ATLANTA -- Cyber Monday arrived on Cyber Sunday this year! Most major retailers began their online promotions on Sunday and will carry them through midnight Monday.
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Before you hit the Checkout button, here are my top 5 Ways to Save on Cyber Monday.
1 - Compare Prices. This season, many toy prices are within pennies of each other at Walmart, Target, Amazon and Toys "R" Us this season, at least in many cases. Just to make sure you're getting the best price, compare prices at PriceGrabber.com or even through a simple Google Search.Priceblink.com will also compare prices and look for coupon codes for you while you are shopping online.
2 - Use Loyalty Cards. I love the Target Red Card, because it is a debit card that allows me to get free shipping on nearly all Target.com purchases, plus gets me a 5 percent discount on purchases. That often tips the scale in favor of Target over Walmart when it comes to price!
3 - Get Cash Back. If you start your search through Swagbucks.com you will earn Swagbucks, which can be redeemed for gift cards at Amazon and other retailers. Swagbucks, Ebates and several other sites offer rebates that vary on any given day. For example, Ebates was recently offering a 5 percent cash back bonus for shopping at Nordstrom.com.
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4 - Buy Gift Cards for Free Gas. Kroger has a promotion that offers shoppers quadruple fuel reward points for purchasing a variety of other retail store gift cards (most are free) at Kroger gift card Kiosks. For example, if you buy a $200 Target gift card at Kroger, you will earn 800 Fuel Reward points. You can apply the points for discounts of up to $2 per gallon on gasoline, so a fillup of a 20 gallon tank would get you a $40 discount on gas. You must use fuel points the during the calendar month after you buy them. Keep in mind, Visa and Amex Gift cards usually have a processing fee. Most retail cards do not.
5 - Look for Free Return Shipping. Many retailers will offer free shipping, but returns can be expensive. Nordstrom.com, 6pm.com, Piperlime.com, Zappos.com, and Shoebuy.com all offer free return shipping. Target and Walmart give customers the option of returning many items bought online either in the store or by printing a free preprinted label. Other retailers like Victoria's Secret and Loehmann's offer free shipping and allow shoppers to return items in stores to avoid paying return shipping.
And by the way, running up credit card debt is harmful to your budget but running up credit card rewards is very helpful! If you can pay off your cards every month and carry a zero balance, why not take advantage of free perks like miles, cash back and hotel perks?