EAST BRIDGEWATER (CBS) – Getting up at the crack of dawn to fight the black Friday crowds, scouring the internet and waiting for last minute bargains, these are all tricks shoppers use to save money on holiday shopping. They can help, but they can also be a lot of work.
Jessykara Blum of East Bridgewater doesn’t bother with all that bargain-hunting. To stretch her holiday dollars, all she has to do is shop.
She uses a debit card that offers money back on everything she buys. “Then I don’t feel guilty that I’m spending my money,” she said.
“It’s similar to a credit card, in that people are accumulating perks,” explained Babson College professor Glenn Kelley.
But shoppers earn rewards without going into debt.
A couple of online banks are offering some great deals during the holidays.
Now, they are sweetening the pot for the holidays. “Our customers can get five percent cash back on all the places they love to shop for the holidays,” explained Perk Street ceo Dan O’Malley.
We’re talking big name retailers like Macy’s, Gap, Best Buy, Toys R’ Us and many more.
They are stores that will come in handy for Jessykara. “I have a niece and a friend’s daughter that I will be shopping for and Toys R Us is where most of their favorite things are,” she said.
The reward on each purchase is small, but it all adds up.
Retail experts predict the average family will spend about $650 dollars on gifts this year for family and friends.
O’Malley says that’s about what a Perk Street customer will earn in rewards over the course of a year. “That’s basically going to erase all those purchases they made for the holidays,” he said.
To collect your rewards, Perk Street mails you a gift card from a retailer of your choice.
You can also get a visa card that can be used anywhere. ING deposits the cash directly into your account.
So how do they do it? O’Malley says Perk Street saves millions every year because they don’t have brick and mortar branches. ING also works without branches.
The banks are able to pass some of those savings on to their customers. “I think this could be a trend and this could be an opportunity to fundamentally see more online banking,” Professor Kelley said.
For Jessykara, it beats any credit card rewards program. “If you are using a credit card, by the time you pay the interest, is it really a reward?”
The ING promotion last through the end of November. The 5% deal at Perk Street last until the end of the year.