4 Surprising Places Money is Hiding in Your Life
While Shopkick focuses on major chains, LevelUp tends to partner with Mom-and-Pop shops and individual franchises. Once you download the app, you can load money onto it using your debit card and use it to pay at various partner restaurants and stores—such as Auntie Anne's or Quiznos Subs. Most shops offer anywhere from $1-$10 when you use LevelUp in their store for the first time, or for spending a certain amount. The average user saves $25 per month with the app, said LevelUp spokesperson Jenelle Tortorella.
The challenge with these apps is making sure you only buy items you need, instead of rationalizing impulse buys with, "But this gift card will give me $5 off!"
Some cards keep the same cash-back benefits year-round. American Express' Blue Cash Everyday card offers 3 percent back at the supermarket and 2 percent back when you get gas or shop at select department stores.
Often, the biggest benefits can be gained using credit-card companies' shopping portals on their websites. Mastercard's MarketPlace functions almost like Groupon or LivingSocial. When users log in, they're instructed to type in their zip code, which will pull up the deals closest to them, like $30 for a car-maintenance package that includes three oil changes and two tire rotations, or $49 for $2,000 worth of Invisalign invisible braces and teeth whitening.
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