portal is another easy way to save your miles. Nearly all major airlines offer an online mall or portal that lets you earn extra bonus miles for each dollar you spend with e-tailers you access through the site. You simply go to the portal, search for the store you want to shop with, and then &quot;click through&quot; the airline portal to the retailer's site to make your purchase. And remember,&nbsp;any&nbsp;purchase will reset the clock on your airline account. You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars. A simple $5 online purchase (or less!) will do the trick.</p> <h2>Cash in miles for a gift card</h2> <p>While earning more miles can keep your stash of airline currency alive, so can redeeming miles. If you don't have any travel planned or are saving up for a big trip, consider cashing in a small number of airline miles for a gift card. Only certain programs offer this option, and you may also need the program's co-branded credit card to be eligible.</p> <p>While you usually won't get as much bang for your miles by buying a gift card as you would redeeming them for flights, this can still be an effective strategy for keeping your account active.</p> <h2>Donate miles to charity</h2> <p>Various programs let you donate miles to causes you believe in. Check with your frequent flyer program to see if donating your points is an option and which charities are available. If you aren't going to be able to use your miles, anyway, this is a good way to use them rather than letting them expire.</p> <h2>Buy miles</h2> <p>If none of the other options seem appealing for your situation, there's a final solution to consider: buying miles. By buying miles, you can keep your current stash of airline miles alive.</p> <p>Unfortunately, it is seldom cost efficient to fork over real cash for airline miles. Then again, it could be well worth spending a small amount to keep a large stash of miles alive if you have no other option.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Save%2520Frequent%2520Flyer%2520Miles%2520That%2520Are%2520About%2520to%2520Expire.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Save%20Frequent%20Flyer%20Miles%20That%20Are%20About%20to%20Expire"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Save%20Frequent%20Flyer%20Miles%20That%20Are%20About%20to%20Expire.jpg" alt="How to Save Frequent Flyer Miles That Are About to Expire" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-picking-the-best-airline-credit-card-for-the-most-rewards-value">5 Steps to Picking the Best Airline Credit Card for the Most Rewards Value</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-airline-or-travel-rewards-credit-cards-the-better-deal">Are Airline or Travel Rewards Credit Cards the Better Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel airlines charity dining programs expired gift cards miles online portals rewards shopping Fri, 19 May 2017 08:30:09 +0000 Holly Johnson 1949203 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Smart Ways to Meet a Rewards Card Minimum Spending Requirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_card_635966732.jpg" alt="Woman meeting her credit card&#039;s minimum spending requirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're new to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips?ref=internal" target="_blank">chasing credit card rewards</a>, it can feel like there's a lot to learn at once. One of the fastest ways to earn credit card rewards points is through a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal">sign-up bonus</a>. This is a big slew of points you'll get from a new card if you spend a certain amount on that card within a specified period of time &mdash; often the first three months. The spending requirement could be anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the card.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">How I Redeemed a $12,000 Family Vacation With Credit Card Rewards in 2 Months</a></p> <p>Of course, the whole idea for earning points that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">translate into travel rewards</a> is to spend less. It's counterproductive to go into debt just to meet a minimum spending requirement. That's why the tips below relate to things you're likely <em>already </em>spending on, not additional expenses that will break your budget. You should never let a balance accrue on a credit card just to get rewards. You will never come out ahead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Steps to Getting a Free Vacation in 9 Months or Less With Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Start With Everyday Expenses</h2> <p>Chances are you can get a significant fraction of the way to meeting your minimum requirement just by putting your regular expenses on your credit card whenever you can.</p> <p>If you're conditioned to paying for things in cash, it's time to break that habit since you're missing out on tons of potential points-earning opportunities. This means putting all your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=internal" target="_blank">grocery purchases on your card</a>. Same for when you pay for gas, dry cleaning, prescriptions, or any of your other regular expenses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards to Use for Everyday Expenses</a>)</p> <h2>2. Pay Your Bills With Your Card</h2> <p>The same is true for monthly bills like your Internet, Netflix, cellphone, cable, etc. If you have automated payments set up, update them with your new card. For any other bills, see if there's an option to pay with a credit card instead of a checking account. Watch out for any fees charged for credit card payments, though. It's usually not worth it.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></p> <h2>3. Let Little Things Add Up</h2> <p>If you use Uber or Lyft to get around, make sure you update your payment method so that it is linked to your new credit card. The same goes for other apps that you are using to make payments, as small as they may be. If you use Venmo to pay individuals or iTunes for the occasional song download, you'll want to link them to your new card, too, so you'll be earning points toward rewards even when you're not thinking about it.</p> <h2>4. Prepay Current Subscriptions</h2> <p>If you have the extra cash to pay for subscriptions up front, you'll not only help meet the spending requirement, but may score a discount in the process. Many services offer a discount for prepaying.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">10 Ways to Get Free or Almost Free Airline Tickets</a></p> <h2>5. Buy Gift Cards</h2> <p>Buying gift cards is a straightforward way to earn points toward reaching your minimum balance. You are spending money now by purchasing the card, which you can then use later. Due to fraud concerns, many brick-and-mortar retailers no longer take credit cards for gift card purchases, but many e-tailers, including Amazon, will.</p> <p>Again, the most important thing to remember is to only spend what you can pay off every month. Make your payments on time, so you don't accrue interest or late payment fees that will obliterate any rewards you get for your purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways Anyone Can Travel for Free</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays">Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-credit-card-transactions-that-dont-earn-rewards">4 Credit Card Transactions That Don&#039;t Earn Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards bills free travel gift cards groceries hacks minimum spending requirement points rewards sign up bonuses subscriptions Fri, 13 Jan 2017 10:00:13 +0000 Nick Wharton 1870054 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Squeeze Every Penny Out of a Gift Card http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-squeeze-every-penny-out-of-a-gift-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-squeeze-every-penny-out-of-a-gift-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_shopping_bags_539009226.jpg" alt="Women squeezing every penny out of a gift card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on ways to make the most of gift cards, packing hacks that will save you space, and frugal living skills to teach your children.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/how-to-use-a-gift-card-15111/">10 Ways to Make the Most of Gift Cards</a> &mdash; Don't feel obligated to buy something you don't need just to use a gift card &mdash; you have other options! [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Packing-Hacks-Save-Space-41105280#photo-41105280">16 Packing Hacks That Will Save You Space</a> &mdash; Break your snacks out of their bulky packaging and store them in your own space-saving baggies. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/saving/T065-C000-S015-living-skills-you-should-be-teaching-your-children.html">7 Frugal Living Skills You Should Be Teaching Your Children</a> &mdash; Encourage your kids to collaborate and share. They'll develop strong communication skills, learn how to make and honor agreements, and know what it means to be good stewards of what they and others own. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/reduce-stress-and-spending/">Holiday Spending: Ways to Spend Less &amp; Reduce Stress This Season</a> &mdash; The holiday season is supposed to be all about family and good cheer, but it can also cause a lot of anxiety thanks to the extra spending. Join Experian's #CreditChat tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET for a discussion on ways to spend less and reduce stress over the holidays. [Experian]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/The-Bite/2016/1123/New-WHO-report-calls-for-action-against-harmful-online-food-marketing">New WHO report calls for action against harmful online food marketing</a> &mdash; Food marketing, especially on digital platforms, can significantly influence children's food and drink preferences and choices. [The Monitor]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.adebtfreestressfreelife.com/29-ways-to-enjoy-christmas-on-a-tight-budget/">29 Ways To Enjoy Christmas On A Tight Budget</a> &mdash; As a family project, make your own Christmas decorations instead of buying them. [A Debt Free Mess Free Life]</p> <p><a href="https://moneystrands.com/2016/11/22/ways-to-make-money-as-a-student/">7 Incredible Ways To Make Money As A Student</a> &mdash; You can make money and exercise by walking dogs &mdash; or even people! [Money Strands]</p> <p><a href="https://blog.allstate.com/5-winter-home-staging-tips/">5 Winter Home Staging Tips</a> &mdash; Staging your home can be tricky in the winter. Set the thermostat to a comfortable 70 degrees to encourage potential buyers to linger in the warmth and focus on your house. [The Allstate Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stackthechips.com/buying-foreclosure-vs-short-sale/">Buying A Foreclosure vs. Buying A Short Sale</a> &mdash; You can get a good deal on a home in foreclosure or in a short sale. They both occur when the initial homeowner is unable to make payments on the house, but it's important to know the differences between the two so you choose the right house for your situation. [Stack The Chips]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/6-ways-to-create-an-environment-of-gratitude-in-your-home">6 Ways to Create an Environment of Gratitude in Your Home</a> &mdash; Thanksgiving has passed, but that doesn't mean the gratitude ends there. Encourage everyone in your family to recognize and acknowledge good deeds every time they see it. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-squeeze-every-penny-out-of-a-gift-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paint-a-room-and-wash-your-face-more-uses-for-powdered-milk-than-you-ever-imagined">Paint a Room and Wash Your Face: More Uses For Powdered Milk Than You Ever Imagined</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-411-directory-assistance-that-really-works-a-review">Get free 411 directory assistance that really works (a review)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-teenager-started-a-multi-million-dollar-online-business-with-a-parrot">How a Teenager Started A Multi-Million Dollar Online Business with a Parrot. UPDATED</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-and-avoid-late-fees">How to Get Rid of and Avoid Late Fees</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-camping-cooking">10 Tips for Camping Cooking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks best money tips gift cards Tue, 29 Nov 2016 11:30:06 +0000 Amy Lu 1843361 at http://www.wisebread.com Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_christmas_gift_46067724.jpg" alt="Woman saving on Christmas shopping with gift cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last year, the average American <a href="http://americanresearchgroup.com/holiday/">spent $882 on holiday gifts</a> &mdash; and that amount does not include money spent on décor, meals, or clothes. Many people rack up credit card debt, and with high interest rates, that can make payments on their Christmas purchases for months after the holiday.</p> <p>However, it doesn&rsquo;t have to be that way. You can still celebrate Christmas with gifts and decorations without going into debt. Using discounted gift cards is an ingenious way to stretch your budget further and minimize debt.</p> <h2>Why So Many Gift Cards Are Available at a Discount</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s a reason stores love selling gift cards. Each year, you likely receive gift certificates or cards for your birthday or other holidays. And while it&rsquo;s the thought that counts, you probably tucked one or two away in a drawer and forgot about them. The average person has <a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/statistics/">$300 in gift cards</a> going unused, and over $41 billion in cards went unredeemed from 2011 to 2015.</p> <p>Most of the time, cards are stagnant because the gift recipient does not shop at the selected store, or items at the location are too expensive to be covered by the balance of the card. Rather than let the card just sit in a drawer gathering dust, many people opt to get money back in their pockets by selling them.</p> <p>Cheap cards are available through online sites that are 3% to 30% less than their value. From Sephora to Target, you can get a gift card at a significant discount, allowing you to buy more with your money.</p> <h2>Using a Discounted Gift Card</h2> <p>Purchasing a gift card at a reduced price is like giving yourself a huge coupon. For example, you can get a $250<a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/buy-gift-cards/h-and-m/">H&amp;M gift card</a> for just $169.62, saving you $80.38. That means you can buy $250 worth of merchandise at a 32% discount. With that savings, you can buy more items within your budget &mdash; or save it.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can gift loves ones a discounted gift card and let them go shopping themselves. Buying a gift card at a reduced price allows you to give a more generous holiday present without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>Where to Buy Cards</h2> <p>There are many sites that sell a wide range of discounted cards. These are three of the most popular.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/">Gift Card Granny</a> offers discounted cards from hundreds of retailers, from large big box stores to niche chains. Discounts change each day, and you can find cards marked 50% under their actual value.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.cardpool.com/">Cardpoo</a>l sells cards up to 35% under value. They offer gift cards to stores like Lowe&rsquo;s, Best Buy, Target, and more.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://giftcardzen.com/buy">Gift card Zen</a> is part of coupon site RetailMeNot. You can find cards for hundreds of retailers, including AMC Theatres, American Girl, and Macy&rsquo;s.</li> </ul> <p>Purchasing gift cards and using them for your Christmas shopping is an easy way to get more from your money. You can get a significant discount on your purchases, letting you celebrate the holiday without going broke.