One of the biggest yearly shopping dates is swiftly approaching, and bargain hunters are already scanning websites to keep up-to-date with the latest deal predictions for Black Friday, which falls on November 29 this year. Last year, many stores opened the night before, at around 8pm. Entire families rushed to stores right after Thanksgiving dinner was over, others arrived at midnight. There has been a new shopping trend on the rise: online shopping. I’ve put together some great online shopping tips to help you really make the most of Black Friday sales.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), last year consumers spent $59.1 billion from Thursday to Sunday over Thanksgiving. An interesting statistic is that 41% of a consumer’s total weekend spending was online. 27% of consumers shopped online on Thanksgiving Day, and 47.5% shopped online on Black Friday. According to another survey by ShopperTrak, 24% of consumers used mobile devices to shop at a retailer’s website. The NRF concluded that average individual spending was $432 over the four-day weekend.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when shopping is your payment method. Paying with the right type of credit card can help you earn rewards, cash back and other benefits. My favorite type of credit cards are cash back credit cards since they let you earn cash rebates on your spending. Two of our highest-ranked cash back credit cards are Discover It Card, issued by Discover Financial (NYSE:DFS), and Chase Freedom, issued by JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM). Both cards offer 5% cash back on spending categories that rotate every 3 months.
Apart from using the right kind of credit card on your purchases, there is another way to save even more – by shopping through a credit card mall! There is a big difference between these malls and other online stores – these malls let you earn cash back and rewards. Two of the best credit card malls are ShopDiscover by Discover and Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Mall.
For example, at ShopDiscover you can purchase from over 200 top retailers and compare prices and products easily. Basically, it is like a shopping hub where you can find all your favorite malls and brand named stores and find all the best deals from each retailer in a click. You’ve got the convenience factor, but what else? Here comes the best part, at ShopDiscover you can earn from 5-20% cash back on your purchases! If you click on the ‘deals’ button, you will also find all kinds of special deals and offers like free shipping and discounts.
Since you will most likely find all of your favorite brands at ShopDiscover, and they will all be offering Black Friday sales, you’ll get more than other bargain hunters by receiving 5-20% cash back on your purchases. You’ll need a Discover card to shop at ShopDiscover. I would recommend the Discover It Card since its October-December 5% quarterly program lets you earn 5% cash back on online shopping (on the first $1,500 spent).
Let’s take a look at some numbers to understand this better. This is the scenario: you have a Discover It Card and you are shopping through ShopDiscover on Black Friday. You find your dream deal, it’s 70% off, and you’re buying it at Toshiba (which offers 10% cash back). Since you’re shopping online and you haven’t surpassed your $1,500 cap, you get an additional 5% cash back (or 1% cash back if you exceed the $1,500 limit). Let’s say the 70% discounted product costs $100. This is what everyone who grabs this deal will get. But what about you? You get an even better deal because you get 15% cash back on your purchase (10% from ShopDiscover and 5% from your Discover It Card) – it would be like getting the product for $85!
Important note: in order to benefit from the 5% cash back categories from your Discover It Card, you have to sign-up to each quarterly program to activate it.
You can also earn lots of rewards when shopping through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Mall. It has over 400 top retailers and you can earn up to 10 extra points per $1 spent when shopping certain retailers like Macy’s, Best Buy, Lowe’s, and many more. You need to own a Chase credit card in order to use Chase’s Ultimate Rewards Mall. I would recommend Chase Freedom since it is one of the best cash back cards in the market right now.
As a recap, shopping with the right credit card and through a credit card mall, can help you save even more on your Black Friday shopping. And you won’t have to brave the crowds! Here is my selection of the two best credit cards for Black Friday online shopping:
Discover It Card lets you earn 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly. Remember to sign up to each 5% category to activate it. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on every other eligible purchase. No annual fee. Use this card to earn up to 20% cash back when shopping though ShopDiscover. 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 14 months. After that time period, you will pay a 10.99% – 22.99% variable APR on balance transfers and purchases. Check out our full review of Discover Card here.
Chase Freedom lets you earn 5% cash back on categories that rotate every 3 months (up to $1,500). You can earn 1% cash back on your other eligible purchases. No annual fee. Enjoy a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months and a variable APR of 13.99% to 22.99% thereafter. Check out our full Chase Freedom review here.