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Skip Black Friday for Better Deals and More Points

It’s that time of year again to eat ridiculous amounts of turkey and then stand in line outside of Walmart all night long to score a $10 DVD player (that reference may be a bit dated – which discounted electronics are people trampling each other for these days?). If you’re like me, you’ll be knocked out in a post-Thanksgiving food comma, leaving the “deals” for everyone else who doesn’t know better. You already got your 50% off at Banana Republic online and will spend tomorrow eating leftovers and binge watching The Walking Dead instead of spending an hour in line to use the fitting room. You’ll gladly avoid the mall parking lot frenzy and the frantic buzz of shoppers pumped up with adrenaline. Why? Because you know there are other ways you can score a deal this holiday season without sacrificing sleep or sanity:

Get Black Friday deals without the crowds

Get Black Friday deals without the crowds

Credit Card Statement Credits

It’s not just American Express sync promotions and Small Business Saturday you should be looking out for this week. Several major credit card issuers are offering statement credits at popular merchants. Visa Signature cardholders get discounts for using their credit cards at merchants like Kohl’s, eBags.com, Drugstore.com, and more. You’ll forego any shopping portal discounts, but the 10-20% discount offered through Visa Signature likely exceeds any shopping portal payout.

Mastercard will soon be offering similar discounts through their Mastercard Marketplace, hopefully during the holiday shopping season. Right now, they are offering a promotion through their Priceless Cities, whereby cardholders who use the contactless card feature to pay for their London public transportation get their fare refunded. The Priceless Cities program offers some great travel deals from time to time, so it’s worth looking into.

Shop at Amazon

In general, Amazon is a great place for deals. Most shopping portals impose some restrictions on which categories you can earn cash back on, but even without portal payouts, Amazon is a great place to shop. Both American Express and Barclay cardholders can get statement credits on their Amazon purchases. Aside from these statement credits, Ink Plus cardholders can get 5 points per $1/5% cash back by using their cards to purchase Amazon gift cards at office supply store. The points can be converted to statement credits until January 2015, when the Pay Yourself Back feature gets eliminated. Chase Freedom cardholders also get 5% cash back at Amazon this quarter.

Citi Purchase Protection

Citi may not be offering any statement credits, but their purchase protection and price rewind features may make it worthwhile to charge your purchases to your Citi card.

Stack the Savings

Stacking online shopping deals (which are often on par with what’s offered in store) with shopping portals, category bonuses, targeted card bonuses, shopping apps like Shopkick (my referral link), and credit card statement credits, the savings and point bonuses really add up. 

Sure, you’re giving up the ability to buy a $1,000 tv from Best Buy for just $600, but unless you’re one of those dedicated shoppers who spend the night outside the store, chances are you won’t get in on these deals anyway. So enjoy your regular amount of sleep, spend more time with your family, and avoid the stress of holiday shopping without missing out on savings and point bonuses.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

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Ariana Arghandewal

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