practically free friday #5 – score stuff with credit cards rewards

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This post isn’t really a DIY//crafty way to get something for (nearly) nothing, but I still think it’s worth the mention.

**An initial caveat, however: this post is about using a credit card to get free stuff, but don’t assume this means I am advocating debt. I exploit the perks of credit cards without using them how they want you to use them. I am 100% anti debt unless it’s for a house or school loans!**

A couple years ago I switched to a Visa Rewards Card from just a regular-ol’ Visa. I put EVERY purchase on my credit card, rather than use my debit card, and simply pay it off each month. My tuition, which is reimbursed by my employer, goes on my card. When I save up for something, like a trip, I pay for everything with my card, then pay it off with savings right away.

Those rewards points can really add up this way! So I finally decided to cash in on my two-years worth of points this morning.

I’m wrapping up my 60-day Buy Nothing New challenge at the end of this month. A strategy I have always used for saving money, is to “sleep on it” in terms of purchases. I rarely buy anything right when I see it (unless it’s a super great deal and already on my mental list to look for). So during this 60-day challenge I am really getting a chance to think through my wants, and I’ve written them down as I covet or “need” something. My idea was, the items I was still gaga for after the 60 days, would be allowed. But when I was reminded to check my rewards balance, I decided I could justify bringing a few new items in my life with no guilt!

Ya’ll wanna voyeur at my list? If you’re like me you do. Creepers.

  • Extra-cushy yoga mat
  • Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD
  • Rugged sandals (like Tevas)
  • Beaded sandals
  • Solar landscape lighting
  • A roomy tote bag for hauling stuff to yoga, cooking club, or a million other things. I always use my Envirosax for everything, but then forget to put them back in my car for grocery shopping!
  • A frame for a print I bought back in February or March
  • A reusable iced tea cup with lid and straw

I know, I know. Want want want.

I chose the most expensive things on the list (a $10 DVD could wait til June 1!). Here’s what I ended up with, using my rewards points:

Vera Bradley tote bag. At $80 this would be a ridiculous splurge for me, so this was the perfect way to indulge.

ImageKeen sandals. These are infinitely more awesome than I was even anticipating shopping for, and I can’t wait to wear these camping all summer.

ImageCopper solar landscape lighting. I am so excited to put these in my flower beds! I’ve been drooling over the outdoor section at Target for months wanting to just break my own challenge rules. Getting them for “free” is like co-starring with Ryan Gosling. I get to cheat without cheatin’. HEY-O!

ImageThat’s about $225 worth of fun new things for myself for free! The lighting and sandals I’d have been purchasing eventually anyway and this was a great way to splurge on a fun bag I’d been eying for months. Yippee!

So, do you use rewards cards? How have you taken advantage of this kind of thing? Sky Miles? Cash back?

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2 thoughts on “practically free friday #5 – score stuff with credit cards rewards”

  1. I love my rewards card – it’s the Capital One Venture Rewards Card. I get 2 points for every dollar spent and can trade in points to reimburse any travel purchase I make on my card. We’ve already gotten several free flights from it and we haven’t even had it a year. I’m totally obsessed and like you, we pay it off in full each month – no interest fees for this girl!

    1. I would probably love a travel rewards card but I have this weird thing – I don’t feel guilty spending money on an experience, but I do feel guilty spending on STUFF. The rewards card lets me get STUFF guilt free so it’s not such a dirty word. Which option would be the best deal, however, I have no idea! Glad to hear when people are exploiting them to the fullest!

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