Step 1: Get a CashBack Credit Card
Even though I use credit card points, airline miles, and hotel rewards to travel for free every year, I still use cashback or a cash redemption for cheap domestic flights because it’s a better deal than airline miles.
So I was very happy to find out that Discover It Miles card offers 3 percent cashback for redemption on travel related purchases in the first year.
They offer 1.5 points per $1 spent, but Discover doubles your cash back in the first year, so that’s 3 percent cashback for travel! The card also has no fee and you get a free FICO score. There’s also a 0 percent APR on purchases made within 14 months, so if you’re planning a big purchase and want to borrow at 0%, it’s a great bonus. Obviously pay it off before the end of 14 months! Pure win.
As for your second year? Try the Citi Double Cash card, which offers 2 percent pure cash back. 1 percent when you purchase the item, and 1 percent when you pay off your credit card each month on time.
Which is just awesome, because I cannot emphasize how important it is to pay off your balance each month so you are not charged interest, which can go as high as 20%+ for some cards! So, pay off your card on time!
Step 2: Buy GiftCards
If you shop at any large store, there’s a large chance they offer gift cards. Which is great for you!
Why? Guess what people do with their old giftcards? They sell them to companies that resell them. Cardpool sells gift cards for a discount and guarantees them for a year. So if that gift card has any problems, they’re able to make it right with you. It always scared me buying gift cards from other people, because how could you know they wouldn’t use it before you get the card? Buying from a large company that makes it right really makes me feel better. I once bought a Home Depot card that ended up being empty and the gift card site made it right.
Cardpool offers up to 30 percent off on some gift cards. Movie tickets might not feel as bad if they’re 30 percent off (plus the other cash back stacking below)! Most people shop at Target, Walmart, etc. and Target is 7.5% off! They cover all the giant shopping and restaurant chains as well. H&M is 20 percent off.
It’s kind of like finding a really awesome coupon every time you shop. Be sure to buy the gift card with your cash back credit card to get the cash back stacked.
Step 3: Use A CashBack Site
The two best sites for online cashback are Ebates and BeFrugal. I’d check both sites before a purchase because they fluctuate in offering the highest rate for different retailers. Ebates has the more elegant and modern looking site, while BeFrugal has a site that is a little more outdated. But I’d say BeFrugal offers higher cashback 65% of the time, so give it a look before you dismiss it.
BeFrugal also pays you within 10 business days of a cashout request (Paypal, check, gift cards with a bonus if you’d like), while Ebates pays on a quarterly schedule by Paypal or check. Ebates pays 4 times a year, 45 days after the quarter ends (March 30, June 30, etc), so that’s quite a long time to wait for some people. If you like your cashback quickly, I’d check out BeFrugal for faster cashback and that $10 bonus.
Step 4: Get A Store Rewards Card
Most large stores have some kind of rewards program. Small stores have similar ones too.
Some stores give you extra points for buying certain items and give you cash back on future purchases, others offer special coupons, etc.
If your store has a FREE sign-up program for rewards, consider signing up. If your store is offering a credit card it is probably NOT WORTH signing up for because it doesn’t have as good benefits for travel and other cashback cards.
I get multiple $5 cashback swipes from Duane Reade each year, money back from the local grocery store which gives me cashback in $10 increments, etc.
Is the company probably going to use your information for data mining? Sure. But who cares if they know which brand of eggs or milk I buy? Hint: It’s mostly the cheapest organic version, so… I’m sure they can link all the things you buy via the credit card you use anyway, so it’s data they’d already get. So, send me awesome coupons and cashback, store!
Step 5: Get CashBack for Local Places
Want to eat at a neighborhood restaurant or shop local? SwagBucks has local cashback for local businesses. So even if you don’t shop at chains, you can still stack your cashback! They’re free to sign-up with, and offer a $5 bonus for signing up. SwagBucks can pay you via Paypal when you request a disbursement. If you’re interested in other ways to earn money with SwagBucks, I wrote an entire article about that here.
Triple Dip On Your Cash Back
With the 5 steps, you can at least triple dip on your cash back. Which is great, because I usually get upwards of 10% off for every purchase just by stacking cash back. 10% doesn’t seem that much you say? That’s $1,000 for every $10,000 you spend. How much do you think you spend in a year? You could be getting thousands of dollars in cash back, just by implementing a simple system each time you buy something.
1). Get a cashback card like Discover It Miles for 3 percent travel cashback for the first year or the Citi Double card which offers 2 percent pure cash back.
2). Buy gift cards from CardPool with your cash back credit card.
4). Get a store rewards card.
5). Get cashback for local shops and restaurants through SwagBucks, which gives you a $5 bonus.
Any other ways to stack that you know about? Let me know below!
Olivia worked in finance and wants you to learn the secrets of financial independence. She believes there are so many ways to monetize your life and make money doing the things you're already doing because so many companies offer free money.
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