Now that the election season is over and all those have negative campaign ads have disappeared from the airwaves, you may have noticed a new wave of equally-stressful commercials appearing on your TV; That’s right, the holiday shopping season is here.
These days, many of us split our holiday shopping online and in department stores. And while Cyber Monday has made a name for itself as an easier alternative to the chaos that is the day after Thanksgiving, those Black Friday lines aren’t getting any shorter.
For their part, credit card companies have taken note. Issuers like Discover have announced that they’ll be adding extra bonus points for both online shopping AND purchases made in department stores through the month of December. So, with incentives added to both online and retail store shopping, it can be hard to decipher which shopping holiday offers for bang for your rewards buck: Black Friday or Cyber Monday?
By and large, we found that the most cash back rewards from your credit card could be earned… (drumroll please)… online!
Why? Because credit card companies are partnered with huge retailers online to build a one-stop shop where you can redeem your rewards at discounted prices. That’s their incentive – when you shop online through your card issuer, they’ll reward you with bonus cash back. It’s that simple.
For example, the aforementioned Discover bonus is a biggie (5x Cashback Bonus), but it only applies to their Discover More cards and there’s a retail store limit to the first $1,500 in purchases. (Granted, that’s a lot to spend in a short amount of time, but those deals can be the devil.) So, the max number of Discover bonus points you can net through December is $100; however, online shopping bonus points through December have no limit.
Plus, when you shop online at ShopDiscover.com, they’ll reward you with anywhere from 5% to 20% cash back on the purchases you make using your Discover card and redeeming your points. Retailers on the ShopDiscover site include Apple, Macy’s and L.L. Bean – no slouches, obviously. So, if you have a Discover More card you’ll earn the most rewards points this holiday season when you shop online, specifically through ShopDiscover.com.
Similarly, Chase Ultimate Rewards offers annual holiday incentives surrounding Cyber Monday, and their inventory of online retailers is just as impressive. You can even redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points on a gift card for your niece or nephew (no, we don’t consider it a cop-out) or book a holiday getaway through their travel program.
So, this November 23rd we would recommend skipping the 5am lines and holding out until Monday. The Cyber Monday rewards are greater, the savings aplenty and the dangers of running into a crazed bargain shopper minimal.