What’s better than a sale price? An even lower price.
That’s not a bad joke. It’s the beauty of cash back. When you earn cash back on a purchase, you’re effectively buying something for even less than what’s listed on the price tag — even when the price tag already reflects a discount, such as you’ll find during a sale.
So, take your pick from the following cash-back avenues available while shopping sales — or buying most anything else — during the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
1. Cash-back portals
A cash-back portal is a website or app through which you can earn cash back on purchases — cash rebates, technically. I break down the process in “4 Websites That Pay You to Go Shopping.”
Two cash-back portals are running Labor Day weekend promotions that involve higher cash-back offers than usual:
- Ebates has a website and an app, so you can earn cash back whether you shop on a computer or smartphone. Note on Ebates’ homepage that now through Labor Day, it is offering double cash back at certain retailers. Click on “See All Stores” (written in green) for a list of all retailers participating in this promotion.
- Ibotta is a free app that offers three ways to earn cash rebates. One way is to do your online shopping via the app — effectively using it like a cash-back portal. Ibotta is also running a Labor Day weekend promotion that involves extra cash back when you go through the app to do online shopping at a handful of retailers. Ibotta calls them “mobile shopping offers.” Open the app to view them.
2. Discounted gift cards
This is not a true cash-back savings method, I admit, but the effect is the same. Discounted gift cards are sold for less than their face value — a gift card that’s good for $100 but for which you pay only $80, for example. That’s effectively the same as earning $20 in cash back on a $100 purchase made through a cash-back portal. The only difference is the savings come upfront when you buy the gift card.
There are two main types of discounted gift cards:
- New gift cards can be purchased for less than their face value at wholesale clubs. Here is the Sam’s Club’s gift cards webpage, for example.
- Unwanted gift cards can be purchased for less than their face value at marketplaces like Cardpool.com and Raise.com. These are basically websites that enable folks with unwanted gift cards to sell them, and enable savvy shoppers to buy them. Note the banner at the top of Raise's website, where it says “EXTRA $5 OFF.” If you spend $100 on discounted gift cards for certain brands now through Labor Day, you’ll get an additional $5 off. Use promo code LABORDAY.
3. Rewards credit cards
If you pay off your credit card bills in full each month, you are not incurring interest charges. So instead of choosing a credit card based on a low interest rate, choose one based on great rewards.
Many folks fancy travel-related rewards like airline miles or hotel nights. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has earned free lodging for a weeklong trip this way — see “10 Ways to Score Free Lodging for Your Next Vacation.” I love my cash-back credit card, as I can spend cash rewards on whatever I want.
Whatever kind of rewards you prefer, there is likely a credit card out there for you. An easy way to find cards and compare their perks is to use Money Talks News’ credit card search tool.
Do you know about more Labor Day weekend promotions? Share them below or on Facebook.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.