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Christmas discounts gift cards gifts Holidays online shopping saving money Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Kat Tretina 1812050 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Things Not to Buy on Black Friday http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-not-to-buy-on-black-friday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-not-to-buy-on-black-friday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_VR_headset_522315038.jpg" alt="Woman learning what not to buy on Black Friday" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If I had to choose one word to describe Black Friday, it would be pande-frickin'-monium. Consumers go berserk for doorbusters, big deals, and deep discounts, but all may not be as it seems. Take a look at these typical Black Friday &quot;best buys&quot; that are anything but to help stretch your budget and keep your sanity in check.</p> <h2>1. Virtual Reality Headsets</h2> <p>Primitive virtual reality headsets have been around for a few years now, but they're just starting to enter mainstream technology now that major tech players, like Sony, are designing their own devices. The main problem here, however, is that the tech still isn't where it needs to be to justify the high cost of these coveted Christmas-list items.</p> <p>&quot;Though it's tempting to get your hands on a virtual reality headset, we recommend sitting it out for one more year,&quot; suggests BuyVia, a website and mobile app that combines in-store and online shopping across smartphones, tablets, and laptops. &quot;In order for the headset to be worthwhile, you need a high-end fast PC, which can be pricey without giving you great results. For instance, The Core i5 processor will run you at least $800, plus the Nvidia GTX 970 video card. The PlayStation VR costs $400 but is still pretty slow, and has limited software selection and tracking problems.&quot;</p> <p>Of course, given VR's popularity right now, you do run the risk of crushing someone's holiday hopes, like, big time, if you opt out on this item &mdash; but, eh, whatever. There's always next year.</p> <h2>2. Winter Apparel</h2> <p>It's not that you won't find great deals on winter apparel this time of year, but Black Friday may not be the best day to go on a shopping spree for the long johns and wool socks that your nephews are totally dreading. (Seriously &mdash; eeeevery year, lady?)</p> <p>&quot;While you're sure to see deals on select clothing items during Black Friday, it's better to hold off until Cyber Monday when sitewide savings of 60% plus free shipping give you more options,&quot; says savings expert Kendal Perez of <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com">Coupon Sherpa</a>. &quot;Black Friday clothing deals are often limited to one brand or style &mdash; a crew-neck cashmere sweater, for example. What's more, discounts on winter clothing and boots are deeper in January, when these garments go on clearance to make room for spring styles, which typically debut on showroom floors in February.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Health and Beauty Items</h2> <p>Like clothing, wait until Cyber Monday and deeper-in-December sales. Prices on individual items and sets, as well as discounts for brands and subcategories, will be much better.</p> <p>&quot;You may find a few spectacular doorbuster-like deals on makeup, polish, and fragrances, but waiting until the traditional storewide discounts we see on Cyber Monday will bring you a bigger selection of items to choose from,&quot; <a href="https://www.fatwallet.com/">FatWallet.com</a>'s Brent Shelton says.</p> <p>Or you can do what I do: Wait until after the holidays to pick up grooming sets, from brands like Axe and Old Spice, at slashed prices and stash them away until next year. Just make sure the products won't expire within a year or two. Which is important &mdash; unless you like the idea of giving your brother a holiday rash.</p> <h2>4. Tools</h2> <p>You may be getting fooled on tools on Black Friday, according to Mike Catania, founder of thesaving community <a href="http://www.promotioncode.org">PromotionCode.org</a>.</p> <p>&quot;While there are plenty of Black Friday 'sales' for tools, the reality is that they're marked up more for the holidays than any other time of the year,&quot; he says. The offers look good on paper &mdash; up to 30% off &mdash; but the original price is 40% higher than it was at the end of summer. This is particularly true for tools in the quality range beneath 'pro-sumer.'&quot;</p> <p>This doesn't mean that hubby can't get the new table saw that he'll use once before he starts using it as a storage surface. Just do your research and compare prices before purchasing.</p> <h2>5. 1080p HDTVs</h2> <p>Flat-screen TVs have long been a staple of Black Friday doorbusters &mdash; many shoppers have the trample marks to prove it. But this year, 1080p versions are hitting the skids for higher-end (but still affordable) 4K HDTVs.</p> <p>&quot;4K is definitely the future of TV, and the price has dropped significantly over the last year; a 50-inch 4K HDTV is about $400,&quot; writes BuyVia in a recent blog post <a href="https://www.buyvia.com/blog/not-buy-black-friday-2016/">about Black Friday</a>. &quot;4Ks are optimized for Blu-ray, Netflix, Amazon, DirectTV, and YouTube, and you can add Smart TV functionality with an inexpensive $40 Roku box. Plus, if you want to spend a little more money, you can find a 4K TV with HDR imaging for incredible image quality.&quot;</p> <p>The one and only issue I have with this trend &mdash; and full disclosure, I own 4K TVs myself &mdash; is that cable technology hasn't caught up with TV tech. It may be another year or two until you'll get the full experience of 4K, but you can at least take advantage of the Internet-connected &quot;smart&quot; part of the sets in the meantime.</p> <h2>6. Home Furnishings</h2> <p>The general consensus here is that you should avoid buying new furniture this time of year, not just specifically on Black Friday. Perez explains why.</p> <p>&quot;Black Friday is all about doorbuster deals on TVs, gaming consoles, tablets, and other electronics,&quot; she says. &quot;Rarely do we see an epic deal on love seats and recliners, and Black Friday deals for national chains like Crate &amp; Barrel, West Elm, Pottery Barn, and the like are minimal, often limited 15% to 20% off select items and deals on holiday accessories which don't compete with post-holiday sales. Furniture deals are better in January and July/August, when new styles debut and clearance prices offer better savings compared to Black Friday discounts.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Gift Cards</h2> <p>Boy, do I love a good gift card &mdash; mostly so I can exchange all the long johns and wool socks my aunt gave me yet again and get what I want. Deal-wise, though, you're better off waiting until December to stock up on these precious pieces of plastic, says Perez.</p> <p>&quot;Gift cards are a better buy in December when restaurants and select retailers offer bonus cards with gift card purchases. In the past, we've seen free $5 to $25 bonus gift cards with purchase of restaurant gift cards $25 to $50 from Chili's, Benihana, Olive Garden, and more. Retailers like LL Bean, DSW, The Children's Place, and Toys 'R Us also offered free gift cards ranging from $5 to $25 last December with select purchases.&quot;</p> <h2>&nbsp;</h2> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-not-to-buy-on-black-friday">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday">8 Frugal Skills You Need to Survive Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-discount-shopping-days-of-the-year">7 Best Discount Shopping Days of the Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-to-maximize-your-savings-at-home-depot">6 Surprising Ways to Maximize Your Savings at Home Depot</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-people-go-crazy-on-black-friday">Why People Go Crazy on Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-black-friday-deal-without-leaving-home">6 Ways to Score a Black Friday Deal Without Leaving Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping black friday doorbusters furniture gift cards hdtvs makeup sales tools virtual reality winter clothes Wed, 23 Nov 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1838643 at http://www.wisebread.com Use These Stores' Gift Cards ASAP http://www.wisebread.com/use-these-stores-gift-cards-asap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/use-these-stores-gift-cards-asap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_bags_85634401.jpg" alt="Woman using gift cards for stores ASAP" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Retailers absolutely love selling gift cards to shoppers. This was never more evident than when Sports Authority began liquidating all of their stores with <a href="https://consumerist.com/2016/05/24/theres-92-5-million-in-outstanding-sports-authority-gift-cards-use-yours-before-june-26/">$92.5 million in outstanding gift cards</a> still out there. Retailers are keenly aware that many shoppers will forget about them or simply lose them in the desk drawer. The time has come to take a thorough inventory of what gift cards you currently have. Be sure to spend them sooner, rather than later, at these 11 retailers who seem destined to go away forever in the near future.</p> <h2>1. Aeropostale</h2> <p>On May 4, 2016, the trendy clothing retailer Aeropostale filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an attempt to reorganize and come back a stronger company. While they currently still sell and accept gift cards, they are a company worth keeping on your radar screen if you have a gift card from them in your desk or wallet. It might be a good time to get it out and use it as the jury is still out on how long Aero might be around. In the future, if you need to file a claim form for Aeropostale to recover your gift card money, you can do so by <a href="https://cases.primeclerk.com/aeropostale/EPOC-Index">clicking here</a>.</p> <h2>2. American Apparel</h2> <p>American Apparel emerged from Chapter 11 in February of 2016 and is currently operating normally. Their gift cards are being accepted both online and in-store. Time will tell how well they do financially in the future. In the meantime, it may be a good time to use your American Apparel gift card.</p> <h2>3. Hancock Fabrics</h2> <p>On March 31, 2016, Hancock announced <a href="http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/b-riley-financials-great-american-group-to-close-remaining-hancock-fabric-stores-300244255.html">they will be closing</a> all of their brick-and-mortar stores along with their ecommerce website. While they are no longer selling gift cards, they are still accepting them in-store only, as their website has closed down. While they have yet to post an official date as to when they won't accept gift cards, it's safe to assume that once their inventory is liquidated, your gift card will be worthless. You'd be wise to pull it out now and use it.</p> <h2>4. Hastings</h2> <p>On June 13, 2016, Hastings announced they were <a href="https://www.gohastings.com/custserv/custserv.jsp?pageName=Abouthttps://www.gohastings.com/custserv/custserv.jsp?pageName=About">entering Chapter 11</a> in the hopes of selling the business. They currently have 126 stores open throughout the country and also operate sister brands Movie Stop and SPImages. While they have stopped selling gift cards, shoppers have until July 13th to use any gift cards before they will be turned away. If you missed the July 13th deadline, you still have hope, as you can <a href="http://www.omnimgt.com/sblite/templates/a/claimform.aspx?clientid=CsgAAncz%2b6auN9ajQ9dw0JtzMUjZskXmeu53RB%2bVbo5jtmqMNZslX%2fyBGJJoJ85Z%2fIznZx8%2bReE%3d">file a proof of claim form</a> with Hastings in an attempt to get your money returned to you.</p> <h2>5. PacSun</h2> <p>On April 7th, 2016, PacSun filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The California-inspired clothing retailer hopes to emerge a stronger, leaner company. They are still selling and accepting their own gift cards both online and in-store. Because their future is still murky at this point, it's a good idea to get out your PacSun gift card and use it before it becomes a windshield ice-scraper. If for some reason they are unable to bounce back from Chapter 11, and are forced to close their doors, you can file a gift card claim with PacSun by <a href="https://cases.primeclerk.com/pacsun/Home-Index">clicking here</a>.</p> <h2>6. RadioShack</h2> <p>Unfortunately, RadioShack stopped accepting their own gift cards back in 2015. But if you still have an unused gift card, surprisingly you stand a great chance of getting your money back. Simply <a href="https://cases.primeclerk.com/radioShack/GiftCard-Home">file a claim</a> by December 2nd, 2016. It's also worth noting that gift cards which were bought from a RadioShack store, and not obtained in an exchange for returned merchandise, will be given priority. According to the website, if you file by December 2nd, &quot;You will be paid one hundred percent of the balance shown on your card.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Sears and Kmart</h2> <p>Sears and Kmart seem to always be in the news announcing more store closures, and they appear destined to eventually go away forever. Because of this, it's definitely worth your while to pull out any unused gift cards for either store and use them up. If you don't necessarily need anything right now, think about birthdays, Christmas, and any special occasions where you might need a gift. Stock up now, while you can, and hold on to the gift until you need it.</p> <h2>8. Sports Authority</h2> <p>Sports Authority announced in May that they were going out of business and liquidating all of their inventory. Shoppers had until June 28, 2016, to use their gift card balances both online and in-store. If you are one of the thousands of consumers stuck with an outstanding gift card balance, your only option at this point is to <a href="http://www.kccllc.net/documents/pocs/sports%20authority%20-%20poc%20form%20w%20503b9%20160401%20epoc%20v2%20blank.pdf">file a gift card claim</a> as an unsecured creditor. It might be a long shot to get any money back, or maybe only a percentage, but it's better than doing nothing and throwing your gift card in the trash.</p> <h2>9. Sports Chalet</h2> <p><a href="http://www.sportchalet.com/">Sports Chalet</a> gave shoppers until May 31, 2016, to use any remaining gift cards before they closed their doors permanently. If you missed the cutoff date, never fear, as you still have one great option left. From now until July 29th, 2016, you can transfer your Sports Chalet gift card balance to one of their sister stores, <a href="http://www.ems.com/">Eastern Mountain Sports</a> or <a href="http://www.bobstores.com/">Bob's Stores</a>. Once transferred, you can use the balance to shop at either store.</p> <p><em>What strategies do you use so you never forget to use a gift card?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-these-stores-gift-cards-asap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-major-retailers-that-give-employees-time-off-for-thanksgiving">25 Major Retailers That Give Employees Time Off for Thanksgiving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/inside-the-shady-world-of-cheap-itunes-gift-cards">Inside the Shady World of Cheap iTunes Gift Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-up-remaining-balances-on-prepaid-gift-cards">How to Use Up Remaining Balances on Prepaid Gift Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-time-for-summer-shopping-in-europe">Best Time For Summer Shopping In Europe!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping chapter 11 gift cards going out of business retail store closings stores Fri, 08 Jul 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Kyle James 1747538 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways NOT to Spend Your Credit Card Rewards http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-not-to-spend-your-credit-card-rewards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-not-to-spend-your-credit-card-rewards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_card_000073626469.jpg" alt="Woman learning how not to spend credit card rewards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most credit card rewards go the way of our food scraps &mdash; down the drain. But it's not because they aren't valuable. Credit card <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">rewards can fly you to places</a> you couldn't otherwise afford to go. You can even redeem them for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards">free hotel stays</a> and rental cars. Yet many rewards go wasted because cardholders either don't understand how to redeem them or they mistakenly fail to do so by the expiration date. