Tis the season for holiday shopping. From Black Friday to January discounts, the whole country is sprinting to the malls or clicking away frantically on their computers. Although these retail rituals may be a source of stress to some doctors, others enjoy the act of picking out the perfect gift for a loved one. And then we have our savvy shoppers who have found a way to add to their assets while shopping the day away.
Cashback or point accruing shopping portals have been around for years. They offer shoppers (mostly online shoppers) the opportunity to make their usual purchases through a website portal and a percentage of their purchase will be given back to them in cash or points. Here are some interesting ways to bolster your savings while shopping till you drop.
Rakuten. The grandaddy of them all, Rakuten was one of the first to put this concept into practice under its original moniker, Ebates. It’s a fairly straightforward concept; you register with the site and shop online using the portal and you receive a percentage back via check or PayPal. There are thousands of retailers to choose from including the big guys—Target, Walmart, and Kohls.
Upromise. Any parent or grandparent looking to add to their 529 plan for college savings should consider signing up for Upromise. Once you register, you can use this website portal to shop at hundreds of well-known retailers and a portion of your purchases will be deposited in your 529 plan. Even if you are a hard-core user of this handy site, don’t expect to get all four years of Harvard paid for, but over time, you can cover room and board or maybe a few semesters worth of books.
Acorns. Acorns is the darling of investors looking to cash in on the shop for pay concept. Unlike other portals, Acorns is providing funds that go directly into exchange-traded fund investment accounts that help to save for retirement. It is more of a banking and investing concept than its fellow sites and offers a lot of additional wealth management functionality.
Mileage Plus. This is the frequent flier program of United Airlines, and like so many of these types of programs, Mileage Plus offers the opportunity to accrue frequent flier miles by shopping using its portal. Make sure to sign up for email updates as there are special offers from time to time.