Thanksgiving weekend is almost upon us, and while there’s much to be thankful for, the hefty bills around the holiday season are never a welcome sight.
Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving or just coming as a guest, somehow the expenses seem to accumulate faster than you can cover them. Fortunately, there are many ways to make up for all the holiday spending you’re doing during this time, and using smart credit card purchasing power is the best way of all. Check out five ways you can maximize your credit card spending, so you actually come out on top for Thanksgiving 2017.
Tip #1: Potluck Properly
One of the most popular traditions celebrated during Thanksgiving in Canada is the communal meal. Everyone brings their favourite dish, minimizing the cost of the lavish meal and adding an element of community and sharing to the festivities. While this might seem like an obvious way to save if you’re the one hosting Thanksgiving dinner, think again. In fact, you can actually make out better by doing it on your own. Here’s how:
- Ask everyone to chip in for the meal. It doesn’t have to be much, and most people will gladly fork over some cash in lieu of having to make something themselves.
- Go shopping using your credit card that offers the most points for grocery shopping.
- This way, you get the cash (so you’re not paying for the meal yourself), but you also get the rewards because you’ve put the purchases on your own card. Brilliant!
You can also offer to do the shopping for someone else if you aren’t the one hosting Thanksgiving, and then get reimbursed. You still get the points!
Tip #2: Shop Smart
Not all credit cards offer the same benefits, so weigh your options before you shop. Reach for your card that provides a hefty cash back specifically on grocery shopping. For example, both the Scotia Momentum Infinite and the Scotia Gold Amex offer 4% cash back on groceries, making them good choices for fueling this long weekend in Canada. Alternatively, the SimplyCash card from Amex gives a generous 5% back on eligible grocery purchases during the first 6 months, so if you haven’t signed up for this one yet, it can be a lucrative opportunity for Thanksgiving and throughout the rest of the holiday season.
Tip #3: Save on Gifts for Hosts & Guests
If you like to add that little bit of extra to really wow either your guests or your hosts, have a present on hand. Of course, this will add to your Thanksgiving 2017 expenses, but if you plan your shopping spree properly, you can also save big in this area. Choose a card like the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard that offers shopping perks like cash back and price protection, so you get the best deals and prices no matter where you shop.
Tip #4: Save on Travel
Going somewhere else for Thanksgiving weekend? Make sure you save big on your travel expenses by spending smartly. Use a credit card that maximizes your travel savings, giving you money back when you fill up on gas and other purchases at participating gas chains.
If you’re flying, there are plenty of ways to increase the benefits gleaned from your travel plans, too. Use a valued Canadian card like BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard to rack up valuable frequent flyer miles for your tickets, and get air miles perks like 25% off air miles, double points at participating partners, and VIP airport lounge services.
Tip #5: Get Paid Back for the Trimmings
There are lots of other smaller expenses you don’t think of that crop up around the holiday season, as well. Purchasing that little bit of new cosmetics to really look like the host with the most? What about stocking up on band aids, Tylenol, and other go-tos for the little emergencies that come up invariably when you stuff that many people into close quarters for an entire weekend? Make sure you use a good card that’ll deliver ample rewards for your drug store purchases, like the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite that offers 2% back.
Saving Big by Shopping Smart
Smart shoppers exploit cash back deals, point-accruing cards, and other benefit-laden opportunities to keep the savings coming even while they spend. So, now the only question is: how much will you save over this long weekend in Canada?