Shopping online can be a great way to get your shopping done when you’re short on time. It can also be expensive if you’re not careful.
I’ve learned a few surprising ways to save money on online purchases that will make online shopping easy and cost effective, too.
Surprising Ways to Save Money On Online Purchases
If you’re looking to save money on online purchases, try these tricks:
Use your credit card.
You can earn cash back on your purchases with many credit cards. As long as you pay your balance in full when the bill comes, you’ll reap the rewards. I have a Citi Thank You Preferred rewards card that offers a service called Citi Price Rewind. In addition to earning points on my purchases that I can use for gift cards and cash, I can submit a receipt to the Citi Price Rewind website, and if Citi finds a lower price within 60 days of my purchase, it rewards me with the difference. Since I started using Price Rewind last year, I’ve saved nearly $100 on both online and in-store purchases.
Always look for coupon codes.
Before you finalize your purchase, make sure to do a quick search for any online coupon codes. These online coupon codes can help you save on your order with just a few clicks on your computer. You can find online coupon codes from Savings.com right from Northern Cheapskate, but there are plenty of other sites that can help you find discounts and free shipping to help you save on your order if you spend a little time looking.
Shop via cash-back sites.
Cash-back sites earn a commission for every sale they make through their shopping portals. They pass a portion of that commission on to you in the form of cash back. My favorite sites for earning cash back are Ebates, Swagbucks, and Ibotta, but there are plenty of others out there. I’ve saved thousands of dollars over the years on everything from my Christmas shopping to travel.
Use your Amazon Prime membership.
If you love to shop at Amazon, you will find that a subscription to Amazon Prime will pay for itself in just the free two-day shipping on select items. But there are a few other perks to this membership. Amazon Prime members get access to money-saving deals earlier than regular shoppers, and sometimes there are exclusive deals just for Prime members. And if you forgo the free two-day shipping for free shipping that takes a bit longer, you are often rewarded with free credits for digital media or Amazon Prime Pantry.
If you’ve got small children, sign up for Amazon Family and get a 20% discount on diapers in addition to other Prime benefits and deals. College students who sign up for Prime Student can get access to exclusive deals and promotions with free two-day shipping.
Take advantage of who you are.
Who you are may get you discounts, and this can apply to your online shopping, too. For example, educators can often save on online purchases for technology and classroom supplies. If you’re a member of AARP, you can get discounts at select online stores.
Determine who has the best price.
If Amazon happens to be your go-to store for online shopping, there’s another website out there that may have you rethink that. It’s called PriceJump, and it allows you to quickly and easily compare prices at more than 5,000 merchants. This site is very useful for determining where to get the best deal.
Use discounted gift cards.
My local grocery store usually offers some great deals on gift cards to dozens of stores a couple of times a year, so when they have a sale, I stock up on gift cards for the places I like to shop online. You can also purchase discounted gift cards from Raise and then use them to shop online.
The best way to save money on online purchases is to use a combination of these methods. For example, I will often shop through Ebates to get cash back, enter a coupon code I got from Savings.com to make it a better deal, use my rewards credit card to pay for my purchase (more cash back), and then submit my receipt to Price Rewind to see if I can save more.
Using these techniques only takes a few minutes of your time, but if you shop online often, it can save you quite a bit of money.
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