Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Reap the Rewards!

I'm a firm believer that everyone should get something back from "the system" (so to speak). Here are two methods that I use and have found most valueable!

If you use a credit card already, I suggest switching to a cash back card. Here is a selection of options from CitiCards. You can also search and compare others here. There are a few caveats to this though:
  1. DO NOT pay an annual fee. That shit is whack. Er, I mean. It's not worth it. There are plenty of cards available without annual fees.
  2. If you don't pay off your balance in full at the end of every month, you are negating your cash back by making yourself pay interest on your purchase. Treat a credit card as if it's cash that you already spent out of your checking account.
  3. DO NOT get a credit card if you don't think you can control yourself. This is a BIG warning!
MyPoints is a GREAT (THE BEST) rewards points website. You can opt to receive emails that give you points for just clicking on their links. You won't get any other spam from this site besides their emails. The points collect fairly quickly and you can also earn them by going through their website and clicking on their earnings links before you make a purchase online (they don't have every online store available for earning opportunities, but they have a wide selection). I would say I redeem from them about 3 times per year, usually a $25.00 gift certificate, but check out their other rewards as well. The rewards come extremely quickly in the mail as well! And now my caveats:

  1. Don't purchase things online JUST to get points from the site. That's wasting money. I'm pretty sure a lot of you shop online enough to earn a good amount of points just from your regular shopping.
  2. If you choose to accept their emails, create an email filter that will automatically send them to a certain folder so you don't miss the emails. They're always sent from the same email address.
  3. If you join, I'd kindly ask that you put my name as your referral :) Mypoints username is annieacid, email is mommieskullfish at
There are plenty of other rewards programs and credit card rewards out there. There are:
  • Gas rebate credit cards (I have one through AAA and get 3% back on all gas purchases made at the pump)
  • Hotel and Frequent Flyer rewards. Sign up for the free programs. Even if you think you'll never use the points, you may be surprised. If you're a frequent hotel visitor like me, they'll come in handy! Hilton Honors is the one I use the most.
  • Frequent purchase rewards. This is very basic. Some establishments I frequent use these programs, where they stamp a card every time you purchase something and you get a reward after so many purchases. Don't be afraid to ask at the places that you frequent. Rita's Water Ice even gives double stamps (at my location, anyway) on Tuesdays!
  • Walgreen's (if you have them where you live) has a good "Free After Rebate" program every month. The warning though is not to do this if you know you're not reliable enough to send in for the rebate! I've been doing this for about a year and have barely ever had to buy toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, or toothbrushes. I also have gotten some cool things I wanted to try for free.
Have a Rewarding Day!

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