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-biggest-mistakes-you-can-make-when-redeeming-credit-card-rewards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">7 Biggest Mistakes When Redeeming Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> <p>Even if you're one of those card holders who uses their rewards, there's a good chance you could be flubbing it. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-american-express-membership-rewards-points">Not all redemption offers are created equal</a>.&nbsp;In fact, some rewards are far less valuable than others. Read on for our roundup of the worst ways to spend your credit card rewards.</p> <h2>1. Buying Stuff You Don't Actually Want</h2> <p>Redeeming your rewards for gift cards can be a great move &mdash; if you use them to purchase items you were going to buy anyway. Otherwise you'd be spending unnecessarily, which is contrary to the concept of a reward. Here's another tip: If you're going to trade in your rewards for a gift card, it's best to do so when the gift card is discounted (usually points are valued at one cent per point, so if you can get a $50 gift card for 4000 points, that&rsquo;s a good deal).</p> <h2>2. Redeeming Them for Overpriced Merchandise</h2> <p>With sites such as Amazon and eBay, it's easy to buy home goods and electronics for less than the retail price. And since credit card reward programs typically offer these items at an inflated price, redeeming your points or miles for a coffee maker or a digital camera is rarely a smart move. Better option: Get a gift card for Amazon or preferred vendor, and then buy the item at a discount.</p> <h2>3. Opting for a Cash-Out</h2> <p>Some credit card providers let you trade your points or miles for cash. Beware: It&rsquo;s likely you'll take a big hit on the redemption value. However, it can be better than nothing, if there are no other options (like gift cards) that you would use. It&rsquo;s better than letting your points expire. Again, look for a minimum one cent per point value.</p> <h2>4. Redeeming Them for Gas Cards</h2> <p>Gas is a major expense that most of us would love to trim down. Even still, don't be so easily romanced by credit card rewards that offer gas card redemptions. Many of these gas cards are tied to annual fees that you wouldn't otherwise pay at the pump. Others will require you to drive miles out of your way to the inconveniently located gas station that services your card, which could end up costing you more money than the gas card is worth. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Best Credit Cards that Offer Gas Bonuses</a>)</p> <h2>5. Gifting Them to a Friend</h2> <p>In life, generosity isn't always rewarded &mdash; especially when it comes to your credit card points. If you decide to gift your points to a friend, you can get hit with fees to facilitate the transfer from your account to the other. If it helps, get a gift card instead, or redeem your rewards for whatever it is your friend needs.</p> <h2>6. Hoarding Them</h2> <p>Credit card rewards are only valuable if you use them. And while many people like to hoard as many points as possible in order to redeem a grand prize, this strategy is risky for two reasons.</p> <p>First, it puts you at risk of ending up empty handed. Many people save their rewards so long that they blow past the expiration date and end up with nothing.</p> <p>Second, since credit card companies and banks can alter the terms of their rewards programs at any time, the let-them-accumulate strategy could leave you with a load of rewards that have declined in value. That's why many experts advise you to redeem your rewards regularly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=cc_article">Expert Tips for Redeeming Rewards for Travel</a>)</p> <p><em>How do you maximize the value of your credit card rewards points?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-not-to-spend-your-credit-card-rewards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-up-remaining-balances-on-prepaid-gift-cards">How to Use Up Remaining Balances on Prepaid Gift Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards">5 Steps to Getting a Free (or Close to Free) Vacation in 9 Months or Less with Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement">5 Smart Ways to Meet a Rewards Card Minimum Spending Requirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nfl-extra-points-credit-card-review">NFL Extra Points Card: Fumble or Touchdown?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maximizing-rewards-programs-with-pointscom">Maximizing Rewards Programs with Points.com</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards gas cards gift cards redemptions rewards miles rewards points wasting points Tue, 31 May 2016 09:30:18 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1718094 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_phone_shopping_000086939113.jpg" alt="Woman using apps that pay her to shop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know &quot;there's an app for that.&quot; Usually we're referring to apps that make our lives a little bit easier somehow. But what if there were a bunch of apps out there that'll actually <em>pay </em>you to shop? Whether it be through earning cash back by purchasing stuff we'd be buying anyways, or simply paying you to snap a pic of your receipt, these apps all have the potential to help you earn some significant money. What's more helpful than that?</p> <h2>1. Swagbucks</h2> <p><a href="http://swagbucks.7eer.net/c/27771/19503/799">Swagbucks</a> is a cash back app with a twist &mdash; namely it focuses on surveys as its primary business model. You download the app, pick a survey to complete, and earn &quot;Swagbucks&quot; when you complete it. The cool thing about the surveys is they tell you exactly how long they will take to complete, and the number of Swagbucks you'll earn. For example, a six-minute survey will give you 50 Swagbucks and the questions are very simple, opinion-based questions. Earn 500 Swagbucks and you'll be eligible for a $5 gift card from Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart or Target. Sitting in the doctor's office waiting room, or maybe at the DMV, complete a Swagbucks survey or two, and before you know it, you'll be treating yourself to a free Venti Frappuccino.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cool-convenient-cash-11-easy-ways-to-make-money-online?utm_source=wisebraed&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=article">How to Make Money Online Without Even Trying</a></p> <h2>2. iBotta</h2> <p>While already on the radar screen of most frugal shoppers,&nbsp;<a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">iBotta</a> is a terrific way to earn cash at the grocery store. Cash back takes the form of &quot;rebates,&quot; and you simply unlock rebates on specific items before you head to the grocery store. Items that often have rebates available include such staples as milk, eggs, yogurt, and butter. Then when you return home, just scan the receipt with the iBotta app and your rebates, once verified, go straight to your account balance. When your iBotta account reaches $10, you can request payment via PayPal or Venmo. The app is terrific way to supplement traditional paper coupons and double your savings in many cases.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=article">Earn Thousands Per Year With These Cash Back Sites</a></p> <h2>3. ShopKick</h2> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.shopkick.com/">ShopKick</a> app rewards you with free gift cards for doing the shopping you'd be doing anyways. It works by giving you reward points, known as &quot;kicks,&quot; just for walking into stores like Walmart, Target, Starbucks, Best Buy, and even at your local grocery store. Then when you buy something from the store, you earn even more kicks. Earn enough kicks, and you'll get rewarded with free gift cards to the store of your choosing. Surprisingly, it doesn't take much to earn things like a $5 Starbucks gift card. You'll also be kept updated with new coupons and deals at your favorite stores so you can save even more. An insider tip to quickly add up kicks is to follow&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/SHOPkick">ShopKick on Facebook</a> as they update their feed with new ways to earn free kicks.</p> <h2>4. Mobee</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mobeeapp.com/">Mobee</a> touts themselves as a &quot;fun, new way to make money on your phone.&quot; Once downloaded to your smartphone, the app works by displaying &quot;missions&quot; in your local area that pay you money to complete. The missions are displayed on a map allowing you to quickly see which ones you can easily perform on your next shopping trip. The idea is that you're going to be there anyways, so why not earn a couple bucks in the process?</p> <p>For example, your local Starbucks might have a mission that requires you to answer a few questions about your visit. Most missions give you 250&ndash;750 points and a $5 Starbucks gift card is available after about 500 points. Earn 2,500 points at Walmart and trade your points in for a $25 gift card. I was happily surprised to see the points required to earn gift cards were very reasonable, making this app worth a look.</p> <h2>5. Receipt Hog</h2> <p><a href="http://receipthog.com/">Receipt Hog</a> allows you to cash-in on your shopping receipts. Unlike cash back apps like iBotta, Receipt Hog lets you earn rewards by scanning your receipt from ANY store and it doesn't matter what items you purchased. Once you earn 1,000 points, you'll be eligible for a $5 Amazon gift card or $5 sent directly to your PayPal account. You'll earn 50&ndash;100 points per receipt making a free $5 pretty easy to obtain. I've been using this app for a few months and have already earned $25 in Amazon gift cards with very little effort.</p> <h2>6. Loot!</h2> <p>The folks at&nbsp;<a href="http://earn.loot-app.com/">Loot!</a> have created an app that lets you earn rewards by sharing, typically via social media, recent experiences with a particular brand or retailer. These experiences often require you to snap a picture to share, but not always. For example, you might be asked to snap a picture of a movie you're viewing and share it on Facebook, or perhaps share a print advertisement for a particular product via Twitter. These tasks typically pay in the $0.50 to $1.75 range.</p> <p>You can also earn $0.05 for a Twitter and Facebook &quot;shout out&quot; on specific products and brands that Loot! is currently promoting. The app automatically links your social media accounts making it a simply process to perform a shout out.</p> <h2>7. Gigwalk</h2> <p>When you're out-and-about, on a shopping trip, or simply taking a stroll through town, use the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gigwalk.com/">Gigwalk app</a> to earn some extra cash by completing small tasks. A couple &quot;gig&quot; examples include $10 for taking a dog on a walk or $4 for taking a picture of a store display. The closer you live to a large metropolitan area, the more gigs will be available to you. While the app is appealing as a cool way to earn a few extra bucks, the negative reviews of the app revolve around not enough gigs available and a waiting period for approval that often exceeds a week. But it definitely has potential and is worth being on your radar screen.</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-a-side-gig-at-these-4-best-micro-jobs-sites?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=article">Find a Side Gig at These 4 Best Micro-Jobs Sites</a></p> <h2>8. Field Agent</h2> <p>Somewhat similar to Gigwalk,&nbsp;<a href="https://app.fieldagent.net/">Field Agent</a> pays you to do small jobs in your local area. The biggest difference between the two apps is that Field Agent is more shopping-focused and has &quot;jobs&quot; at locations like Costco, RiteAid, Safeway, and Marshalls. Jobs are first come first serve, pay between $2 and $15, and must be accomplished within two hours of accepting. An example of a past Costco job was an &quot;egg audit,&quot; which for $7, required you record the egg sizes, egg prices, and count the number of egg products in the warehouse. An easy $7 in your pocket if you're on your way to Costco anyways. Similar to Gigwalk, the closer you live to a metropolitan area, the more jobs will be available to you via the app.</p> <p>Free for&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/field-agent/id364946558">iOS</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.fieldagent">Android</a>.</p> <p><em>How do you use your smartphone to earn a little extra money?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Falternative-wedding-ideas-for-big-savings&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Apps%2520That%2520Actually%2520Pay%2520You%2520to%2520Shop.jpg&amp;description=8%20Apps%20That%20Actually%20Pay%20You%20to%20Shop"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Apps%20That%20Actually%20Pay%20You%20to%20Shop.jpg" alt="8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-apps-turn-saving-money-into-a-game-are-they-worth-it">These Apps Turn Saving Money Into a Game — Are They Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-apps-that-monitor-your-credit-for-you">7 Apps That Monitor Your Credit for You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology apps gift cards groceries ibotta online shopping rewards smartphones swagbucks Fri, 27 May 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Kyle James 1717319 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Places to Stash Your Money Besides a Savings Account http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-stash-your-money-besides-a-savings-account <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-places-to-stash-your-money-besides-a-savings-account" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/star_wars_lego_000021962705.jpg" alt="Finding places to stash money besides a savings account" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The long-awaited interest rate hike from the Fed finally arrived on December 16, 2015. But as of May 2016, it still hasn't affected the interest rate of most savings accounts. The national average savings account interest rate currently stands at a measly 0.06%, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). And some brick-and-mortar banks are offering rates as low as a pitiful 0.01%!</p> <p>There are far better places to park your hard-earning savings. Let's review 10 places to stash cash besides a traditional bank savings account.</p> <h2>1. Online High Yield Savings Account</h2> <p>With the Internet taking over pretty much everything, it's not a surprise that it has also taken over banking. By putting your funds in an online savings account, you'll have access to higher yields. As of April 2016, you can find high-interest savings accounts with yields ranging from 0.75% with the Capital One 360 Savings Account, to 1.05% with the Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings Account. Make sure to read the fine print, though, because they may require minimum deposits and limit the times you can access funds per month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-online-savings-accounts?ref=seealso">5 Best Online Savings Accounts</a>)</p> <h2>2. Certificate of Deposit</h2> <p>By tying up your money for a longer period of time, banks and credit unions are willing to offer you a higher interest rate. With terms ranging from one to 60 months, a certificate of deposit (CD) is a financial vehicle insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 per account per depositor. Certificates of deposit can easily beat that 1.10%. For example, a credit union in Honolulu, Hawaii is currently offering 16-month and 60-month CDs with a 1.20% and 1.78% APR, respectively.