Money, that’s what we want. We beg, borrow, hunt, bargain, barter, and haggle. If we can save a quarter here or a dollar there, we feel pretty good. At Mint, we also love money saving tips. And we’re sharing the best sites and products we’ve come across that offer to save us money on the stuff we were going to buy anyway. We’re hoping for a new trend in rebate-oriented, incentive shopping. We like the idea of the internet and these products working in the background to save us money on:
1. Stuff we’ve already bought
What’s covered: Anything Amazon sells
Amazon.com has an unstated 30-day price guarantee rebate policy. If you buy something on Amazon (with Amazon as the seller), you are entitled to a refund if the price drops. This doesn’t not apply to third party sellers on Amazon and they do not do price matching. Call 800.201.7575 (ext. 7) or go visit their help center to file for a refund online. It takes 1 or 2 days to get the refund.
Product: Credit Cards offering Price Protection
What’s covered: Virtually anything you can charge
Cards like Citibank Diamond Rewards Card and American Express Rewards Gold Card reimburse cardholders for the difference (up to $250 per item and up to $1,000 per year) if the price of an item you charged drops within 60 days.
Take advantage of price protection. Many credit cards have price matching protection. Generally, if you find a lower price within 60 days, you can be reimbursed up to a certain limit.
Price and return protection. Worry about buying right before sales? Worry no more.
- American Express Preferred Rewards
- Return protection up to $300 within 90 days.
- Sign Up
- Citi Diamond Preferred Rewards Card
- Price protection up to $250 within 60 days.
- Sign Up
What’s covered: Airline Tickets
Use Yapta.com to purchase your airline tickets (they’ll help you find the best deal), or manually input your flight information and confirmation code. Yapta will track the prices on that flight up until the day of the flight. If the price drops, they will contact you and assist you in getting a refund of the difference.
2. Stuff we were going to buy anyway:
What’s covered: Purchases from 800+ online retailers (e.g. Gap, Apple, Target)
If you use Ebates as a portal to shop at other online retailers, you will earn anywhere between 3% to 25% cash back on all your purchases. There are more than 800 popular retailers offering these rebates and you automatically get $5 just for joining. Ebates sends you a refund every three months, but will leave a minimum balance of $5.01 in your account.
3. Stuff we’re only thinking about buying:
What’s covered: Virtually anything sold on the web
This simple site allows you to search for the product you want, set a price target, and then wait while Price Ambush keeps track of the fluctuations in price. You’ll get an email from them when the price drops to your target price. You can also search by tag if you want to browse for purchase ideas.
Mint’s Point of View: Why wouldn’t you use these sites and products? They’re doing the work of mining the complex and dynamic world of pricing plans and changes for you … for free. Only caveat is to understand when and how they will use your data and email address…always the right practice when using the web. Once you’ve checked them out:
- Register the biggest purchases you’ve made in the last couple of weeks on Amazon…as well as any plane tickets… and see if you get lucky with a rebate.
- Call your credit card provider and ask if price matching is a service they offer.
- Check out the credit cards recommended for you on the Ways to Save page within your Mint.com account*. Call to ask if they offer price matching and make an informed decision on whether or not to switch.
- Sign up on Price Ambush for those holiday gifts you’re considering giving.
*Not yet signed up for Mint? Sign up today at www.mint.com to find out if there’s a better credit card available for you, based on the stuff you buy and how you pay your bills.
Now, these are the sites we’ve found. What have you found that saves you money online? Which do you recommend?