There are several ways to save money when shopping, but this method is often overlooked – using apps & credit cards.
I’m a big fan of cashback apps like ibotta and Fetch, and definitely take advantage of their “shop with the app” and online shopping features to maximize my savings. But by using cash back apps and the right credit card it means double dipping savings and extra cash back for one transaction. This is how I do it.
There are 3 ways to stack savings using apps & the right credit card:
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Which Cash Back Apps
There are many cash back apps, but these 3 apps have a ‘pay with the app‘ feature. What’s the big deal? Paying with the app gives you cash back.
Pay with the App: This is how it works:
- Basically, using the pay with the app feature of apps, users purchase an e-gift card.
- Whenever an e-gift card is purchased, users get a percentage cash back on the total amount of the e-gift card. Thus, you get cash back
- The e-gift card is then used to pay at checkout.
Through the app you can purchase e-gift cards when paying at the register or self-checkout. Earn cash at popular grocery, pharmacy and stores like CVS, Amazon among others, and even when you pay your bills such as Hulu or Spotify.
In order to purchase the e-gift card, app users simply link a credit card to the app to pay for the e-gift card. The trick is to use a credit card with a great rewards program.
This is how paying with the apps double your savings – you earn from the e-gift card and the credit card rewards program.
Shop with the App – This is how it works:
Shopping online is the easiest way to double your earnings with just one click. When you shop online through an app it is not necessary to link any credit card to the app. You’re simply clicking on the “shop” button in the app.
Take ibotta app for example. When you click on ‘shop’ button, it takes you to the merchant’s website where you shop as normal. Then when you’re ready to pay, use the credit card that earns the most rewards to pay for your purchase. You’ll earn from both the app and the credit card.
Example of ibotta & Kohl’s:
1) In the ibotta app, I go to the “online shopping” section, and choose (for example) Kohl’s Department store.
2) This will open up the Kohl’s website or the Kohl’s app where I shop as normal.
3) At checkout, I pay with my Chase Freedom credit card. Likewise you can link your credit card to the Ibotta app to save.
You’ll earn a percent cash back on the total purchase from ibotta, plus cash back on the total charged to the credit card.
Not just any Credit Card Rewards
Most credit cards have rewards programs that give points or cash back. They generally give between 1% or 2% cash back. Discover card pays a higher rate, but its not as widely accepted as Visa & Mastercard unfortunately. Additionally, some credit cards with an annual fee give a higher cash back rate too. BUT – you pay a fee to have that credit card.
However, as an extreme saver, I don’t like paying for fees unless I have to. In my opinion, paying a fee defeats the purpose of saving money. The exception to paying credit card annual fees is if you spend thousands with the credit card, such that a $95 annual fee is worth it. Therefor, for the purpose of this post, i’ll exclude those credit cards.
What’s in your wallet?
As a consumer, banks want your business. As such, your business has a consumer earning potential. What I mean by this is that banks offer benefits and rewards to attract customers.
As a savvy consumer, your job is to make the most out of what retailers offer to get your business.
I recommend you look at what benefits the credit card that’s in your wallet has. Choose a card with high cashback % in combination with other perks to maximize your earning potential.
What I use & Why
I recommend exploring credit card benefits every so often because credit card perks and benefits change. For example, my go to card use to be a Citi card, which I used for the Price Rewind Program. I got about 2K cash back with that program. Unfortunately the Citi card terminated that program.
Stack apps cash back & Chase Freedom
I use Chase Freedom because it gives credit card holders 5% cash back when using the credit card to pay on select categories, and 1% cash back on every purchase. The 5% cash back categories change on a quarterly basis.
Currently, from January 1st to March 31st 2023, Chase Freedom®* cardholders can earn 5% cash back on Qualifying purchases made at Grocery Stores (except Walmart), Target and Fitness Club & Gym Memberships.
Here is how:
- Double your savings by paying with Chase Freedom Credit Card & redeem offers in apps.
- Enter your credit card in the app to pay
- Redeem rebates in the app
Note: Chase also has an online shopping rewards program in which credit card holders earn cash back when they shop online through the Chase shop online website as well. This works similarly to ibotta’s shop online.
Chase Freedom promo: new card members can get $200 bonus
FYI – If you don’t have a Chase Freedom credit card, then you’re in luck – they have a promo for new card members, where you can get $200 bonus when you spend $500 in the first 3 months.
That sounds like a lot of money, but you’ll be surprised how much we spend not just on groceries, entertainment, phone bills and other necessities combined. My advise is to take a look at your budget to determine if this deal works out for you.
The Capital One credit card is my go to card in most cases as well. Especially when paying monthly subscriptions services, because it gives me back 1.5% cash back on everything I buy that is not covered by Chase.
Not a lot, but this card does not charge a foreign transaction fee. Thus, for the purpose of getting cash back when I travel, this is the best card for saving money when travelling out of the US.
In addition, it also covers car motorist rental insurance in Central America and other countries. (Different from the usual collision insurance covered by most credit cards).
Capital One has intro cards for students and people who are building credit as well.
Citi Costo Card
As a Costco member, the Costco Citi Credit Card is unbeatable for Costco shopping cash back and gasoline.
The Costco Citi card has a 4% cash back on the first $7K spent on gasoline. Afterwards is 1%.
Save Money on Gasoline
With the above apps you simply upload your gas receipt and earn cash back. There are other apps you can earn cash back when purchasing gas as well.
However, you’d have to apply for their credit card or join their gas rewards program to earn. Some programs require entering your drivers license in order to earn cash back. I’m not a fan of that though.
As I discussed above, for the purpose of maintaining an excellent credit score I stick to using 3 credit cards. These credit cards each serve a purpose for making the most out of shopping anywhere and with any app.
In addition, there is no annual fee for either of these credit cards, so it doesn’t eat up any savings.
I find that a lot of people use apps to save money, but miss out on extra savings. Thus, I made this post to help others go beyond the limit of the apps to maximize cash back.
This post relates to my shopping practices about what I do and the products and services I use to increase my savings. However, my intention is for you the reader to find your products and develop your practices to make the most out of your money and improve your financial earning power.
I always look for ways to stack savings, so that one shopping transaction turns into multiple savings.
What’s your tip for saving money with credit cards?
I hope this post helps you save money every time you shop.
Happy savings, TaLis
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When you shop online there are several ways to save: In addition to grocery apps like Fluz, ibotta & Fetch, virtual shopping malls also give cash back. Once you try them, you’ll understand why it is easier to save money when shopping online.
Related: How to Triple Dip Savings
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