Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Credit Cards for Online Shopping

Who used a credit card for Christmas shopping? Raise your hand.

I not only used a credit card for some Christmas shopping, I also applied for a new one. I know what you are going to say. It's not a great idea to get a new credit card when I have worked my hieny off to pay my credit card debt in full.

And, if you subscribe to Dave Ramsey's way of thinking, you would be right. But, I've found that cutting up all my credit cards and using cash for everything just does not fit my lifestyle.

Since I'm frugal, first and foremost, I must find the best deal on the things I buy. And often, the things I've decided to buy are a better bargain online.

For example, I decided that I was going to buy a better air purifier this Christmas. I have been using a Holmes air purifier, and although it is a good price at my local Wal-Mart, it doesn't do a great job cleaning the air. Also, the filter has to be replaced often and the price of the filter is almost as much as the machine itself.

So, I decided I was going to do some research. I wanted to find an air purifier with a better customer rating, and one that has a washable/permanent filter. The first place I look when I want customer ratings is Amazon.com.

Amazon.com has just about everything I'm looking for, and most things at Amazon have customer ratings (if there is no rating, I wouldn't buy it unless I have recommendations from friends or family).

So, anyway, I went to
Amazon.com to find ratings on an air purifier and found one with 4.5 stars that I liked the look of. This air purifier (Honeywell HFD-120Q Tower) has a permanent (washable) filter and the manufacturer offers a $20 rebate.

Also, Amazon had a promotional discount for purchases over $125. This discount deducts $25 from your order when you enter the promo code at checkout.

See the savings adding up?

Now here is the clincher. Amazon.com has partnered with Chase to offer a branded Amazon.com Visa credit card. If you apply for this card through Amazon's site, you will receive a $30 credit after your first Amazon purchase.

How could I pass this up? I was going to buy an air purifier anyway. But, buying it through Amazon.com with the Amazon credit card would save me $30. Once I deduct the $25 promotional code and the $20 rebate, I end up paying $75 for a $150 air purifier.

Now, how can you be frugal and NOT take advantage of this deal? Since I make purchases from Amazon several times a year, this credit card will continue to earn credits for me everytime I use it.

Using credit cards saves me money, especially when I shop online. So, I won't be cutting up all of my cards.