Gephardt Busts Inflation: Stacking rewards to save more
SALT LAKE CITY — You’re familiar with rewards. Credit cards offer cash back, grocery store cards offer discount fuel and restaurants have apps that can earn you free food.
Expert shopper Trae Bodge with TrueTrae says the apps and loyalty programs are important marketing tools for companies that can pay off for you.
“Stores want you to shop with them and be a loyal shopper,” she said. “If it’s at a retailer that you plan to shop at anyway, why wouldn’t you take advantage of those savings?”
But many consumers could be taking better advantage of those savings by stacking discounts.
Research shows that when consumers use a coupon, they walk away happy knowing they got a good deal. But are they leaving money on the table?
— Matt Gephardt KSL-TV (@KSLGephardt) May 27, 2022
Ted Rossman of Bankrate says people frequently take their one reward and call it a win when they could be using a handful of rewards simultaneously.
“So like if you get, let’s say, a store coupon code, and you use a rewards credit card, and maybe you go through a shopping portal, that’s three savings on one purchase,” Rossman said.
There are several combinations that can bring the price down or make a purchase today pay off tomorrow.
Stacking rewards can be a tad labor intensive. For example, if you shop at different gas stations, you would need to set yourself up with each of those companies’ loyalty programs.
“If you shop at different stations, like maybe you need to have two or three or four different apps if you really want to maximize this strategy,” Rossman said. “But the apps are free, you can load any credit or debit card in there. Sometimes like with Shell, for instance, they even give you an added discount if you pay via your checking account because that lets them skip the credit card processing fee.”
Because a lot of these rewards are marketing tools, there is a tradeoff: in exchange for a discount, you’re handing over your shopping habits and sometimes your email address and phone number all of which opens you up to spam.
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