Extreme couponers have long been fans of coupon stacking, which is when you apply multiple discounts to the same purchase. Some credit card users practice a similar form of extreme savings by including multiple discounts and reward programs when they make purchases with their cards. Here’s how you can do it (and save big), too!
Use a shopping portal
The easiest way to earn additional rewards from your credit card is to use an online shopping portal. Many credit card programs offer rewards when you make purchases from an online retailer after clicking a link from the credit card’s shopping site.
Also, many airline and hotel loyalty programs offer shopping portals that allow you to earn additional points and miles from your purchases. For example, United Airlines has MileagePlus Shopping and Hilton has the Honors Shop-to-Earn Mall.
Finally, there are portals like Ebates and Mr. Rebates that offer cash back. Unfortunately, you can only earn rewards from one portal for each purchase. It’s not uncommon to earn three points or miles per dollar from major retailers, and much more from specialty stores. To find the best rewards for a particular retailer, use a shopping portal comparison site such as CashBackMonitor.com or evreward.com. (See also: 30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year)
Earn sign-up bonuses from your credit cards
Another way to stack savings is to earn sign-up bonuses from new credit card offers. For example, say a card offers new cardholders $150 in cash back after spending $500 on new purchases within three months of opening the account. With this offer, you can think of your $500 of purchases as earning an additional 30 cents per dollar in cash back. These $500 worth of purchases are eligible for the card’s built-in rewards program (cash back or travel points) in addition to bonus offers from shopping portals. One purchase could net you three different types of rewards points! (See also: Best Credit Cards With Bonus Cash for Sign Up)
Request targeted offers from your credit card issuers
The credit card industry is intensely competitive, and banks are always looking for ways to encourage customers to use their cards over others. One way is to offer bonus rewards for spending during a particular time period. For example, you could be given an offer of 5,000 bonus points when you use your card to make $1,000 of purchases each month for three months.
To find out if you’re eligible to receive one of these offers, just contact your bank’s customer service department and ask. Also, be sure to opt in for promotional emails and mail, as these are the kind of advertisements you want to see.
Make sure you use a retailer’s loyalty program
Many retailers offer their own loyalty programs that allow you to earn rewards in the form of store credit. For example, Dick’s Sporting Goods has a rewards program called ScoreCard that allows you to earn 3% back in rewards, and Costco has an Executive Rewards program that allows members to earn 2% back on every purchase. Likewise, nearly every airline and hotel chain offers some kind of loyalty program that’s free to join. And when booking travel, the Expedia+ program lets you earn rewards on your purchases, sometimes in addition to any airline or hotel rewards you are eligible to receive from your reservations. Make sure to include your rewards membership number in your order. (See also: How to Score More Loyalty Perks from Your Credit Card Company)
How to stack these rewards
It might seem like a lot of trouble to jump through various hoops to make a purchase, but consider the savings you’d get, just for those few extra minutes. Instead of getting 1.5% cash back from your flat rate cash back credit card, you can get an additional 3% back by using a shopping portal, and perhaps another 2% in store points by signing up for a loyalty program. On a $300 purchase, instead of just getting $4.50 back, you could save $19.50. All it takes is a little dedication and organization.