Christmas and year-end shopping is a great opportunity to enjoy rewards and discounts, especially if you put a plan in place. Follow these five simple tips to help you get the most out of your festive shopping.
There’s a deluge of sales and exclusive discounts and special promotions everywhere you turn, all the better to help you hurry up and complete your Christmas shopping. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year to gift your loved ones.
Plus, these seasonal sales are also a great time to get some shopping done in preparation for next year, whether you’re looking to refresh your look with some new killer pieces, or replace worn out electronics with updated, more powerful models.
Yes, Christmastime shopping can be a little more frenetic than during other seasons, with limited-time sales and a ticking clock making you loosen your grip on your money. That’s why it’s more important than ever to pay attention to saving money during this high-pressure period.
To help you do just that, here are five tips to help you stretch your dollar by maximising your rewards, discounts and savings as you embark on your year-end shopping
1. Use the right credit cards
Before you go trawling the shops or browsing your favourite online store, take a look at the credit cards you’ll be shopping with. Do you have the ‘right’ credit card for the task?
Your Christmas shopping is one of the best opportunities to maximise your credit card rewards – be they cashback, air miles or reward points – so you should choose carefully which one to pay with.
For instance, using a dining cashback card for electronics won’t earn you any cash rebates, as it’s the wrong transaction type. You’d be better off paying with an air miles card if you’re looking to travel soon, or better yet – a shopping credit card that gives you perks and rewards at the shopping malls you frequent.
Consider also that some credit cards offer a waiver of the annual fee if you reach a certain annual spending threshold. If you have a card that is close to this limit, it might be worth putting your year-end shopping on it, so you can save on the annual fees.
2. Make use of credit card sign-up bonuses
Speaking of credit cards, you’re probably aware that many credit cards offer sign-up bonuses as part of the marketing push. These bonuses often accelerate your rewards earn rates (or in some cases, straight up give you a batch of points or air miles), and all you have to do is to use your card.
Yep, you simply have to apply for the card, and then make a first transaction, spend a certain amount within a set duration, or achieve some combination of the two.
Provided you’re a qualified participant (this usually means being a new customer, although other requirements may be present), the rewards will be automatically credited into your account.
Therefore, since you’ll be spending money on your presents and gifts, why not do so with a credit card you’ve been wanting to get? You’ll not only get your festive shopping done, but also get to enjoy increased rewards which you can use to offset your spending, or bank up for future use.
Pro-tip: Take advantage of SingSaver rewards
Know someone who’d appreciate a brand-new Dyson Omni-glide vacuum cleaner or AM07 tower fan, or maybe you’re looking for one yourself?
Well, you can receive these gifts if you sign up for qualifying credit cards through SingSaver.
Household appliances not quite what you’re looking for? Fret not, there are also CapitaLand shopping vouchers, and even cash rewards.
3. Cash in your credit card points
If you’ve been using your credit cards for a while now, there’s a good chance you’ve banked up a good amount of points or air miles.
Well, cash them in for an instant discount on your Christmas presents!
There are two ways you can do this. Firstly, if your bank offers a pay-with-points programme, you can use your accumulated points to pay off your credit card balance.
This helps you recoup what you have spent on gifts for the season.
Secondly, you can also check your bank’s rewards and privileges catalogue, which often contain a selection of lifestyle products and services that you can redeem using your points.
Or, if you want to spend your air miles, try shopping at Krisshop, the official webstore of Singapore Airlines with a surprisingly broad selection of products!
Cashing in your accrued points or air miles is a great way to save money on your year-end shopping, especially if there are items that you know your recipients want.
4. Look out for credit card promotions and offers
What do Shopee, Lazada and Qoo10 have in common (besides being the favourite websites of online shopping-obsessed Singaporeans)? That’s right – they all have various promos and offers that you can only use with specific credit cards.
This then gives you another way to save on your online gift shopping. As long as you have a valid card, you can make use of these promos and offers, which are usually activated by entering a promo code at checkout.
There are usually terms and conditions that accompany these vouchers (such as a minimum spend amount, or not being applicable for delivery charges, etc.), but figuring out how to use them for maximum savings is half the fun!
One other thing: Don’t forget that it’s not just online stores that offer credit card promotions. Brick-and-mortar shopping centres also often have ongoing partnerships with banks and credit card providers, so be sure to check for any discounts before paying.
5. Use a freight forwarder to get a shipping discount
Online shopping is a boon and a bane. It gives us access to overseas sellers and products not found in Singapore, and sometimes, great prices too!
But on the flipside, some retailers don’t ship overseas; even if they do, delivery can be expensive and slow, especially around the year-end holidays.
One workaround is to sign up for a freight forwarder service, which enables you to buy from overseas retailers by providing a delivery address in that country.
Furthermore, they can ship your parcels to Singapore at a much cheaper rate, and can also consolidate multiple orders from the same country into a single delivery that is much more cost-efficient.
On top of that, freight forwarders can also offer tracking, parcel insurance, and other nifty services.
If you’re buying gifts from overseas, consider using a freight forwarder to help you make your festive shopping a breeze.
Charge your purchases to the right cashback or rewards card to earn attractive prizes. Terms and conditions apply.
Read these next:
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Credit Card Welcome Offer: A Comparison of The Best Gifts
Are You Making The Most Of Your Credit Card Points?
Most Popular Credit Cards In Singapore (2021)
Best Supplementary Credit Cards To Gift Your Partner Or Kids
By Alevin Chan
An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.