</p> <h2>3. Series I Savings Bond</h2> <p>Backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, Series I Savings Bonds (also referred to as &quot;I Bonds&quot;) are adjusted for inflation every six months so the purchasing power of your savings stays intact. Earnings are exempt from state and local taxes and can be entirely tax-free when used for qualifying post-secondary education expenses. I Bonds are available on small denominations starting at $50 and can be bought online via <a href="http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/products/prod_ibonds_glance.htm">TreasuryDirect</a> or through your tax return using <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8888.pdf">Form 8888, Allocation of Refund (Including Savings Bond Purchases)</a>.</p> <h2>4. Gold</h2> <p>For a long time, several countries, including the U.S. and the U.K., committed to fix the prices of their domestic currencies in terms of the market value of a specified amount of gold. Even though the market price of gold has proven to be quite volatile, it still could work as a good way to stash your savings, depending on your timing. When it comes to gold, history has proven that it's best to buy and hold for a long time. On May 1, 2006, the price of gold per ounce was $670.30 and on April 18, 2016, it was $1,245.68. That's a 85% total return for about 10 years. This is why investors still use gold to hedge against uncertainty and inflation.</p> <h2>5. Exchange Traded Fund for Precious Metals</h2> <p>Of course, buying and selling coins, bars, or privately minted coins of gold and silver requires skill, storage space, and knowledge of the commodities market. An alternative way to put your savings in gold and silver is to buy an exchange traded fund (ETF) that tracks the market price of those precious metals. Some examples include the iShares Silver Trust [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=SLV">NYSEArca: SLV</a>], SPDR Gold Shares [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=GLD">NYSEArca: GLD</a>], ETFS Physical Silver [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=SIVR">NYSEArca: SIVR</a>], and iShares Gold Trust [<a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=IAU">NYSEArca: IAU</a>].</p> <h2>6. Lego Sets</h2> <p>If the investment returns from gold impress you, wait until you hear that of Lego Sets:</p> <ul> <li>Imperial Star Destroyer was <a href="http://time.com/money/4162059/lego-investment-compare-gold-return/">worth $249.99 in 2002</a> and today is worth about $2,185 (return: 774%)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Death Star II was worth $372 in 2005 and today is worth about $2,270 (return: 510%)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Taj Mahal was worth $134 in 2007 and today is worth about $2,753 (return: 1,954%)</li> </ul> <p>Of course, you'll have to do some research to identify the most promising sets. With about 80 stores in the U.S., you'll have plenty of opportunities to play&hellip; ahem!... I mean, research.</p> <h2>7. Discount Gift Cards at Costco</h2> <p>Bulk buying 170 oz. detergent jugs and $4.99 roasted chickens aren't the only ways to let your dollar go the extra mile at Costco. You can stash your savings in discounted gift cards. For example, you can currently get two $50 gift cards for Buca di Beppo for $76.99 ($74.99 plus $2 for shipping and handling) at the Costco website. By planning out your purchases of discount gift cards for restaurants and other retailers, you can get a better return than that of a savings account.</p> <h2>8. Christmas Club</h2> <p>Another alternative to savings accounts is the Christmas club, which will hold money put aside for future holiday spending. Also known as Christmas savings accounts, Christmas clubs are available at over 70% of U.S. credit unions. By committing to hold your funds in the account for a predetermined period (e.g. November 1st), a credit union will pay you a higher interest rate than that of its regular savings account. The catch is that if you withdraw the funds before the deadline, you'll be charged a steep fee that nullifies all your interest gains. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-good-reasons-to-choose-a-credit-union-instead-of-a-bank?ref=seealso">9 Good Reasons to Choose a Credit Union Instead of a Bank</a>)</p> <h2>9. Peer-to-Peer Lending</h2> <p>Banks make a profit by taking your deposits and offering those monies as loans to other individuals at a higher interest rate. You, too, can take a crack at profiting from lending through peer-to-peer lending at sites including <a href="http://prosper.evyy.net/c/27771/27132/994">Prosper</a> and <a href="https://www.lendingclub.com/">Lending Club</a>. With a minimum investment of $25, you could start investing in loans with an average annual interest rates ranging from <a href="https://www.lendingclub.com/info/demand-and-credit-profile.action">5.23% to 9.11%</a>. By sticking with the highest grade of investment loans, you have a good chance at beating the annual percentage yield (APY) of any savings account.</p> <h2>10. Secured Credit Card</h2> <p>While <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-are-secured-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">secured credit cards</a> can be useful to building or repairing your credit history, some of these cards also allow you to gain interest on your security deposit. For example, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/usaa-secured-card-american-express?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=article">USAA Secured Card American Express</a> lets you gain 0.54% per year through a two-year CD. If you're considering to apply for a secured credit card, getting one that lets you make money on your secure deposit would let you kill two birds with one stone.</p> <p><em>What are other great places to stash away your savings?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-stash-your-money-besides-a-savings-account">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-use-old-savings-bonds">6 Smart Ways to Use Old Savings Bonds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-ways-thieves-use-your-stolen-credit-card">Top 5 Ways Thieves Use Your Stolen Credit Card</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-moves-every-new-college-student-should-make">7 Money Moves Every New College Student Should Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sleek-marketing-ploys-aimed-at-getting-more-of-your-grocery-money">5 Sleek Marketing Ploys Aimed at Getting More of Your Grocery Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance certificate of deposit christmas funds gift cards gold peer to peer lending savings savings bonds Tue, 10 May 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Damian Davila 1703947 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Easy Ways to Use Technology to Save on Christmas Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-use-technology-to-save-on-christmas-shopping <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-easy-ways-to-use-technology-to-save-on-christmas-shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_texting_winter_000047883380.jpg" alt="Woman using technology to save on Christmas shopping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's no arguing that technology can make life a little sweeter in terms of saving us time and money &mdash; both things that tend to be at a premium during the holidays. Whether it's using free apps on your smartphone, or taking advantage of online shopping tricks to score the best deal, you should definitely consider using tech to lower your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/december-deals-that-are-better-than-black-friday">shopping bill in December</a> and beyond. Here are a few ideas to get you started.</p> <h2>1. Use a Christmas Shopping App</h2> <p>Since most of us are walking around with very powerful computers in our pockets, it makes sense to use our smartphones to manage our Christmas shopping. My favorite app is the free for iOS&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/santas-bag-christmas-gift/id397698040">Santa's Bag</a>, which allows you to create gift lists, import recipients, and most importantly, set a budget to keep your spending in check. The app interface is very intuitive and quickly gives you access to the gifts you have bought for each person along with how much of your budget is left for each recipient.</p> <p>Another app worth downloading to help with your Christmas shopping is the free<a href="http://shopsavvy.com/"> ShopSavvy</a> (for iOS and Android). This app allows you to scan the barcode of the product you're considering purchasing and instantly find out if another store has it cheaper &mdash; or if it's available at a lower price online. If you use it consistently, it can easily save you 15%&ndash;20% off your shopping bill this year.</p> <h2>2. Social Media Is Santa's Best Friend</h2> <p>The next time you're standing in line waiting to purchase a couple Christmas gifts, pull out your smartphone and check the social media feeds of the retailer. Many are starting to proactively promote exclusive coupons and deals on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Often it will only require you to show the coupon on your phone to the cashier, which they will scan, and you'll collect the savings. Make it a healthy frugal habit whenever you're waiting at the register.</p> <h2>3. Hit Up Live Chat and Negotiate a Deal</h2> <p>While you may be able to ask a live chat operator for a coupon, are you aware that you can actually negotiate a lower price on certain items? This works best for laptops, HDTVs, and higher-end electronics. On a whim, I recently started a chat session with Dell.com and saved a quick $50 on a new laptop simply by asking if there was any wiggle room in the price. Be sure to negotiate the price before you add any coupon codes to your online order, as you're less likely to get a price reduction if the operator notices you're already getting a discount. Besides Dell, online retailers where this has been known to work include Hewlett Packard, Kohl's, JCPenney, and even Target.</p> <h2>4. Buy Gift Cards for Cheap</h2> <p>If you're planning on buying a gift card or two this year, be sure to first stop by a website like GiftCardGranny or Raise.com and purchase one for less than face value. These sites purchase unwanted gift cards from folks and then sell them back to you for a small profit. For example, you may find a $100 TJ Maxx gift card for $85, or a $50 JCPenney gift card for less than $45.</p> <p>Also, if you're a little less tech savvy, be sure to try your local Costco. Not only do they have gift cards for big-box retailers, but they also have cards for local restaurants and attractions. Be aware that you'll typically have to buy a pack of three or four gift cards to save, but the savings is usually in the 15&ndash;20% range. The larger quantity can actually come in handy when buying for teachers and friends.</p> <h2>5. Always Seek Out a Coupon Code</h2> <p>If you're not seeking out a coupon code when shopping online, you're leaving significant money on the table. Make it a smart frugal habit to do a quick Google search for &quot;[store name] coupons&quot; and you stand a great chance of finding a money-saving code you can plug in while checking out from the retailer's website.</p> <h2>6. Stack Coupons at Target</h2> <p>Target has fairly competitive pricing to begin with, but be sure to stack coupons for some incredible savings. They'll actually let you stack a manufacturer coupon, a Target store coupon, and a Cartwheel offer on a single product. The best way to make this work is to first find a manufacturer coupon at CouponMom.com or Coupons.com, then print a&nbsp;<a href="http://coupons.target.com/">Target-specific coupon</a> from their site, then download the&nbsp;<a href="http://cartwheel.target.com/">Cartwheel app</a> and use one of their offers as well. If you can stack all three when shopping in-store, you can easily save 40%&ndash;65% off individual items.</p> <p><em>What is your strategy to keep your spending in check and save money this time of year?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-use-technology-to-save-on-christmas-shopping">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break">4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping apps coupons discounts gift buying gift cards Holidays spending Mon, 14 Dec 2015 16:00:07 +0000 Kyle James 1619709 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Surprising Ways to Maximize Your Savings at Home Depot http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-to-maximize-your-savings-at-home-depot <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-surprising-ways-to-maximize-your-savings-at-home-depot" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/the_home_depot_000016789311.jpg" alt="Learning surprising ways to maximize savings at home depot" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's no arguing the fact that Home Depot can be a great place to save money on hardware and building supplies. And having worked at Home Depot fairly recently, I have the inside scoop on how to best take advantage of the savings opportunities. Here are a few tips to maximize your savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ikea-shopping-tricks">8 IKEA Shopping Tricks</a>)</p> <h2>1. Don't Ignore the Cents in the Price</h2> <p>I recently had a former Home Depot employee, who used to perform all of the price changes in his store, inform me of how their pricing system works. Use this information to determine what items are clearance price, and if they might go even cheaper.</p> <h3>Price Ending in .06</h3> <p>If you see an item with an ending price of .06, you know it's a clearance item. These price stickers will typically be printed on a yellow tag. The &quot;6&quot; means that after six weeks, if the item has not sold-out, the price will be lowered again. Look for a date printed on the price tag, as that indicates the date the tag was printed. If the date is close to six weeks ago, you know the item is about to get marked down again. If they still have plenty in stock, it's worth waiting in order to get it cheaper in the near future.</p> <h3>Price Ending in .03</h3> <p>Any price ending in .03 is a clearance item that has been marked down from .06. This means that after three weeks, the item will be removed from the store if not sold-out. Typically, when you see an item ending in .03, printed on a yellow tag, it's the rock-bottom price and your best opportunity for a deal. Again, examine the date on the price tag to determine how close the item is to being liquidated.</p> <h2>2. Negotiate the Price on Damaged Stuff</h2> <p>The Home Depot is notorious for slashing the price on any visible imperfections or damage on either the product's packaging, or the item itself. When I worked in the warehouse, we were actually given the authority to knock 15% off the price on damaged products without any managerial approval required. Use this insider information to your advantage, and look for items that have cosmetic damage. Then, ask an associate if a discount is available.</p> <p>Your chances of success increase greatly if you're polite and ask in a conversational tone. Also, if the item is the last one on the shelf, and shows even the slightest evidence of damage or wear, your success rate will increase substantially as employees want to clear it out of the store, since they know they'll have trouble selling it at full price. As a general rule of thumb, I like to start by asking for a 25% discount, knowing that I will probably settle for 15% off.</p> <h2>3. Score a Deal on Products Wrongly Stocked</h2> <p>This tip is not for everyone, but I saw it work several times during my employment at Home Depot. The average store stocks thousands of products, and every once in a while, a product is put back in the wrong spot or simply mis-stocked by the overnight crew. If you notice that a product is incorrectly stocked, and has a lower shelf price tag then it should, you can politely ask for the lower price.</p> <p>According to Consumer Reports, the store does not have to <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/shopping/december-2009/the-savvy-shopper/know-your-consumer-rights/the-savvy-shopper-consumer-rights.htm">honor the lower price</a>, but in many cases, Home Depot will give you the lower price if the price difference is not outrageous. I saw this work for a customer that found a $25 Purdy paint brush stocked with the $5 cheap brushes. The assistant manager immediately gave him the $20 discount rather than argue with the man and create a scene.