October 30, 2008


Credit Card Rewards

With the Christmas season approaching I'm especially thankful for my credit card. Yes, you heard me right, but I'm not thankful for it so that I can charge a bunch of stuff I can't afford. I'm thankful, because our credit card gives us money back that I can use to buy gifts.

There are a number of credit cards that offer rewards. For years, we have used the Toys R Us card. There is no annual fee, and we receive 1% back in Toys R Us gift cards. We use this one card to pay for everything. The bill provides us with a record of purchases, and it can be downloaded into financial programs. We pay the bill off without paying interest, and receive money back. One percent doesn't seem like a lot, but that's $10 for every $1000 spent. They give 4% back on purchases made at Toys R Us.

When our kids were little it was easy to use that money. As they got older, I thought we would outgrow it, but we haven't. One year each of the boys got a new bike. I think that was the year we moved and did a lot of remodeling. Another year they got a Game Cube. Last Christmas there wasn't anything we wanted to get the boys there, but my husband got a GPS! Yes, Toys R Us sells them in the electronics department. They sell cameras too. Also, I can use the money to buy baby shower gifts and gifts for younger nieces and nephews. Over the years we've made a lot of money off that credit card.

As much as we have liked the TRU rewards program, we have decide to move on to another. We just started using a BJ's Visa card. They also have no annual fee and offer 2% back on BJ's purchases and 1% on all other purchases. Since I regularly shop at BJ's, this will give us a higher return, and we won't ever wonder whether we will find something to use the reward money on. If neither of those cards works for you, there are others to be found with a little searching.

I will finish by saying that this idea is for those who are able to use a credit card and pay it off each month. The amount of money you pay in interest is way more than the amount of rewards you earn. I think my husband and I have only paid interest once in our 19 years of marriage, and that was when we accidentally forgot to pay the bill.

For more frugal ideas visit Crystal's blog.


Great idea as we pay off our credit cards every month, too. :D I know my mom has done this and has been quite pleased about it.

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