spending

Retail Discount Offers: Bargain or Trap?

Tips on how to determine if those retailer discounts are really worth it.

Move over, Sunday coupons: Retailers dangle discounts in other ways these days. But to get the deals, you have to give something in return. Here’s our take on when the trade-off is worth it.

Become an e-mail subscriber. Worth it, but wait until you’re buying a big-ticket item, says online shopping expert Michelle Madhok. You get a discount of, say, 10% or more, but the coupon is good only once, and only for a limited time.

Connect on social media. Worth it for retailers where you shop frequently. By “liking” stores on Facebook or following them on Twitter, you get early access to sales or special discounts. The same goes for downloading a store’s mobile app. For example, Gilt.com, a flash-sale Web site, runs mobile-only sales.

Get a store credit card. Not worth it, especially if you carry a balance. The average interest rate for retail cards is 23%, compared with 15% on general-purpose cards. The interest you pay will quickly wipe out the discount of 15% or more you get when you open the card. Instead, use sites such as GiftCardGranny.com to find discounted store gift cards. The savings can be as much as 20% or more.

Most Popular

Is the Stock Market a House of Cards?
investing

Is the Stock Market a House of Cards?

The stock market volatility we’ve been experiencing and the apparent disconnect with the broader economy have some investors wondering just that. But …
October 12, 2020
Stock Market Holidays in 2020
Markets

Stock Market Holidays in 2020

Is the stock market open today? Take a look at which days the NYSE, Nasdaq and bond markets take off in 2020.
October 12, 2020
10 Worst Things to Keep in Your Wallet
Scams

10 Worst Things to Keep in Your Wallet

Storing your passport book or card, a spare key, or any of these other important items in your wallet leaves you open to identity theft -- or worse.
October 9, 2020

Recommended

The Ways Pets Improve Our Retirement Well-Being
Empty Nesters

The Ways Pets Improve Our Retirement Well-Being

Getting pet-friendly when you leave the work world may give you a healthy boost.
October 14, 2020
9 Tips for Better Time Management in Retirement
retirement

9 Tips for Better Time Management in Retirement

These important time management techniques will help destress your life as you get busier -- yes, busier -- in your golden years.
October 14, 2020
The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Prime Day 2020: When It Starts, the Best and Worst Deals, Competing Events, More
spending

The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Prime Day 2020: When It Starts, the Best and Worst Deals, Competing Events, More

In a first, the giant retailer has pushed Amazon Prime Day this year from July to October, effectively launching the holiday shopping season weeks ear…
October 8, 2020
Retirees' Guide to Giving for the Greatest Impact
Making Your Money Last

Retirees' Guide to Giving for the Greatest Impact

The need for charity is climbing, particularly to combat the rising poverty, hunger and homelessness from the pandemic’s economic fallout. Here's how …
October 7, 2020