</p> <h2>4. Buy &quot;Oops&quot; Paint for Cheap</h2> <p>The next time you need to paint a room, or even an entire house, always check the &quot;oops&quot; paint rack in the Home Depot paint department. You'll find it next to the paint mixing station and it's where they sell highly discounted paint that was either mistinted by the paint machine, or simply not the color the customer requested. Having worked in the paint department in my younger days, I can tell you that you'll find some amazing hidden gems. This is especially true if you're not picky about paint color and simply looking for something neutral. Examples include one-gallon cans of Behr paint for $5&ndash;$8, and five-gallon buckets of paint, which typically sell for $125, can often be had for under $50.</p> <p>A word of caution: Always ask to see the actual paint color, and never trust the color swatch on top of the can. To foil customers trying to scam the system by intentionally rejecting a color so they can come back and buy it from the &quot;oops&quot; rack, employees will sometimes add bright colors to the cans and change the color intentionally. Make sure the color you think you're getting is the actual color.</p> <h2>5. Buy Paint on a Holiday Weekend</h2> <p>Sticking with the paint theme, another insider tip I learned while working in the paint department involves the rare days of the year when paint actually goes on sale. The best days of the year to buy paint are on holiday weekends when the weather is warm. These include Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July, and Labor Day weekend. The discount is usually a $5 rebate on one-gallon cans and a $25 rebate on five-gallon buckets. These holiday sales are typically good for both major brands of paint (Behr and Glidden) that Home Depot stocks. So, if you're thinking of doing a large painting project in the near future, it may very well be worth the money to wait, and buy, on one of these sale weekends.</p> <h2>6. Buy a Gift Card for Less Than Face Value</h2> <p>If you have a large remodel or DIY project in your future plans, you should definitely consider buying a discounted Home Depot gift card and easily save 7%&ndash;10% off your purchases. This is done by taking advantage of websites like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.giftcardgranny.com/store/home-depot/">Gift Card Granny</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.raise.com/buy-home-depot-gift-cards">Raise</a>, which sell unwanted gift cards at less than face value. Typically, the higher the gift card balance, the larger the discount. For example, right now you can buy a $100 Home Depot gift card on Gift Card Granny for $90 with free delivery.</p> <p>By knowing some of the inner-workings of Home Depot, you can definitely learn to save money &mdash; money that can easily be used to make your next DIY or home remodel project a little more affordable. Whether it's knowing how they price clearance items, or how willing they might be to negotiate the price of an item, it's all information you can use to become a smarter consumer.</p> <p><em>How do you maximize your savings when shopping at Home Depot?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-to-maximize-your-savings-at-home-depot">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break">4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-order-fish-on-mondays-and-7-other-bad-days-to-buy-stuff">Never Order Fish on Mondays and 7 Other Bad Days to Buy Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-outlet-shopping-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">10 Outlet Shopping Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-genius-ways-to-save-on-cyber-monday">6 Genius Ways to Save on Cyber Monday</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping discounts gift cards Home Depot home improvement negotiating price tags sales Fri, 13 Nov 2015 09:15:50 +0000 Kyle James 1593639 at http://www.wisebread.com 30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_cash_000058424436.jpg" alt="Woman using cash back sites to earn her thousands per year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cash back sites are an awesome way to save a significant amount of money and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cool-convenient-cash-11-easy-ways-to-make-money-online">earn some extra cash too</a>. You save and earn money just for using their link to shop and use coupons. Some programs have additional ways to earn money by using their search engine or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/resources/paid-surveys">taking surveys</a>. There are literally dozens of programs out there that can help you save and earn even more.</p> <p>Each one of the programs listed here is free and easy to join, has an active social media presence, and most importantly, pays as promised. So bookmark this article, take your time to review each opportunity, and take advantage of all that work for you.</p> <h2>Tips on Using Cash Back Sites</h2> <p>Cash back sites save you money by sharing the wealth. They earn a commission each time you click through to an online store from their site and make a purchase. In return for doing so, you receive a piece of that commission. The percentage can range from as little as 1% to as high as 25%, 30%, sometimes as much as 40%. The concept and process is simple, but there are a few things to keep in mind for maximum cash back savings.</p> <h3>Coupons</h3> <p>Most sites only allow you to use coupons and promo codes listed on their site. Using others may invalidate your cash back.</p> <h3>Gift Cards</h3> <p>Most programs do not allow you to receive cash back when using a gift card.</p> <h3>Don't Jump Around</h3> <p>Make sure you start your shopping through your favorite cash back site. There are cookies that track how you got to the store site and if your first visit is from somewhere other than your cash back site you may not get credit.</p> <h3>Cash Out Threshold</h3> <p>Be aware of the cash out threshold. Some programs let you cash out at as little as $1 or $5 while other program cash out points are as high as $25. A high threshold may still be worth it if the cash back rate is high and you're making a large purchase, so don't automatically disregard them.</p> <h3>Have a Few Favorites</h3> <p>Check them all out, but don't spread yourself too thin or you'll never accrue enough to cash out. Have two or three favorites and rotate among them depending on which one offers the best rate. With that said, a number of sites offer sign-up bonuses that are enticing enough to use them at least once.</p> <h3>Get the Most Savings</h3> <p>Sometimes you can save more by not using a cash back site. Have a special promotion, coupon, or gift card that will save you more? Use that instead!</p> <h2>1. Ebates</h2> <p><a href="http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=vIhagUaAxdMIsu435wELZg%3D%3D&amp;eeid=26471">Ebates</a> is probably the most well-known of any of the cash back sites. They even have television commercials, which I haven't seen for any of their competition. Their emphasis is on customer service as one of the best features as well as offering some of highest cash back rates around. Their rates are almost always competitive and sometimes much better, but it's always worth comparing with one or two other cash back or rewards site to be sure. A low cash out threshold and $10 gift card sign-up bonus make it worth joining and trying.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA, CAN, CHN, KOR, RUS.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> More than 1800.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold</strong>: $5 which is sent quarterly or rolls over until threshold is met.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check or PayPal. You can also send payment to a friend of your choice.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available</strong>: Yes.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> $10 cash bonus after making $25 in qualifying purchases within 90 days.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=vIhagUaAxdMIsu435wELZg%3D%3D&amp;eeid=26471">Sign up with Ebates and get $10 cash bonus!</a></strong></p> <h2>2. Swagbucks</h2> <p><a href="http://swagbucks.7eer.net/c/27771/19503/799">Swagbucks</a> is another well-known program with members earning close to a combined 100 million dollars in gift cards and cash. In addition to an extensive cash back shopping section, members can earn points called &quot;Swag Bucks&quot; by watching videos, taking surveys, playing games, and completing offers. It's the only site where members can earn $25 a month doing nothing more than using their mobile apps to watch videos.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA, AUS, CAN, IRL, UK.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> More than 1500.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $5 for gift cards, $10 Visa e-card (no fee), or $25 for cash via PayPal (no fee).</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Gift card, Visa e-card, or PayPal.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> Yes &mdash; multiple.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> $5 after earning 2,500 SB within the first 60 days of membership.</p> <p><a href="http://swagbucks.7eer.net/c/27771/19503/799"><strong>Sign up with Swagbucks and get $5!</strong></a></p> <h2>3. InboxDollars</h2> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="http://trk.cotterweb.net/?a=13562&amp;c=16696&amp;s1=1079289">InboxDollars rewards program</a> has been around for 15 years and has close to 1.5 million Facebook likes. Right now their cash back shopping program only has eight stores including Walmart, Kohl's, and Kmart. On the plus side, the cash back rates are competitive, and it's easy to earn extra money just for for clicking on emails they send, taking surveys, playing games, watching videos, and completing offers. They also have printable coupons and an internet search program that pays 15 cents per day just like the&nbsp;<a href="http://bing-rewards.evyy.net/c/27771/89275/2168?subId1=1079289">Bing Rewards Program</a>, which doubles to 30 cents a day after you cash out your earnings for the first time and automatically become a part of their Gold Member program. At $30, their cash out threshold is on the high side, but they offer a $5 sign-up bonus. Even if you don't do anything more than use their search and earn function, you can reach the cash out amount.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> US, UK.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> Eight.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $30 which will be paid within two weeks of being requested.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check, which incurs a $3 processing fee, pre-paid Visa card (currently for US only) which incurs a $3 processing fee, pre-paid Visa e-card which has no fees, InboxDollars e-card which is connected to Tango, a company that offers a least 50 different gift cards.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> Yes.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> $5.</p> <p><a href="http://trk.cotterweb.net/?a=13562&amp;c=16696&amp;s1=1079289"><strong>Sign up with InboxDollars and get $5!</strong></a></p> <h2>4. Ibotta</h2> <p><a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">Ibotta</a> is probably the most robust and diverse of the cash back apps. They have the most cash back product ability of all of the apps included here and members have saved over 27 million dollars. In addition to getting cash back for grocery shopping, Ibotta offers cash back on apparel, electronics, wine and spirits, restaurants, home and office, travel, and entertainment. Most of the cash back opportunities are for in-store purchases, but there are some that can be redeemed online.</p> <p>In addition, Ibotta offers small rebates for staples such as bread, milk, and fresh fruit and veggies. Most items have to be purchased at approved stores, but their list is vast and the names are easily recognizable. Ibotta also offers incentives like bonus cash for redeeming a certain amount of rebates per month. Some offers can be redeemed multiple times. Ibotta also created team spirit cash back earning opportunities by encouraging members to join through Facebook, or create a team with referrals. The more everyone in the group earns, the more cash back bonuses each member gets. If you like mobile cash back apps, Ibotta is definitely one to have in your arsenal.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA.</p> <p><strong>Number of Products:</strong> More than 100.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $10.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> PayPal, Venmo, or gift card (Amazon, Starbucks, Best Buy).</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> $1 after completing your first cash back rebate within 14 days.</p> <p><a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv"><strong>Sign up and start saving with Ibotta today!</strong></a></p> <h2>5. Giving Assistant</h2> <p><a href="https://givingassistant.org/?rid=dXbX10uWwP">Giving Assistant</a> refers to itself as the &quot;double cash back&quot; site because it passes along 100% of the commission to its customers. That is, there is no splitting like with the other sites. What's unique about this site, however, is its focus on giving. For every purchase that qualifies for cash back, Giving Assistant donates a meal to a family in need. They have donated more than 250,000 meals so far.</p> <p>In addition, users can elect to donate part or all of their cash back savings to one or more of the thousands of charities available to choose from on their site. I did some rate comparisons and found that Giving Assistant did often offer significantly higher (up to double) cash back rates than other sites. Their rates matched the best of those at TopCashBack, a site outlined below which also passes along its full commission. Plus they offer a referral program, a $5 sign up bonus, and a low cash out threshold which makes this program appealing.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA as well as other countries, although they are not specified.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> More than 1,000.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $5, paid weekly.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> U.S.- based Bank Visa/Mastercard Debit card or check, PayPal</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> No.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong>&nbsp;$5 through our sign up link. <a href="https://givingassistant.org/?rid=dXbX10uWwP"><strong>Sign up now and get $5!</strong></a></p> <h2>6. TopCashBack</h2> <p><a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-12105289-1426149300000">TopCashBack</a> passes along 100% of the commission it makes to its members. Billed as the &quot;most generous cashback site,&quot; they make money by driving traffic to the store websites and through advertisements. When looking at the &quot;latest offers&quot; section on their homepage, the cash back rates were generally higher, sometimes more than two times higher than other sites. They have something called the &quot;Highest Cash Back Guarantee,&quot; and there is no minimum needed to cash out. Bonus: Members can earn free cash back by completing surveys, free trials, or requesting free samples.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA, CAN, AUS, IND.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> Over 3500.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> None. As soon as you have money in your account.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Direct deposit, PayPal, Amazon gift card code.</p> <p><strong>Other:</strong> Earn additional cash back from their &quot;Free Offers&quot; section.</p> <p><strong>App Available:</strong> Yes.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus</strong>: None at this time.</p> <p><a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-12105289-1426149300000"><strong>Sign up and start saving with TopCashBack today!