Saving more with credit card savings programs

In addition to the many benefits that they provide, credit card savings programs are yet another easy tool for your savings arsenal. Let me explain. One of the biggest programs that I have used in the past year, American Express Sync Offers, has been simply awesome. Register your card through Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare, “load” offers on to your card, and you will receive substantial statement credits at select retails. It’s painless.

Visa is also a player among credit card savings programs. For quite a while, they have offered special promo codes that you enter at retailers such as Fandango that will give you 20-25% off of movie tickets, simply for using your card. Mastercard, it seems, is a little behind the curve. They seem to only offer savings promotions to business card holders. But, they do have the very cool Fuel Rewards program, which helps with gas savings. Discover, has cash back bonus programs, and I see them adding to this program to keep up.

This is a win-win for both consumers and card issuers. They gain by grabbing targeted advertising data from you, but even better, pass on substantial rebates in the process. For example, a few months ago, there was an offer through American Express for $25 off of Best Buy for a purchase of $250 or more. If you were already planning on making a Best Buy purchase of that amount, as I was, then, there’s no reason not to like that offer.

The bottom line is that somewhat hidden within the many benefits that your credit card provides, there are awesome savings to be had through credit card savings programs. All you have to do is just register or use your card.

credit card savings programs
credit card savings programs are pretty easy to use

What to do when you lose your credit card

It has happened to all of us. When you lose your credit card, it’s pretty unnerving. Thoughts of potential fraud, inconvenience, hassle, and more swarm through my head when this has happened to me. Not only that, but since I try to remember my credit card numbers, having to learn a new a sequence of 16 digits is a huge pain.

There are a few things to know, though, if and when you lose your credit card to lessen the burden of getting back on your feet. First, relax. According to consumer protection benefits offered by many credit card issuers, such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover, you typically will be out $0 for any unauthorized use of the card. This has been a standard practice for years, and for obvious reasons, it encourages consumers to continue to favor credit cards over cash, which cannot be replaced if lost. Second, getting a new card reissued is pretty painless. Simply call the issuer and describe the scenario to them. After answering a few questions, they will typically express mail a replacement card  to you within a few days. Third, if you haven’t done so, be sure you alert all of your recurring billers, such as cable and mobile phone providers, so that they don’t keep charging a card that no longer is valid. While it’s hard enough to deal with the lost card, the last thing you want is a company to think you are a deadbeat, too.

lose your credit card

Call them immediately when you lose your credit card

How to save money on moving expenses

Whether for a new job, home, or personal reasons, moving expenses are likely going to eat into your wallet at some point in your life. And, for more transient groups, such as students and younger professionals and families, moving seems to be a frequent event as well for many years. But, there are ways you can contain some of these costs, as I have experienced recently.

If you are not moving far, especially if your friends are no longer into the whole “pizza and beer” ploy, you can save money on one area of moving expenses, boxes. Boxes are like batteries, an expensive necessity in life. But, there are alternatives to buying boxes, especially if you live in an apartment building or high density area with liquor or grocery stores. If you live in an apartment building, peruse your building’s “bulk trash” room to see if anyone has recently thrown out a box, preferably in tact. And, if you want boxes that already have slots, dividers, and padding, visit your local liquor store and ask for spares.

Moving expenses are annoying, but they can be controlled a bit with a little creative thinking and planning. I have even heard of Craigslist ads offering free boxes just for the taking.

moving expenses

free boxes help can help you save on moving expenses