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How do you save with rewards cards and discount cards?

September 10th, 2008 at 07:44 pm

I am conducting an unofficial survey. How do you use rewards programs to save money?

And if you do use them, do you use more than one at a time to save even more (i.e. use a grocery discount card, and pay with a rewards credit card?)

And, how do you decide what rewards cards, coupons and discount programs to use?

9 Responses to “How do you save with rewards cards and discount cards?”

  1. disneysteve Says:

    We have club cards from the supermarkets we frequent. They always have items on sale for club members so just by swiping the card at checkout, we get the reduced prices. No coupons to clip.

    We pay for almost everything with a Marriott Rewards Visa card, earning points toward free stays at Marriott properties. We haven't redeemed any points this year, but in 2007, we got 10 nights free in New Hampshire for our summer vacation and another nite in NYC for our anniversary. We usually use points every other year to cover all or part of a vacation. Right now, we have enough points to cover up to 8 nights depending on the hotel. By next year, we'll have enough to do a week at a nice hotel.

  2. mbkonef Says:

    I have a Toys-R-US mastercard that I use to pay for gas and groceries. I just deduct the amount spent from my checking account but note CC instead of a check number. That way, when the bill comes in, I know the money is there to pay for it. I get $10 gift cards as rewards (I cannot remember what the exact system is ie. how many points per $ spent). I am currently hoarding them (I have about $50) to get guitar hero and accessories for a holiday gift for my kids. They also come in handy when I need birthday gifts for parties. Honestly, I have been thinking about changing to a different rewards card since my kids are getting older, just haven't worked up the motivation to do anything about it yet. Plus, I have had the card for over 12 years and don't necessarily want to close that account (in terms of what it would do to my credit score, closing such an account I have had so long with good credit). I also use grocery and drug store "bonus" cards, shopping mainly at one grocery store but hitting up the others while running my errands if they have a great deal. For example, CVS has some Loreal cleansers I have been wanting to try that are basically free (since you get the full value back in bonus bucks). I will most likely get one, with a coupon, and then use the bonus bucks a week or two later to get something else that also is a good deal with bonus bucks. You can sort of chain a bunch of great deals this way by keeping an eye on their flyers. Plus, you can link your CVS bonus card to U-Promise and earn rewards for that. I always try to combine multiple systems if I can.

  3. disneysteve Says:

    We also each have a Discover card. The only time we use that is to take advantage of the quarterly 5% cashback bonus offers. This quarter, is has been on gasoline, so we've gotten 5% off all of our gas purchases. At $3.50/gallon, that's about $.18/gallon. That savings adds up pretty quickly.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    We have a Chase freedom card. 3% back on your top 3 categories, or on groceries/dining/gas. However, is only for first $600/month. After that it is 1%.

    When you earn $200 (if you wait) you can redeem for $250 cash. They just send a check. Very simple and easy. I like it because it is CASH, simple, and easy.

    Last year we redeemed $500 easy, and I think we will hit $750 this year because we have been able to pay so much medical on the card. I am redeeming $250 on October 1.

    We earn 2%-3% back on every purchase, essentially - we just charge everything possible.

    I always close my old cards and when they asked why I was leaving I said my other cards all give at least 1% cash back (they all do). All the old cards offered to match that if I stayed. So it could really be as simple as picking up the phone and asking for cash back on your card (if you would be willing to threaten to leave otherwise). Just a tip.

  5. monkeymama Says:

    The other big one we use is our grocery store offers 25 cents off per gallon, their gas, if we spend $100. We pretty much work it out that we always fill the van (bigger tank) with the quarter off, and usually the other car as well.

  6. thriftorama Says:

    DisneySteve, when you buy gasoline, do you shop anywhere or are you also using a grocery store gas discount like Monkeymama?

    I guess I am interested to see how we can use as many discounts and rewards at one time to get the best deal possible.

    For instance, I use an Amazon rewards Visa. I use my grocery discount card, get discounted gas, pay with the rewards card, so I am getting something every step of the way.

    And how does the CVS thing work exactly?

  7. toyguy1963 Says:

    I have a Chase Reward card. Mine doesn't seem to add up the points as fast as it used to for some reason. They changed the system somewhat. But I've gotton some great gift cards and a few other gifts from them. I pay most of my bills with the card and pay it off every month so
    it adds up fairly quickly with only money I need to spend anyways.

  8. Aleta Says:

    I have a Chase Rewards card with 1% back on everything. This month they have a special promotion that you have to call and sign up for. You can receive a $25 gas card if you spend $300 on airline travel, hotels, rental cars, etc. I went ahead and made my reservations for a trip I'll take soon and they're already mailing me back the $25. That's like getting over 8% on a $300. purchase.

    I also use CVS cards, grocery store cards,I save money on gasoline by buying at BJ's with their card.

  9. disneysteve Says:

    The gasoline discount is with our Discover cards. It doesn't matter where we buy the gas so we go to the cheapest station around and get an additional 5% off. That is only for 3 months of the year, though. Discover has a different 5% offer each quarter. For the 4th quarter, it will be restaurants, movie theaters and movie rentals, so we will use it every time we eat out to save 5% on the bill (we don't rent movies and rarely go to the theater).

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