</strong></a></p> <h2>7. SavingStar</h2> <p><a href="http://savingstar.ojrq.net/c/27771/18896/758">SavingStar</a> is a hybrid site that offers both traditional cash back shopping like Ebates, and grocery shopping mobile app cash back like Ibotta. The traditional cash back shopping works exactly like the other programs with users clicking through to a retailer to make a purchase and receive a percentage of SavingStar's commission. The rebate rates are competitive and worth comparing to other sites. In some cases the rate may be better.</p> <p>The mobile app for grocery shopping works a little differently than the other ones listed here. Once joining, you will be asked to link your store loyalty cards to SavingStar. They will provide a list of stores which includes many local supermarkets as well as national chains, such as CVS and Rite Aid. From there you choose from among the offers available and they are loaded onto your cards. Before purchasing the item, scan your store card, as that information will be sent to SavingStar and that's how you will qualify for your cash back. They also offers &quot;receipt scan&quot; stores for specific retailers like Target and Walmart that don't have loyalty cards. Check their offers regularly because they have a &quot;Healthy Offer&quot; every week on items like fresh produce and occasional freebies where you are reimbursed the full purchase price.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA.</p> <p><strong>Number of Traditional Cash back stores</strong>: More than 500.</p> <p><strong>Number of Mobile Cash Back Offers:</strong> Varies but between 32 and 50.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $5.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Bank transfer, PayPal, or donate to charity.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App:</strong> Yes.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> No.</p> <p><a href="http://savingstar.ojrq.net/c/27771/18896/758"><strong>Sign up with SavingStar and start saving today!</strong></a></p> <h2>8. Dollar Dig</h2> <p><a href="http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?B=569561&amp;U=255320&amp;M=51865&amp;urllink=">Dollar Dig</a> is a newer cash back site, having launched sometime in 2013. They have thousands of stores to shop through for cash back, coupons, and featured deals. Their cash out threshold is on the high side with members needing to reach $25 before being allowed to claim it. Their cash back rates are competitive, with some good deals thrown in now and again.</p> <p><strong>Where Available</strong>: USA, CAN, and numerous other countries.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> More than 3200.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold</strong>: $25.01 which can be requested immediately and is paid monthly, usually on the first of the month.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check (U.S. and Canada only) and PayPal.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> No.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> No.</p> <p><a href="http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?B=569561&amp;U=255320&amp;M=51865&amp;urllink="><strong>Sign up and save with Dollar Dig today!</strong></a></p> <h2>9. FatWallet</h2> <p><a href="http://www.fatwallet.com/?referral=kaaff">FatWallet</a> is similar to Ebates in look and in feel. In addition to receiving cash back from purchases, FatWallet offers coupons, promo codes, free shipping offers, and special bundles. Their cash out threshold is reasonable at $10, and it's awesome that you can request payment immediately instead of waiting on their schedule.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA, CAN.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> More than 1600.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $10 which can be requested immediately.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check or PayPal.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> Yes.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> No.</p> <p><a href="http://www.fatwallet.com/?referral=kaaff"><strong>Sign up and start saving with FatWallet today!</strong></a></p> <h2>10. Coupon Cactus</h2> <p><a href="http://www.couponcactus.com/?ccid=170575">Coupon Cactus</a> has a mascot named Cody, and as the name suggests, the site provides coupon codes (U.S. and international) as well as cash back offers. You can explore their offers by category, popularity, free shipping, clearance, and more. They have thousands of online merchants to choose from and an easy sign-up bonus.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA-based, but it looks like people from any country can join as long as businesses delivers there and users are able to cash a U.S. check or receive PayPal payments.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> Almost 4000.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $10 which is paid quarterly or rolls over until members reach $10.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods</strong>: Check or PayPal.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available</strong>: No.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> $3 bonus for signing up and liking their Facebook page.</p> <p><a href="http://www.couponcactus.com/?ccid=170575"><strong>Sign up for Coupon Cactus and get a $3 bonus!</strong></a></p> <h2>11. BeFrugal</h2> <p><a href="http://www.befrugal.com/cashback/?ref=OCFOJMC">BeFrugal</a> started out as a coupon only site back in 2009 and expanded into cash back territory in 2011. In addition to offering cash back, coupons, freebies, and sweepstakes, they are one of the few sites to offer a &quot;Coupon Guarantee&quot; and &quot;Guaranteed Savings.&quot; They guarantee that a coupon on their site will work or you'll receive a $5 bonus. In addition, they guarantee to have the best cash back rate or they'll match the rate at 125%. That's cool, but their cash out threshold is on the high side at $25. Still, if you're going to make a large online purchase it could be worth a go as they offer $5 sign-up bonus.</p> <p><strong>Where Available</strong>: USA, UK. In addition, people from more than 100 counties can join and earn as long as they have a PayPal account.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> More than 4000.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $25, which is sent on the 15th of the month your funds are available. For example, if you reached $25 on the 17th of this month, you could request your money that day and it would be sent out on the 15th of next month.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check, PayPal, or gift card. Users outside of the U.S. will be paid via PayPal.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> Yes.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> $5.</p> <p><a href="http://www.befrugal.com/cashback/?ref=OCFOJMC"><strong>Sign up with BeFrugal and get a $5 bonus!</strong></a></p> <h2>12. MyPoints</h2> <p><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-11324935-1395932855000?sid=epic_CB">MyPoints</a> has been in business for almost 20 years. Members earn points, which can be exchanged for gift cards or cash. These points are earned by making purchases through the MyPoints cash back portal, or participating in one of their other activities &mdash; surveys, games, searching the internet, reading email, watching videos, and printing and using coupons.</p> <p>This rewards/cash back program has a couple of aspects that could potentially make it less desirable than other sites. First, the cash back rates. I compared MyPoints with other sites and looked at 10 merchants. In eight instances, the cash back rate was about half a percent lower, and in two cases it was about half a percent higher. Second, members who use the site earn points. Many sites do this and it's not a bad thing as long as points are equivalent to currency (i.e. one point = one penny, so 100 points = $1). In the case of MyPoints, the value of the points varies, and all are worth less than a penny each. For instance, a $10 Applebee's gift card is 1650 points, the equivalent of $16.50 if each point were worth a penny. Still, with a $10 gift card bonus for signing up and making a cash back purchase of $20, it's worth a shot just for that.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA, CAN.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> More than 1900.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $10 gift card or $25 PayPal.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Gift card or PayPal when enough points have been accrued.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> Yes.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> $10 gift card when a purchase of $20 or more is made through their cash back shopping portal.</p> <p><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-11324935-1395932855000?sid=epic_CB"><strong>Try MyPoints and get a $10 gift card!</strong></a></p> <h2>13. Upromise</h2> <p><a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-12085508-1437073828000?sid=epic_CB&amp;cm_mmc=CJ-_-2276508-_-2822544-_-Everyday%20Spending%20-%20Learn%20More">Upromise</a> is a cash back site whose mission is to help people save for college (for themselves or someone else). It's not, however, like a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-creative-uses-for-a-529-plan">529 Plan</a>, which is designed to help families save money for college through interest bearing accounts. Nor does it have tax benefits like a 529 Plan. In fact, the money saved with Upromise does not have to be used for educational purposes at all and can be withdrawn at any time as long as the minimum cash out balance is met.</p> <p>Like its competitors, Upromise offers cash back for online shopping. In addition, users can earn cash back when they register their credit card and dine out, book travel through their website, or acquire a Upromise branded credit card. Users also have access to grocery and drugstore e-coupons when they register their loyalty cards with the site.</p> <p><strong>Where Available</strong>: USA.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> More than 850, plus more than 8,000 restaurants.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $10 which can be requested immediately online. For security purposes, amounts of $1000 or greater must be accompanied by a notarized form which can be printed from their website.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> No.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> No.</p> <p><a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-12085508-1437073828000?sid=epic_CB&amp;cm_mmc=CJ-_-2276508-_-2822544-_-Everyday%20Spending%20-%20Learn%20More"><strong>Click here to start saving for college with Upromise!</strong></a></p> <h2>14. Panda Cash Back</h2> <p>This Better Business Bureau A+ rated cash back program is another one that allows people from dozens of countries to join and save money.<a href="http://www.pandacashback.com/?ref=4710"> Panda Cash Back</a> offers double cash back deals and local daily deals. Their cash out threshold is a tad on the high side, but your money is automatically sent 24 hours after it is requested. It has a $5 sign-up bonus.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA and more than 100 other countries.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> More than 3000.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $15, which once attained will be sent out automatically the next day.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> PayPal. Note that the first payment for U.S. and Canadian residents will be via check. Anyone residing outside of these two countries will be contacted by Panda Cash Back asking for information to verify identity.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> No.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus: </strong>$5.</p> <p><strong>Referral Program:</strong> 25% of each referral's rebate for life.</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.pandacashback.com/?ref=4710">Sign up with Panda Cash Back and get $5!</a></strong></p> <h2>15. Hoopla Doopla</h2> <p>This cash back site with the funny sounding name (which apparently has the same name as a television show in Australia) has been in business since 2009. <a href="http://www.hoopladoopla.com/index.php?ref=3h4j2f43f7t322759">Hoopla Doopla</a> gives back more than half of the commission they receive to their members. In addition to cash back they offer exclusive coupons and daily deals, as well as fundraise for cancer research. Their low cash out threshold and competitive cash back rates makes it an attractive option to try.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA. Also, while the site says that anyone with internet access, an email address, and a PayPal account is eligible to join, the cash back retailers appear to be U.S.-centric.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> More than 2000.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold</strong>: $5 for PayPal or $10 for check, paid quarterly or rolled over until threshold is met.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check or PayPal.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> No.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> No.</p> <p><a href="http://www.hoopladoopla.com/index.php?ref=3h4j2f43f7t322759"><strong>Click here to start saving with Hoopla Doopla!</strong></a></p> <h2>16. Mr. Rebates</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mrrebates.com?refid=913170">Mr. Rebates</a> is an established cash back site that has been in business for more than a dozen years. They offer cash back rates up to 30%, and deals such as free shipping. With a reasonable cash out threshold, a sign-up bonus that is available after your first purchase, the ability to request payment immediately, and an enticing referral program, it's worth an add to your list of sites to try.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA, CAN.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> More than 2000.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $10 which can be requested immediately.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check or PayPal.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> No app, but they have a mobile site.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> $5 sign-up bonus available after your first purchase.</p> <p><strong>Referral Program:</strong> Members earn 20% of each referral's cash back for life.</p> <p><a href="http://www.mrrebates.com?refid=913170"><strong>Sign up for Mr. Rebates and get your $5 bonus!</strong></a></p> <h2>17. CashCrate</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cashcrate.com/1168012">CashCrate</a> launched in 2006 and has paid out close to four million dollars to its members who earn cash by completing offers (many free), taking surveys, completing CrowdFlower tasks, watching videos, and shopping through their cash back store. Their shopping (cash back) section is newish and small right now with only 62 stores like Walmart, Macy's, and Lowe's. However, their rebate rate is competitive with other cash back programs.</p> <p>One unique aspect of Cash Crate's earning program is that members can earn two ways. One section is devoted to earning cash, and the other to earning gift cards (think Starbucks, Amazon, Visa, and more). Just decide what you're interested in earning and complete the tasks in that section.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> All countries are eligible although the U.S. and other English speaking countries will have the greatest number of offers.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> 62 and growing.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $20 in the cash earning section, which is redeemable immediately. Gift cards can be redeemed immediately upon earning enough points in the prizes section of the site.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check. PayPal is an option once members have lifetime earnings of $500.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> Yes.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> $1. In addition, members earn monthly bonuses for meeting an optional daily goal.</p> <p><a href="http://www.cashcrate.com/1168012"><strong>Sign up with CashCrate and start earning today!