#save #money #holidays #credit #card #offers #statement #credits
Some credit card perks are flashy and get a lot of attention. Think lounge access, avoiding checked bag fees, built-in cellphone insurance and elite status. However, there are other, less-heralded benefits on your credit cards that can help you save a lot of money during the holiday shopping season. These can come in the form of targeted offers, rebates or spending credits.
Today, let’s look at how to save money during the holidays using benefits attached to credit cards that are already in your wallet.
Offers from credit card issuers
You may not be aware that credit card issuers have offers programs. Through targeted promotions, you can add deals to your credit card that function almost like a coupon.
After adding an offer to your card and then using that same credit card to make a purchase with the merchant, you can receive a rebate or bonus. These typically come in one of the following formats:
- Spend X amount of money, receive Y amount of money back
- Spend X amount of money, get Y% back
- Spend X amount of money, get Y number of bonus points
- Get extra bonus points for each dollar spent with a particular merchant
It’s important to note that all of these offers will require adding the offer to your credit card in advance. Then, you will need to use that same credit card to make an eligible purchase with the merchant participating in the offer.
Additionally, read the terms of offers to make sure your purchases will trigger the offer, such as needing to pay at the pump (on most gas station offers) or whether the spending threshold must be met in a single transaction to trigger your rebate.
Finally, understand that these are targeted offers. Not everyone will see the same offers, and rebates you see on one credit card may not be available on another card from that same bank.
Let’s look at some of the current offers available through Amex Offers, BankAmeriDeals, Capital One Offers, Chase Offers and Citi Merchant Offers to learn how to save money during the holidays using these targeted offers.
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Amex Offers are the most well-known of the credit card merchant offers and tend to be the most robust. The amount of time you have from enrolling in an offer until you must complete the spending tends to last longer than with other merchants. Additionally, many offers from American Express allow you to complete the spending requirements over multiple transactions — rather than needing to spend all of the required amount in one purchase.
While there are numerous offers available currently, here is a sample of the offers we’re seeing right now:
- JetBlue: Spend $200, get $40 back (expires Dec. 31, 2023)
- Hilton: Spend $750 or more (at eligible properties in Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America), get $150 back (expires Feb. 15, 2024)
- Marriott Bonvoy: Get 20% back on purchases, up to a total of $250 (expires Dec. 31, 2023)
- Apple Pay: Spend $50 or more using Apple Pay, get $5 back (up to three times, expires Jan. 1, 2024)
- UPS: Get 7 additional Membership Rewards points per dollar spent, up to 20,000 points (expires Dec. 31, 2023)
- TodayTix: Spend $125 or more, get $25 back (expires Feb. 20, 2024)
- Paramount+: Spend $11 or more, get $11 back (up to 3 times, expires Dec. 15, 2023)
- Bombas: Get 15% back on purchases, up to a total of $15 (expires Dec. 20, 2023)
Offers will look like this, and you will need to add them to your card before making a purchase:
You can also see the details of an offer to determine which purchases qualify, whether purchases must be made in a certain channel and whether you can use multiple purchases with that particular offer.
If you don’t see these offers, it may be because you can only have 100 new offers available on an American Express credit card at any one time. If you want more offers to show up, you must wait for offers to expire or add some of your offers to a card, creating space for new offers.
BankAmeriDeals are available to those who have Bank of America credit cards or debit cards, or Merrill Lynch credit cards.
For those wondering how to save money during the holidays, these are the best offers we’re seeing right now that can put money back in your pocket on purchases with Bank of America cards:
- Petsmart: 8% back
- eBay: 5% off
- H&M: 5% back
- Macy’s: 5% back
- Sephora: 4% back
- Nike: 4% back
- Bose: 3% back
- Staples: 2% back
These targeted credit card offers provide cash back at eligible merchants, and offers can change regularly. As with other programs, you must add a deal to your eligible card before making a purchase.
If you click on an offer, you can read the terms to see which types of purchases are eligible for the offer. Most offers are valid only on your first purchase with that merchant after adding the offer to your card.
Capital One Offers
Those with Capital One credit cards can take advantage of Capital One offers. Here are some of the best Capital One Offers we’re seeing right now for holiday purchases:
- HSN: 9% back
- Temu: up to 14% back
- Hawaiian Airlines: 2% back
- Macy’s: up to 8% back
- Sephora: 4% back
- Booking.com: 4% back
Capital One Offers functions differently than programs like Amex Offers and Chase Offers, so it’s important to understand how these work.
You can scroll through Capital One Offers or search for a merchant in the search bar at the top. You’ll notice that the main page here doesn’t show any deadlines for these offers.
If you click on a particular merchant’s offer, details are available. This is where the peculiarities of Capital One Offers become apparent.
To use these offers, you must follow the link from the “Continue to Merchant” button at the top of the offer details page. Many of these offers require using them within 24 hours, and backing away from the link you followed can lead to not receiving the cash back from your offer.
