Many of us associate credit cards with negative things like big debt and high interest charges. But if you have control over your spending, then credit cards can actually work to your advantage. Our Coupons.com money-saving expert, Jeanette Pavini, went on Hallmark’s Home & Family show this week to talk about how you can use your credit card to save money, make money, and enjoy a few perks along the way.
Here are some of the tips from Jeanette’s segment:
- Some cards offer extended warranty protection on purchases. If you buy a fridge with a two-year manufacturer warranty, your card might protect you for an additional year. That brings you up to a three-year warranty without paying extra.
- A few cards will cover the price of admission. Visa Signature cardholders can enjoy buy one, get one free movie tickets on Fridays this summer. Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders get free general admission to some museums, science centers and botanical gardens the first weekend of every month.
- Add offers. Save today. Splurge tomorrow. Link a Visa, MasterCard or American Express to your Coupons.com account and get special card linked offers. All you have to do is swipe the card at checkout for savings. Example offers:
- Travelocity: $20 cash back when you spend $200 (exp. 5/31)
- The Body Shop: Get $10 when you spend $50 online (exp. 5/9)
- Perry Ellis: 20% cash back when spending $100+ (exp. 5/31)
- Book as early as you can if you’re cashing in travel rewards. Some mileage programs have strict blackout dates. If you must travel during blackout dates, see if you can use your miles for an upgrade instead.
- Your credit card company works with multiple partners. Know who they are because sometimes points or miles are interchangeable.
- Certain cards will double or even triple your points on certain purchases. You can get triple points on groceries, gas or at certain stores. Sometimes these offers change quarterly and you may have to activate the new rewards to start receiving them.
You can donate unused travel miles and points to organizations like the Make A Wish Foundation. Other organizations include A Wish With Wings and The Starlight Foundation. Many charities are in need of hotel points and car rentals as well.
If you donate your miles through the airlines, most will match your donation. American Airlines will donate an extra mile for every three miles you donate!