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The deals come flying quickly at this time of year and it can be easy to get caught up in the mayhem and to forget to think things through before jumping in. This can be a time of year when some will spend more than they should (please don’t be one of them) while others may be more measured in their approach but still forget some of the simpler ways to save some money and to build up miles/points balances.
Use The Right Credit Cards
The first (and most obvious) thing to point out is that you should be making sure you’re using the right credit card when doing your shopping or booking deals.
If you’re booking travel (like one of the Singapore Airlines Black Friday deals) you should be using a credit card that earns bonus points for airfare/travel, if it’s a supermarket that’s offering you a deal make sure you use a card that gives you a bonus for grocery spend and, if it’s a purchase in a category for which you can’t earn a bonus, make sure you use the card that earns you the points you value most (or cashback).
Check Cashback Sites
The second thing to remember is that it’s possible to get the great deals while earning more miles and cashback than you get from your credit cards alone.
If there’s a great hotel rate on offer check to see if TopCashBack (or another similar site) is offering a rebate for the chain you’re about to book through.
Right now TCB is offering up to 10% cashback on Hilton Bookings (it’s less if you have Hilton status)….
…and over 8% cashback at IHG properties:
There’s nothing to stop you from clicking through TopCashBack to the likes of Hilton and IHG, booking whatever great deal is on offer (here are details of the IHG Black Friday Sale) and getting a rebate on top of whatever deal the hotel chains are offering.
If you’re not booking through a hotel chain you can get extra discounts for clicking through TopCashBack to the likes of Booking.com and Expedia:
Be aware: If the booking engine requires you to use a promo code to get their Black Friday deal it may invalidate the cashback.
Don’t Forget Amex Offers
Amex offers are one of the best money saving aspects of having American Express cards so make sure you check to see if there are any offers you can use before you buy or book whatever it is you’re about to buy or book.
There have been some good travel offers around in recent months and some are still active….like this one for InterContinental bookings….
…and this one for Conrad properties.
If you’re not booking travel there are still lots of savings to harvest through Amex offers (Levis, Sunglass Hut, eBags, Macy’s and J Crew are just a few that spring to mind) so make sure you check what Amex has targeted you for before you pay with a credit card that doesn’t earn you anything extra at all.
Shopping Portals Have Offers Too
Shopping portals are one of the most underrated ways to top up miles & points balances without spending any more that you were planning to spend.
Right now all the major airline shopping portals are offering more miles than usual in honor of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (details here) so it isn’t hard to earn a stack of miles/points by clicking through the portal before you book whatever deal you’ve found.
With the major airline shopping portals offering between 10 and 14 miles/dollar for shopping at eBags you could easily earn a lot of miles for whatever luggage you’re buying on sale AND, if you use an American Express credit card with an eBags offer associated with it….
…you can earn more points or cashback too.
There are numerous ways you can save money and/or earn a lot of miles and points when shopping the sales at this time of year so make sure you take time to think before you buy that bigscreen TV or book the next trip.
It doesn’t take much effort and it doesn’t take much time so why not make sure you’re saving as much as you can and that you’re keeping your loyalty balances ticking over nicely.