Maximizing Points & Cashback with Mother’s & Father’s Day | Earn More While Celebrating

Hi there, it's Ernest from Trip Astute. In
this video, we're going to review some tips and tricks to maximize your points
while shopping, especially with Mother's Day and Father's Day around the corner. (light chiming music) Here in the u.s. we celebrate Mother's
Day in May and Father's Day in June. It's a great holiday and often a time to
express appreciation for those in our lives that have served in the most
important job in life — being parents.

It's also a time where we tend to spend money
on gifts. So today, I want to do a quick review on where and how you might want
to shop in order to maximize your points and miles earnings. For some of you, this
will be a reminder. For those of you who might be newer to the hobby, I'm hoping
to help you earn a few extra points while shopping for gifts. So, let's run
through the list. Number 1: Buy gift cards at grocery stores. You guys have
heard me talk about this one before. With the Chase Freedom and Discover It both
offering 5% on grocery store purchases, now is definitely a good time to take
advantage of gift cards. If you're looking to get someone a gift card this
should be your first stop, assuming that you have a card that offers the quarterly
bonus. Also, if you have the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card, then
you're earning 6% cashback at grocery stores all year round. Another tip for
buying gift cards is to consider getting them for restaurants that you may be
visiting. For example, if you happen to be going to Macaroni Grill for Mother's Day,
then you could get a gift card to pay for part or all of the meal.

Obviously,
you'll have to guess the amount, but it's a good way to maximize your points and
cash back on the celebration. Number 2: Redeem American Express offers. I have to
admit that I didn't even know about these offers until a few months after I
got my first American Express card. If you log in to your American Express
account, you'll see offers listed at the bottom of your home page.
These range from restaurants, stores, and even services like flower deliveries.
This is one of those special features about American Express that I don't hear
many people talk about, but I honestly think it's really valuable.
You can easily recoup your annual fee by just taking advantage of these deals.
Keep in mind that offers are personalized so you may have slightly
different merchants listed based on your location, spending habits, and card.

But
just scanning through my list now, I can see a lot of potential gifts that I
could get for my mom. Number 3: Use an airline, hotel, or credit card shopping
portal. It seems like every travel brand and credit card now offers their own
online shopping portal where you can earn extra points or miles. This is also
a great way to earn a lot of points especially if you double-dip on both the
shopping portal and any extra points you might earn by just using your credit
card. Managing all the programs and bonus amounts can be difficult, so I recommend
using a search site that can show you the exact reward amounts for programs
when shopping with a specific merchant. Two sites that I use and recommend are
EV Reward and Cashback Monitor.

To use these sites, all you have to do is enter
where you plan to shop and the site then shows you which program gives you the
best bonus. Suppose you plan to order something online at Walmart. If you
search on Walmart, you would see on both EV Rewards and Cashback Monitor that
Discover's portal is offering 5% cashback while Chase's Ultimate Rewards
portal is only offering 2%. If you have a Discover Card, then you'd want to
use it over your Chase card since the bonus is more than double. There's
actually a lot of ways to maximize your cashback using these shopping portals, so
I'll try to cover it in the future video. So those are my top three ways to earn extra
points for Mother's Day and Father's Day. Though as always, I thought I'd share a
few more tips to keep in mind. Number 1: Don't overdo it! This is especially the
case for gift cards. If you normally only spend $50 a week on groceries but then
spend $200 on a visit buying gift cards, it's likely that your card will get
flagged for fraud or suspicious spending.

Just be careful how much you are
spending and the total amounts per visit. The issuers generally frown upon
manufactured spending, so just exercise caution, and
try not to go overboard with your spending. Number 2: Keep your receipts. I
bought a couple of gift cards a few years ago and when I gave them away, I
was told that the cards had been drained. After a ton of phone calls and research,
it appeared that someone either at the gift card distributor or grocery store
had redeemed the cards between the time as they were activated and the time that
the person I gave him to tried to use them. Luckily I had the receipts so I was
able to get it resolved, however it was a process and definitely made me cautious
about keeping receipts when buying gift cards. How do you maximize your points
and miles during Mother's and Father's Day? Please share your tricks in the
comment section below and let us know if you have any questions. If you're
interested in applying for any of the cards mentioned in this video, check out
our credit card offers page on our website for the latest offers.

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