One of my favorite strategies for getting the most out of life or any experience, and definitely getting the most for my money, is loyalty stacking. It’s possible to use credit card rewards for frugal travel, and you can get even more when you stack your loyalty points and rewards. This works in areas other than travel as well.
Using Rewards Credit Cards to Buy Through Rebate Websites
If you want to start stacking the savings, sign up for rebate websites and use your rewards credit card to make purchases. You can do this with sites like Ebates. I also use this strategy for Swagbucks. When shopping through these sites, you receive points or cash back when you make regular purchases. This can be one way to get a little extra money back on things you would buy anyway.
However, you take it another level when you pay with a rewards credit card. You’ll get the rebate, but you’ll also build more points with your rewards card. Those rewards will translate into more cash back or free travel down the road. When I know that I’m going to make a big purchase, I look to see if I get an advantage by shopping via one of these sites. A good example was a recent travel booking through Orbitz. I shopped using Swagbucks, which meant that I received extra SBs for each dollar spent. My purchase also resulted in Orbitz rewards for that separate loyalty program, and I made the booking with a rewards card.
In the end, I wound up with three different rewards for one purchase that I would have made anyway.
This strategy can also work well if you plan to buy clothing online, or make other major purchases. There’s no reason to enjoy the benefits of only one rewards program when it’s possible for you to take advantage of two or more programs with the same purchase.
A similar strategy can be used with partnership programs. My airline miles card comes with special discounts when I use particular partners. In fact, I was able to directly connect my airline miles program from my credit card with my rental car loyalty program and my hotel loyalty program. Even Amtrak was a partner. By connecting all of these accounts, I end up with special discounts and even extra points in all the programs just by making a regular purchase. While I don’t get as many loyalty points as for a direct purchase, the partnership bonus is still well worth it.
Being able to connect and stack loyalty programs has been a great way for me to accelerate my rewards accumulation and come out ahead overall. It’s a good way to save money on a variety of things. As long as you have a strategy, save up for big purchases, stick to your plan, and pay off any credit card bills before you end up with high interest payments, you should be able to save a little extra money without getting into debt.