</strong></a></p> <h2>18. MainStreetShares</h2> <p>This cash back program offers an interesting proposition and incentive to join and use their site because members are shareholders. At<a href="http://mss.me/kabigcrumbs"> MainStreetShares</a> not only do members earn a percentage of the site's sales commission when making purchases from stores everyone knows and loves, they earn a portion of the advertising revenue as well in the form of shares called &quot;MsShares.&quot; From their site:</p> <p>&quot;&hellip;A large share of member shopping commissions is placed in a pool each month. We also add a share of other company revenue, such as advertising to this pool. At the end of the month, you are paid a percentage of the pool based on your percentage of total member spending for the month.&quot;</p> <p>Why do they do this? To attract users, of course. However, their larger goal is for someone to acquire the company, at which time members receive a portion of the sales price based on the number of MsShares they own. Until then, with competitive rates and a one dollar cash out threshold (though there is a 2% PayPal transaction fee), MainStreetShares is worth a look.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA, CAN, AUS, IRL, UK.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> More than 1100.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> Paid monthly. Minimum $1 required.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> PayPal. There is a 2% processing fee up to one dollar charged. The fee is from PayPal.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> No.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> Members who earn MsShares &quot;will be entitled to a specially reserved additional 10% share of acquisition proceeds.&quot;</p> <p><a href="http://mss.me/kabigcrumbs"><strong>Click here to learn more about MainStreetShares!</strong></a></p> <h2>19. Cashback House</h2> <p><a href="http://www.cashbackhouse.com/">Cashback House</a> has a simple and straightforward looking site. It doesn't have the bells, whistles, and flash of many cash back sites, but it offers the basics like rebates for purchases, handpicked deals, and coupons. At $10.01 their cash back threshold isn't outrageously high and you can earn a little extra by sharing how much you've saved on Facebook.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA, CAN, UK.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> More than 1000.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $10.01 which is processed weekly once a request has been made.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check or PayPal.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> No.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> No. However, if you share how much you have saved on Facebook you will earn a $1 credit.</p> <h2>20. ExtraBux</h2> <p>Similar to the other cash back sites,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.extrabux.com/">Extrabux</a> is one of several sites that is available to people worldwide. Offering cash back ranging from 1-30%, Extrabux also offers coupon codes, promo codes, and comparison shopping. They have an attractive sign-up bonus and reasonable cash out threshold.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> Everywhere. Extrabux states that people from any country can join and earn cash back. Checks will only be mailed to those with a U.S. mailing address. However, people living outside of the U.S. can receive their cash back via PayPal.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> 2500.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $10 which can be requested immediately.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check or PayPal.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> Yes, specifically for Black Friday.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> $8.</p> <h2>21. Gyft</h2> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-11949187-1442871035000">Gyft</a> is different from the other traditional cash back sites because their sole focus is selling gift cards. Most cash back sites do not allow, or strictly limit, the eligibility of cash rebates when purchasing gift cards or using them to pay for products. At Gyft, when you purchase gift cards, you earn points which can then be used for discounts on future gift card purchases.</p> <p>Better yet, for a limited time they'll give you a $5 gift card of your choice (in the form of a promotional code) to be used towards a gift card purchase of at least $15, on the spot just for signing up. In other words, you can get a $15 Amazon gift card (or Starbucks, Target, Walmart, Home Depot, whichever of the more than 200 you choose) for $10 just for trying them out. You can even store your gift card in your mobile wallet so you have it on the go and never forget it. Even if you never buy a gift card through them again, the immediate bonus is sweet. (Note that your free gift card bonus expires 24 hours after you sign up so use it right away.)</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> More 200.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> 100 points &mdash; to be used as a discount on future gift card purchases.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods: </strong>You can pay for your gift cards with Google Pay, PayPal, Bitcoins, or credit/debit card.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> Yes.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus: </strong>$5 gift card of choice to be used on a gift card valued at $15 or more.</p> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-11949187-1442871035000"><strong>Sign up for Gyft and get your $5 bonus!</strong></a></p> <h2>22. Paribus</h2> <p><a href="https://paribus.co/">Paribus</a> is a new endeavor unlike the other cash back sites listed here. It's a price adjustment cash back program, not a rebate program. Basically, they will search for a better price on any product that you have purchased online and get the difference back for you. Their business is hunting price reductions for you, filing a claim on your behalf and getting you a refund for the difference.</p> <p>Paribus works with stores like Target, Walmart, Amazon, Banana Republic, Macy's, Best Buy, and others that have price matching and adjustment policies. Currently only online purchases are eligible. How it works is that you sign up with the email address that you use for online shopping and they scan the receipts of your online purchases.</p> <p>The email scanning sounds creepy, right? They never have access to, or know your passwords.&nbsp;<a href="https://paribus.co/faq">Review their security measures</a> to learn exactly what they do. Is it worth it? To the extent that you may get money back for doing nothing, yeah. Is there a catch? Signing up is free, but when they get a refund for you they will take a 25% cut. Still, not a bad deal for something you may not have otherwise known about.</p> <p><strong>Where Available: </strong>USA.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods</strong>: PayPal or Venmo.</p> <h2>23. Retail Cashback</h2> <p>Another newer program,&nbsp;<a href="http://retailcashback.com/">Retail Cashback</a> started in 2013. It offers the expected complement of cash back stores, coupons, and featured deals. When comparing the rates of six retailers available on their site with three competitor sites, I found Retail Cashback to generally have rates that were the same as or slightly lower than those competitors. They do not offer a sign-up bonus and their cash out threshold is on the high side, but you can request your money immediately when it's reached.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA, CAN.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> More than 4000.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $20 which can be requested immediately. Cash outs allowed once every 30 days.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check or PayPal.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> No.</p> <p><strong>Sign-Up Bonus:</strong> No. However, their site states that regular members will sometimes get &quot;additional bonuses.&quot;</p> <h2>24. Simply Best Coupons</h2> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.simplybestcoupons.com/">Simply Best Coupons</a> website feels almost soothing compared to some of the others with colorful carnival colors. It must be the mellow sky blue background making everything softer. They offer thousands of cashbook stores, grocery, and printable coupons, as well as a couple of unique payout methods, including Western Union. Their cash out threshold is on the high side but they have a decent sign up bonus.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA and internationally. They have cash back stores for USA, AUS, CAN, IND, IRL, NZ, POL, UK, and RUS. Anyone can join and earn cash back if retailers ship to their country.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants: </strong>1000s per their site.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $20 for checks and Western Union. $15 for PayPal and Amazon gift certificates.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check, Western Union, PayPal, and Amazon gift card. When the cash out threshold is met by the 15th of the month, payment is sent at the end of the month.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available</strong>: No.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> $5 available after first purchase.</p> <h2>25. GiftHulk</h2> <p>Started in 2011,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gifthulk.com/">GiftHulk</a> is six million members strong. In addition to the typical ways to earn (watching videos, completing surveys, searching the internet, etc.), GiftHulk has a cash back shopping section with about 140 well known stores. Their cash back rate is competitive, but be sure not to be fooled by their currency which they call &quot;Hulk Coins.&quot; On GiftHulk, 1000 Hulk Coins equals $1. So when you see GiftHulk offering 40 Hulk Coins per dollar in the cash back shopping section, the rate to compare is 4% (40/1000). GiftHulk has a low cash out threshold which makes it attractive.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA, CAN, UK, AUS, DEU, FR, NZL.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> About 140.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $5 for cash and many gift cards.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> PayPal or gift cards.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> Yes.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> Not as of this writing. However, members earn bonuses for meeting an optional daily goal.</p> <h2>26. InstaGC</h2> <p><a href="http://www.instagc.com/">InstaGC</a>, which stands for Instant Gift Cards, has been in business since 2011. This rewards program has some ardent fans so it might be worth checking out even if you use other sites for your cash back shopping. Their shopping section includes about 70 stores with rates that are competitive. Ways to earn include listening to music, taking surveys, CrowdFlower, and the other usual suspects. The site layout is a little bland, but it's functional, and most importantly, pays.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA, AUS, CAN, UK.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants:</strong> About 70.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $5 for cash or as little as $1 for gift cards.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check which incurs a 25 cent fee, or direct deposit which incurs a 15 cent fee. You may also redeem for one of 260 gift cards which have no fee starting at $1.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> No.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> A lofty 10 cents.</p> <h2>27. Sunshine Rewards</h2> <p>As their site states, &quot;<a href="http://www.sunshinerewards.com/">Sunshine Rewards</a> is a loyalty program dedicated to paying you back for taking surveys, visiting websites, and shopping on the internet. Get coupons, promo codes, discounts, free shipping, and cash back shopping.&quot; Members get cash back and earnings in the form of credits, where one credit equals one dollar. Their cash back shopping rates are competitive, with some being higher or lower than other sites at different times. The cash out threshold is on the high side at $20, but if you participate in the reward activities regularly it should not take long to reach it.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA, CAN.</p> <p><strong>Number of Merchants: </strong>Close to 1000.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $20 and being a member for at least 45 days. Cash outs are limited to $500 a month.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> PayPal, Amazon gift certificate, or Disney gift card.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available</strong>: No.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> $2 sign up bonus.</p> <h2>Mobile Grocery Shopping Apps</h2> <p>What's better than using coupons for grocery shopping? Cash back mobile apps, that's what! Why? With these mobile apps, no coupons are needed, so there's no hunting or clipping. But, if you like coupons, you can combine them with cash back apps to increase your savings (and sometimes even get stuff for free). Plus, unlike traditional cash back programs, you can use gift cards to pay for items and still receive your rebate. Cool, huh?</p> <p>Here's how it works. Sign up online using a computer/tablet or going straight to the app. Download the app to your mobile device, review the cash rebates available, purchase the products you want, scan the product barcode, and/or upload the receipt to the site. Once your receipt is approved (typically within 24 to 48 hours), you get your rebate. Once you meet the cash out threshold, withdraw your money. That's it!</p> <p>Cool features include some apps offering cash back on products you rarely find coupons for like fresh fruit, veggies, bread, and dairy. And unlike traditional cash back sites there are no rates to compare. Best of all, because it's so little effort it's worth downloading all of them.</p> <h2>28. Shopmium</h2> <p><a href="http://www.shopmium.com/us/">Shopmium</a> has cool features like the ability to purchase items at any store that provides an itemized receipt, and immediate pay out, no matter the amount, after it's approved. It is very easy to join, requiring only an email address to get started. Members can choose to receive payment through PayPal or direct bank transfer. Even if you use it the app only occasionally, the fact that you can cash out immediately makes it worth using.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA, Canada.</p> <p><strong>Number of Products:</strong> About 15.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> No minimum. As soon as receipt is accepted you're paid.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> PayPal or bank transfer.</p> <p><strong>Mobile App Available:</strong> Yes.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> 50 cents after completing welcome activity.</p> <h2>29. BerryCart</h2> <p><a href="http://www.berrycart.com/">BerryCart</a> is the mobile cash back site for people who like organic, gluten free, non-GMO, and natural foods. If you regularly eat organic, natural foods you will probably recognize many of the brands offering cash back. With the increasing popularity of eating whole foods, you won't be limited to just being able to find the products listed within BerryCart at expensive stores like Whole Foods. In fact, while their list of cash back items hover around 50, users can purchase the products at any store that carries them as long as the receipt is itemized and includes the price.</p> <p>BerryCart also offers subscription boxes where cash back rebates are available for every item in the box. Keep an eye for sales and coupons to combine with your BerryCart rebates to make pricey organic foods much more affordable.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> Site does not specify, though the stores are all U.S- based. However, some items can be purchased through Amazon, which is international.</p> <p><strong>Number of Products:</strong> About 50.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $5.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> Not at this time.