Posts Tagged 'retail'

Gift card tips for the holidays

If you still have gifts to buy this week, you may be thinking about gift cards.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers tips on purchasing gift cards – especially considering new rules passed this past summer.

The FTC notes that gift cards must now show their expiration date (if there is one), cards can only charge inactivity fees after one year, and the money on a gift card cannot expire for at least five years.

There’s also a difference between retail gift cards, offered by stores and restuarants, and bank gift cards, which are offered by Visa, MasterCard, and American Express for you to spend like a debit card.

The new gift card rules are supposed to help protect consumers – which is good news for anyone who gets a gift card in their stocking this holiday.

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Get holiday deals using your American 1 cards

lifetakesvisaholidays

If you’re a holiday shopper, you know to never pay full price – or full shipping – on anything, right?

Just in time for discount shoppers, both Visa and Mastercard are offering discounts to many merchants just by using their cards. For American 1 members, that means simply using your American 1 Visa credit card or Mastercard debit card can earn you great deals from big-name retailers.

Mastercard is offering its Mastercard Savings program free for any Mastercard debit card holders. After you sign up, Mastercard will send you links and coupons for discounts while you shop. The discounts apply to both online and brick-and-mortar retailers. Their How it Works page shows some examples of the discounts offered.

Visa, on the other hand, seems to tailor their discounts around the holidays. Their Holiday Deal Train page is decked-out in winter scenery, and a online train that shows various retailer discounts.

Both of these programs are free for American 1 cardholders to use. Mastercard’s Savings program does come with a $30/year premium feature, but it’s totally optional.

If you use either of these programs, be sure to let us know how it goes. Were the discounts enough? What retailers did you use? Sound off in the comments!


Earn extra holiday money this fall



Need to earn some extra money for the holiday season? The Frugal Village offers 15 great tips on how to do chores for others to earn some extra pocket money, including cleaning out gutters, hanging Christmas lights, babysitting, selling stuff on eBay, and working a seasonal job in retail.

American 1’s Christmas Club account is a great way to save up for holiday shopping over the year. Are your spending habits changing this holiday season? How do you save for Christmas shopping?