Read This: Final Thoughts on "Stretching" Spending

During my "Stretch" Your Spending series, I discussed how you should use Airline Dining Programs, Cash Back Portals, and Reward Credit Cards to gain more value from your spending.  When combined, saving money via shopping around and using coupons and stretching your spending through my three aforementioned tips can literally save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars every year.  

Below are two scenarios that describe the benefits from stretching your spending.

Restaurant Dining
Let's say you go eat dinner at Chasin' Tails in Falls Church, VA.  After some crawfish and beers, you end up with a total bill of $95.00.  Luckily, since you've been reading Our Tips and Tricks (and telling all your friends about it), you're going to stretch your spending:
  • You use your rewards credit card that gives you 5% cash back on restaurant spending.
  • You have that credit card linked with your airline dining program, earning 5 miles per dollar.
After spending $95 on dinner, you stretched that value by earning $4.75 back in cash from your credit card and accruing 475 airline miles.  Good work!

Fancy graphic showing restaurant example

Furnishings Purchase
This time, let's say you're having a baby and need to buy the big items for the nursery.  After exhaustive searching and comparisons, you elect to buy a crib and dresser from Wayfair for a total of $487.*  Now that you've learned how to stretch your spending, you:
  • You arrive at Wayfair via a cash back portal, in this case Mr Rebates because its 3% rebate is higher than the 2% offered by Ebates.
  • You join Wayfair Rewards at checkout, earning you 3% back for use on a future Wayfair purchase.
  • You pay with a rewards credit card that gives you 2 points per dollar (2%) for your purchase.
So, after spending $487, you stretched that value by earning $14.61 back via Mr Rebates, receiving another $14.61 to use on a future Wayfair purchase through Wayfair Rewards, and accumulating 974 points that are equivalent to $9.74 via your rewards credit card.  You just stretched your spending by a respectable 8%!

Another fancy graphic showing online shopping example
Bottom Line
The examples above are just two of countless scenarios that depict how you can save money and earn travel rewards (e.g., miles) by using these three tips to stretch your spending.  And this is just a tutorial for beginners.  In future posts, I'll likely refer to this advice as well as introduce more advanced tips, so it's key that you sign-up and start using these programs now.  Also, as always, if you have friends, family, or colleagues that may benefit from tips and tricks like these, point them towards!

*I love Wayfair.  It has low prices and Wayfair Rewards is legit.  The rewards can be used soon after purchase and easily.  I once used a promotion code that offered 15x Wayfair Rewards, although in this case the promotion code cancelled the rebate via the cash back portal.  Also, if you see something on Amazon that's offered by Wayfair as a seller, go to Wayfair directly to get the Wayfair Rewards and, usually, free shipping.  

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