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How savings experts do holiday shopping

How savings experts do holiday shopping

I'm sure you've got a few tricks up your sleeve for scoring the best holiday online deals. But if you want the most for your money, you've got to use every trick in the book.

There may be many more ways to save online than you think. Check out this list of tips that will turn you into a money-saving pro.

Access retail sites through cash-back apps and websites

I've written about several of these apps before, they're great to use all year round if you're an avid shopper. When you shop through iBotta, you can get rebates on products from popular retailers; this money is given to you through a PayPal account. You get $10 just for signing up. If you use Swagbucks or ShopKick, you'll get points for your purchases that you can redeem for gift cards. With eBates you can get discounts on purchases and cashback, which is sent to you via a quarterly check in the mail. They're also offering $10 just for joining.

Install browser add-ons

Instead of searching for your own promo codes and hoping they work, use a browser extension that adds them in automatically. Coupons at Checkout is a free browser add-on. Use extensions that have good online reviews, you don't want to accidentally install malware on your device.

Sign up for loyalty programs

A lot of retailers have rewards programs if you join their members' club. Once you join, they normally offer a big discount on your first purchase. You'll also receive emails about sales and promotions throughout the year (you can opt out of these if they start sending you too much stuff). Beware of memberships that require you to sign up for an auto-pay system. One membership program I'm enrolled in charges my debit card monthly but I can skip as many months as I want and delete my account at any time.

Take advantage of credit card perks

You know how some credit card companies offer you money if you quickly make a big purchase on a new card? It would be a great time to sign up for one of those. According to CreditCards.com, a lot of popular companies will offer a cash bonus from $100 to $150 if you spend $500 to $1000 in the first three months. They also give you a percentage of your purchases back if you shop at certain places. American Express offers 10 percent back on Amazon.com.

Make sure you keep your cards handy while you shop online. When items are in high demand, retailers will set a time limit on items in your cart. If you haven't checked out within a certain amount of time, your items will go back on the virtual shelves. It'd be a shame to lose out on a good deal because you can't find your debit card. Of course, letting sites save your payment information is an option, but obviously not the most secure choice.

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