That’s because these offers function using cookies to track your progress from adding the offer to completing a purchase. In this way, it functions like a shopping portal (more on those below).
Of the programs that list an ending date or expiration for offers, Chase Offers tend to have the shortest lifespan and don’t apply across multiple charges. These offers are available on all Chase credit cards and debit cards — both personal and small-business cards.
These are the best offers we’re seeing available right now:
- IHG Hotels & Resorts: 10% cash back when you spend $100 or more, with a maximum of $57 back (expires Dec. 8, 2023)
- YouTube TV: $20 cash back when you spend $50.99 or more (expires Dec. 29, 2023)
- Stanley: 10% cash back, with a maximum of $10 back (expires Dec. 11, 2023)
- Sur La Table: 20% cash back, with a maximum of $35 back (expires Nov. 26, 2023)
- PetSmart: 10% cash back, with a maximum of $9 back (expires Dec. 23, 2023)
- Samsung: 20% cash back, with a maximum of $51 back (expires Nov. 26, 2023)
- Domino’s Pizza: 10% cash back, with a maximum of $5 back (expires Dec. 31, 2023)
- Sephora: 10% cash back, with a maximum of $12 back (expires Nov. 30, 2023)
The good thing about these offers is that they clearly show how many days remain until the promotion ends. However, you’ll need to click on an offer for more details, such as the spending thresholds required to trigger the rebate.
For example, this offer from Ulta.com advertises 10% back, and you don’t have to spend a minimum amount of money to get a statement credit of 10% back. However, there is a maximum rebate you can receive: $10. After spending $100, you’ll maximize this offer and won’t get any additional money back, no matter how much you spend.
Related: Your ultimate guide to Chase Offers
Citi Merchant Offers
Citi doesn’t provide a list of which cards have access to Citi Merchant Offers. However, most (if not all) Citi credit cards should have access to these deals.
Here’s how to save money during the holidays with some of the current offers from Citi right now:
- Lyft: 5% back, with a maximum of $7 back (expires Dec. 31, 2023)
- Circle K Fuel: 10% back on a purchase of $35 or more (expires Nov. 30, 2023)
- ESPN+: 15% back on a purchase of $9.99 or more (expires Dec. 31, 2023)
- PetSmart: $10 back on a purchase of $50 or more (expires Dec. 31, 2023)
- Shake Shack: 7% back on any purchase, with a maximum of $10 back (expires Dec. 31, 2023)
One of the positives about Citi’s offers is that you often can add the same offer to more than one credit card. One of the downsides, however, is that merchants (especially restaurants) tend to be those near the mailing address on your account — that’s not very helpful on your next vacation.
When you click on an offer, you can scroll down to see details. These details will tell you whether you can use an offer more than once, when the offer expires and which purchases are eligible. That includes whether online, in-person or both types of transactions qualify.
Make sure to read the terms
It’s important to read the terms of these offers. This will help you ensure you receive the credit or bonus points you’re expecting.
Look for these key items:
- When the offer ends
- Whether the offer applies to a single transaction or more than one
- If there is a minimum spending amount required in order to receive the rebate or bonus points
- What types of transactions are eligible, and where those transactions must take place (online, limited numbers of stores, etc.)
- Whether the offer applies to purchases, subscription services or anything offered by that merchant
- If certain products are excluded, such as gift cards
- Whether you need to follow a special link when shopping with that merchant in order to receive the rebate
Stack with shopping portals
Shopping portals allow you to use one or two extra clicks during your online shopping experience and reap extra rewards. These can come in the form of a set amount of cash back, a percent of cash back or bonus points.
See these articles for more details:
Use spending credits on your cards to cover gifts
It’s also worth mentioning that you may be able to get holiday gifts without spending any of your own money. Consider credit cards that offer credits monthly, quarterly or annually. Here are two examples.
The Platinum Card® from American Express offers up to $100 in shopping credits with Saks Fifth Avenue each year. This is available as a maximum of $50 from January to June and another $50 from July to December. If you purchase a gift for a friend or relative that costs $50 or less, you could receive your statement credit from American Express and have $0 in out-of-pocket expenses for that gift. Enrollment is required in advance for this benefit.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers up to $300 in travel credits each year. What counts as travel is defined broadly here. You could purchase a bus pass, gift card for train rides or another travel-themed gift for someone and receive reimbursement for your purchase.
If you’re thinking about how to save money during the holidays, giving gifts that cost you nothing (or next to nothing) in the end is a great money-saving tool.
Holiday gift-giving doesn’t need to break the bank. With credit card rebate offers, shopping portals and your credit card’s built-in perks, you may be able to get extra rewards or money back on your holiday purchases. Also, if you stack all of these, you might even get bonus points while purchasing a gift that didn’t actually cost you anything in the end.