Clearly we all love our local businesses, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like online deals. And since these are online, there are more ways for me to compile discounts and cash back. My credit card offers a measly 1% cash back, so saving an extra 15% cashback after deals and discounts is amazing.
Start with a cash back app
The popular one is Rakuten (formerly Ebates). They offer cash back at most popular online stores, and for shopping holidays I’ve seen offers for up to 40% (but obviously that’s not the norm).
You can search for the specific store you’re interested in, or browse the offers to see who has the best deals. When you’ve found the store you want, you need to click on their ‘Shop Now’ button. It generates a url with a code in it that will track your shopping session, which is how they will automatically assign your cash back after you check out.
Note: for many cash back apps, you may not be credited until after the return period has ended.
I use Honey a free browser extension that will light up when you’re on a site that offers cash back or deals. It will automatically check all the coupons it know for a site and pick the one that saves you the most money.
It also give you ‘honey gold’ (think points) based on some purchases. You can eventually use these to get free gift cards – HOWEVER the way cash back links work, you only get credit for your purchase through one link/website (like Rakuten vs Honey). So choose which one you like.
When I’m ready to checkout online, I head over to Raise to buy a discounted gift card. It only takes a minute or two for the card details show up in my Order History, ready for me to copy & paste.
Tip: I usually only buy one card per store, as some online stores only accept one gift card per transaction.
Your credit card
Friendly reminder to pick a credit card with rewards that help you.
I like straight-forward cash back with no changes, so I picked a card with 3% cash back for groceries, 2% for gas, and 1% on all other purchases.
Let’s say you started with a deal in mind, $25 off $100. Total = $75
10% cash back with Ebates = $7.50
Discounted gift card – 5% off $50 = $2.50 saved
1% cash back with your credit card = $0.75
New Balance = $64.25. With the original deal, that’s 41% off the original price!
Other cash back apps
If I’m honest, most of these take a while to get real money back (especially with the minimum payouts), but I don’t mind since it’s not much work, I can take advantage of all of them at the same time. Most also offer higher cash back offers by starting an online purchase for a major retailer through their app.
Dosh is an app that you connect your credit card to and it tracks all of your purchases and automatically gives you cash back for various local stores. I like this one because I get something back from more places than I expected.
It takes me a while to earn enough to get actual money back, but I like that I don’t have to login for a while.
Drop is an app that you connect your bank account to and it automatically tracks all your purchases and rewards you with points. This one is a bit different in that you pick 5 main stores for life, and then you can pick temporary offers. For some reason you can also earn bonus points every so often by playing ‘snake,’ but
I don’t like this one as much, but it’s nice to login and redeem a free Amazon gift card every once in a while.
Wow, so I feel like this is a lot of accounts for you to start at one time, but they’re all ones that I use throughout the year. So sign up, and save yourself some free money! And if this did help you save money, I ask that you please share it.