</p> <h2>30. Checkout 51</h2> <p><a href="https://www.checkout51.com/">Checkout51</a> offers a variety of grocery cash back rebates ranging from a &quot;pick your own&quot; offer for fruits and vegetables, to specific food and beverage brands. Some products are well known, others are up and coming. Some are organic and/or gluten free. Some offers may be redeemed multiple times. Checkout51 offers are available for a week, and then they expire and are replaced by new ones. Many times, however, you'll see popular products remain for a few weeks.</p> <p>One neat opportunity is the ability to join their &quot;brand program, &quot;which means you'll receive extra offers for products within a specific brand. To participate in their brand program, members simply select the &quot;join&quot; button that pops up on the product cash back list.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA, CAN.</p> <p><strong>Number of Products:</strong> About 25&ndash;30, some may be redeemed multiple times.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $20.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> Not currently, though users do earn something for completing their profile.</p> <h2>31. Receipt Hog</h2> <p><a href="http://receipthog.com/">Receipt Hog</a> is interesting because it's a cash back mobile app that pays you even though you don't have to redeem any rebates through them. At Receipt Hog, you earn points by uploading pictures of receipts from just about any retailer. When you upload receipts from grocery stores, club stores, health and beauty retailers, pet stores, convenience stores, dollar stores, and more, members receive points according to the amount spent (i.e. earn five points when the total is less than $10).</p> <p>When receipts are uploaded from retailers that don't sell grocery items (think Staples or Macy's), members earn chances to spin their virtual slot machine where winners receive bonus points or $100. Receipt Hog also offers monthly challenges, like uploading receipts every week of the month for extra points. It sounds silly but it does pay.</p> <p>Why would they pay you? They're a market research company that has discovered an innovative way to collect data about consumer spending for the brands and retailers that enlist their services. Those retailers pay Receipt Hog and Receipt Hog pays its members. How much? The more points you earn before cashing out, the greater the value. For instance, 1000 points will get you $5 in cash or an Amazon gift card, while 1800 points will get you $10 cash or a $10 Amazon gift card. Most people who use the system regularly can probably easily earn $25&ndash;$50 a year. Not a lot, but it's not bad given you're not buying anything extra. Think of it more as an entertainment app that pays you for your shopping receipts.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA.</p> <p><strong>Number of Products:</strong> Just about everything qualifies.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $5 (or 1000 points).</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> PayPal or Amazon gift card.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> No, but you do receive points for completing your profile.</p> <h2>32. Shrink</h2> <p><a href="http://www.shrinktheapp.com/">Shrink</a> is similar to BerryCart in that they specialize in all natural, organic food. Like a few of the sites listed here they also offer small cash back amounts on fresh food, even fresh seafood! Their unique twist is helping brands create customer loyalty. They do this by offering cash back rebates to try new and up and coming products like snacks, beverages, and frozen foods. If you like the product, become a &quot;brand ambassador&quot; by unlocking additional coupons. Continue to buy the product and be rewarded with points that can be turned into cash. Products can be purchased at any store that provides itemized receipts. Shrink is the only mobile app included here where you're unable to join from a computer or tablet. You must download their app to join.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA.</p> <p><strong>Number of Products:</strong> About 60.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $20.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> PayPal.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> No, but you do receive $1 for completing your profile.</p> <h2>33. Snap by Groupon</h2> <p>Who knew <a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-10828386-1399573918000?sid=epic_CB">Groupon</a> had a cash back mobile app? This program is owned by Groupon, but is a separate entity. Even if you already use Groupon, you'll need to set up a separate account to use Snap.</p> <p><a href="https://snap.groupon.com/">Snap</a> has a bit of a twist as offers need to be &quot;snapped up&quot; before they are gone. You'll see warnings next to items when the number of rebates available for specific products is running low as well as a &quot;GONE&quot; sign when they are&hellip; well, gone. Snap offers an assortment of products from food and beverages, organic options, magazines, and personal care products. Many products can be redeemed more than once and can be purchased from any store that provides an itemized receipt. They also offer bonus activities, like three times the cash back when purchasing certain items, and they have a $100 giveaway for posting pictures of payment on their Facebook page.</p> <p><strong>Where Available:</strong> USA, CAN.</p> <p><strong>Number of Products:</strong> About 40, many can be redeemed multiple times.</p> <p><strong>Cash-Out Threshold:</strong> $20.</p> <p><strong>Payment Methods:</strong> Check.</p> <p><strong>Sign-up Bonus:</strong> Not at this time.</p> <p><em>Whew! That's an extensive list with lots of saving and earning options. How many are you likely to try? Let me know in the comments. </em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F30%252B%2520Cash%2520Back%2520Sites%2520to%2520Earn%2520You%2520Thousands%2520Per%2520Year.jpg&amp;description=30%2B%20Cash%20Back%20Sites%20to%20Earn%20You%20Thousands%20Per%20Year"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/30%2B%20Cash%20Back%20Sites%20to%20Earn%20You%20Thousands%20Per%20Year.jpg" alt="30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year" width="250" height="374" /></p> <p><style type="text/css">[href^="https://www.share-online.biz/affiliate/"] {display:none !important;}</style></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kim-owens">Kim Owens</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-foolproof-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">31 Foolproof Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-habits-that-kill-your-buying-power">5 Habits That Kill Your Buying Power</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Shopping apps cash back deals gift cards groceries online shopping rewards sites Mon, 24 Aug 2015 09:00:14 +0000 Kim Owens 1533240 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Gift Cards http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-gift-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-gift-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/gift_card_shopping_cart_000022257770.jpg" alt="Finding ways to maximize gift cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Unless you know exactly what a person wants, shopping for a gift can be a real pain in the butt. But a gift card is quick and convenient &mdash; and since the recipient can pick and choose the right gift, it removes any guesswork on your part.</p> <p>Whether you're the recipient or the giver, it only makes sense to get the most out of a card, however. Using a gift card isn't rocket science, but here's a look at four ways to maximize the funds.</p> <h2>1. Combine Gift Cards With a Store Sale</h2> <p>I'm a big believer in never paying full price, so just because you have a gift card in your wallet doesn't mean you should spend it without considering potential savings. Many retailers begin marking down prices two or three weeks after an item hits the floor, so a little patience pays off. Since a gift card isn't a discount or coupon, a lot of retailers let you combine these cards with a storewide sale. Combine the gift card with a &quot;buy one, get one free&quot; sale or a &quot;buy one, get one 50% off&quot; sale, and you'll get more than the face value of the gift card. And always, always look for coupon codes before checking out online and in-store; you might save even more.</p> <h2>2. Re-Gift Smartly</h2> <p>Even if you're a fan of gift cards, you've probably received a card to a retail store you didn't particularly care for. If you know you're not going to use the card, it makes sense to re-gift the card so you don't waste the giver's money. Just know that if you give an unwanted gift card to a friend, there's a possibility that he'll re-gift the card to another friend and so forth. The gift card might pass through several hands before someone uses it.</p> <p>It's a completely different scenario if you know a friend will use the gift card. But if you're not sure, you're better off selling the card for cash using websites like <a href="http://www.giftcardgranny.com/">Gift Card Granny</a> or <a href="http://www.cardpool.com/">Card Pool</a>. You'll put cash in your pocket &mdash; which might be the gift you preferred in the first place &mdash; and the buyer gets a gift card he actually wants.</p> <h2>3. Register Your Gift Card</h2> <p>I've received tons of gift cards over the years, but I've never registered one. Luckily, I've never lost or had a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-a-lost-gift-card">gift card stolen</a>. But if you have, you know the frustration of missing out on freebies and digital cash. Registering your gift card protects the balance in the event the card falls in the wrong hands.</p> <p>Just head over to the retailer's website and provide basic information like your name and the gift card number. If the card's ever lost or stolen, the retail issues a new one after verifying you're the owner. Registering the card also provides an easier way to track your balance.</p> <h2>4. Go Digital</h2> <p>Gift cards are the same size as credit cards, so they fit easily in wallets. But with everything else going on in your wallet (identification, bank cards, credit cards, insurance cards, etc.) adding gift cards to the mix can make your wallet bulky and heavy. Going digital might be the solution, especially if you never leave home without your smartphone.</p> <p>There are apps to store and manage all your gift cards in one place, such as <a href="https://www.gyft.com/">Gyft</a>, <a href="https://www.gowallet.com/">GoWallet</a>, and <a href="https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204003">Passbook</a>. Not only should you consider digital cards for yourself, but also when shopping for others. Physical gift cards still rule, true, but a recent gift card study found that 14% of Millennials are more apt to go digital. Digital cards might be a new concept for some, but the convenience is undeniable. Pull up the gift card on the app, let the cashier scan the barcode, and you're done. There's no need to shuffle through your wallet, and you don't have to keep up with a bunch of cards.</p> <p><em>Do you have more ways on how to maximize gift cards? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-get-the-most-out-of-gift-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-gifts-that-wont-become-clutter">9 Gifts That Won&#039;t Become Clutter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-unique-gift-ideas-for-women">47 Unique Gift Ideas for Women</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping gift cards gift-giving Holidays presents Fri, 07 Aug 2015 12:00:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 1511548 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Protect Yourself From a Lost Gift Card http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-a-lost-gift-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-a-lost-gift-card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_000021000133.jpg" alt="Woman shopping with gift card and trying not to lose it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Just last week, I was at Chipotle frantically digging through my wallet looking for my gift card. I knew it was somewhere in my pile of plastic, but couldn't find it for the life of me. In the end, my &quot;free&quot; burrito ended up costing me cash, as my gift card was permanently misplaced.</p> <p>Stores and restaurants absolutely love gift cards because of unorganized people like me. But with a few simple steps, you can easily protect those <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-use-up-remaining-balances-on-prepaid-gift-cards">valuable gift card balances</a> in the event you lose or misplace one.</p> <h2>1. Stash Your Activation Receipt</h2> <p>This is clearly the most obvious, yet overlooked, step to protect yourself. It's often overlooked because the gift card giver doesn't always include the receipt with the card. But if they do, or if you bought the gift card yourself, then by all means stash the receipt someplace safe. In the event you lose the card, you can simply call the retailer or restaurant customer service line and they can access your account balance via the activation receipt. They'll then easily re-issue you a new card.</p> <h2>2. Write Down Gift Card Numbers</h2> <p>If you don't have a receipt, then you can just put pen to paper and copy down the gift card numbers for safe keeping. While this can seem a tedious exercise for a measly $5 Starbucks gift card, you'll be glad you did if you lose a $100 Best Buy card.</p> <h2>3. Get Tech Savvy With a Virtual Wallett</h2> <p>Perhaps the most convenient and fool-proof way of protecting your gift card balances is using a virtual wallet like Google Wallet. You simply download the app to your smartphone (Android or iPhone), enter the card number, balance, snap a picture of the card (front and back) and the app takes care of the rest. You simply present the app when checking out, the cashier scans the corresponding barcode on your phone, and your balance is automatically reduced.</p> <h2>4. Not That Tech Savvy? Just Snap a Pic</h2> <p>If you're just not tech savvy and the idea of adding a gift card to a virtual wallet gives you a headache, I have an easy solution for you. Just use your smartphone or camera to snap a picture of the gift card numbers when you get the card. This is an easy way to access your gift card if you end up losing it.</p> <h2>5. Trace Your Footsteps</h2> <p>If you failed to keep the receipt and/or the gift card number was never recorded, but you used the lost gift card at least once online, you may still have recourse. Your card information may have been recorded when shopping online from the retailer's website. Whether or not your gift card info was saved varies by retailer, but when you are desperate to recapture your account balance, it's worth a shot.</p> <h2>6. Register Your Card With the Retailer</h2> <p>Many retailers and restaurants allow you to actually register your card with them online. Some of the more popular include Crate &amp; Barrel, Starbucks, and Tully's Coffee. By doing so, you get balance protection and a quick replacement card in the event you lose yours. Also, you can often use your gift card for rewards and earn free treats and reward points. The Starbucks gift card is famous for this.</p> <h2>Bottom Line: Treat a Gift Card Like Cash</h2> <p>By treating gift cards like cash (which they essentially are), you'll be more proactive when it comes to protecting their balances. By doing just a little bit of work to protect yourself, you'll never be stuck buying a burrito again after you were sure it would be free. Or is that just my story?</p> <p><em>Have you ever lost a gift card or taken steps to prevent it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-a-lost-gift-card">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire">How to Save Frequent Flyer Miles That Are About to Expire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-that-thing-really-change-your-life">Will That Thing Really Change Your Life?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-money-on-clothing">50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-5-grocery-shopping-techniques-you-need">The Only 5 Grocery Shopping Techniques You Need</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips gift cards receipts shopping virtual wallets Thu, 09 Apr 2015 17:00:07 +0000 Kyle James 1376607 at http://www.wisebread.com