If you are into rewards, but not into using your credit cards to get them, the following sites might be of use to you.
If you are saving for college (or even if you’re not) you should sign-up with Upromise � The way to save for college (one of my affiliates). You earn rewards on the purchases that you already make, by registering your grocery cards (the little card that you hang on your key-chain), credit cards, or debit cards. You can register cards like those from Kroger, Winn Dixie, Bi-Lo, or CVS. Also, your friends and family can register their cards, and your kids can benefit! Also, if you login to Upromise BEFORE you shop online, you get cash back from thousands of retailers. (You can transfer the money earned to a 529 college savings plan for your child, OR you can simply ask for a check to be sent to you at your home. Most people who use Upromise are unaware that you can request a payout check. I did it, and it’s pretty easy. Here’s my post about the process of how to get money out of Upromise. You can simply cash the check and do whatever you want to with it. Savings range from 1 to 10 percent.)
If you use a VISA debit card or check card, go to Visa Extras, where you can earn rewards points for your debit or check card transactions. (Not all banks have registered with Visa Extras. Run your card number and find out if your bank has a relationship with them. Also, some banks may charge a fee for this service. Call your bank and find out. I use Wachovia and this particular service is free!) Lots of people are confused about their debit cards. When you slide your debit card at the store, skip the part where you enter your pin, and simply press ENTER. You will then need to select CREDIT as the method of payment, and your debit card will processed like a credit card, with no need to enter your pin. You earn points for all non-pin debit or check card purchases.
If you shop at Kroger, they have a pretty sweet deal on Gasoline. If you get one of their little key-chain discount cards, you can earn 10 cents off per gallon of gas, when you purchase a certain amount of groceries. Check your local Kroger and find out more. (One side note. For you SENIOR citizens out there, Kroger and many, many other grocery stores offer a Senior Discount day during the week. Our local Kroger offers 5% off on Wednesdays. Kids, take grandma shopping and get a deal!) Also, Wal-Mart offers 3 cents off per gallon of gas when you pay with a gift card. And, certain Enmark gas stations offer 3 cents off when you pay with cash!
I know that the rewards that you earn with your debit or check card will never equal those that you can earn with your credit card. I must face the fact that living without a credit card will “cost” me some rewards points and some cash back. Baby, I can deal. Why? I never have to worry about a “lost” check or an interest payment. Life is about choices. I’ve made mine. I hope the above resources help you as you work towards debt repayment and financial freedom.
I know, I know… you use your credit card “wisely” and “pay it off every month”… blah, blah, blah… 🙂