Coupons and sales make it simple to save big on purchases. But what about those times when you need to buy something and a coupon or sale is nowhere to be found?
Following are three simple steps that can help you save at least 10% off anything you could possibly need to buy.
Step 1: Find a discounted gift card.
The first savings step is to buy a gift card, but not any old gift card. Instead, you want to head to a website specializing in reselling gift cards at a discounted rate.
Here are some of the biggest sites in the reselling business:
These sites let individuals with unwanted gift cards unload them by selling to others at a discount. While the sites advertise discounts of as much as 35%, you’re typically going to save less than 10% for most cards.
Step 2: Buy through a rebate site.
In some cases, you can save 10% by simply using a discounted gift card for every purchase. However, we want to save you more.
If you’re buying online, make your purchase through a rebate site. These sites often offer another 3% or 4% off your purchase. You’ll pay the full amount when you buy, but receive the discount back in the form of a rebate.
These are some of the most popular rebate sites:
- Mr. Rebates
Before shopping, check out the store availability and terms at the rebate sites. Some sites send checks automatically every few months, while others require you to request a payment once you hit a minimum amount in your account. Participating retailers and rebate amounts vary between sites.
We’ve got a whole article about rebate sites, so be sure to read that next.
Step 3: Use a cash-back credit card.
The final step to saving 10% or more is to use a great cash-back or rewards credit card.
Depending on the card and what you’re buying, you could save anywhere from 1% to 5% on your purchase. As with rebate sites, you’ll pay the full price at purchase but receive the cash back as a rebate or statement credit.
If you like to keep things simple, Fidelity’s Rewards Visa Signature card offers unlimited 2% cash back on everything you buy deposited automatically into a linked Fidelity account. There’s no fee to open a brokerage, checking (“cash management”), or retirement account at Fidelity, and the card has no annual fee, so the whole 2% is yours to keep.
Of course, using a credit card comes with the caveat that you must pay off your balance when the bill arrives. Paying interest on a credit card is a sure-fire way to negate your savings.
Other ways to save
While these three steps should save you at least 10% off just about anything, don’t stop there. Read this article on simple, proven strategies to save on everything you buy.
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