Credit Card Rewards: 3 ways to keep in the green

Estimated Monthly Savings: $25

Whether you’re taking a trip to the supermarket, stocking up on socks for a newborn, or repainting your living room, rewards credit cards can make even the smallest purchases matter big. Store-branded credit cards not only offer great incentives but amazing benefits!

Bang For Your Buck

For popular retail chains, using their rewards credit cards could mean a discount, points towards coupons or similar rewards, free shipping, or even cash back opportunities. Some chains even offer “Cardholders Only’ events, this means even deeper discounts that only select people can take advantage of. Not sure what that means to you? Say you have a card that gives you 10% off all purchases, this means always having a coupon without actually having one. What’s even better is that very typically you can use regular store coupons with your card, meaning a 25% off coupon would turn into a 35% one! Not interested yet? Say you plan on buying a high dollar item and use a store credit card with a perk like 0% interest for the first six months and 5% off. Depending on the amount spent, your savings could be in the hundreds of dollars or even more.

Reading The Fine Print

Most store credit cards are “closed-loop” cards, this means that they can only be used at the issuing store. In contrast, open-loop cards have the benefit of being used generally anywhere. Issuers may offer 0% financing, or 0% APR, and it is not uncommon to see “No Annual Fee” offers. However, there are often higher than normal interest rates associated with store-branded rewards credit cards. Knowing the meaning of these and similar terms and how they affect your wallet is important.

The Bottom Line

If you’re a shopper who has steady shopping habits or are planning to make a high dollar buy, it would be beneficial for you to ask for information about having store cards in potential retailers. Ask about the rewards they offer, research consumer reviews, and take a step towards saving yourself some money. Who doesn’t want to feel like their dollar holds every ounce of its worth?

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