Hello, Savvy Shoppers, and welcome to this week’s edition, where we find out a couple of surprising ways to get money back on purchases. We’re curious – how many of these have you heard of or used?
Pay with PayPal for free returns
If you’re an avid online shopper (guilty!) but you hesitate to buy from stores that don’t offer free returns, this may be your solution. When you pay with PayPal, they can refund your return shipping costs if you need to send something back – up to $45 per return and eight returns each year.
Sign up for a PayPal account and activate Refunded Returns. Then go shopping and pay with PayPal – which is accepted pretty much everywhere online these days. If you need to return it for whatever reason, as long as it’s covered by the seller’s return policy, you just submit a request with proof of return within 30 days of return and 150 days of purchase. Then your refund will appear in your PayPal account, usually within five business days.
If you max out the benefits on this, you could save $360 a year. And as long as your credit card is your preferred form of payment in PayPay, you also get your credit card rewards points – bonus!
Get a price guarantee on credit cards
This lesser known credit card insurance is often provided within the suite of complimentary insurances offered (and often ignored) with higher end credit cards. Price protection guarantees are designed to stop you feeling ripped off if you see an item you’ve just bought at a lower price elsewhere.
For example: you think you’ve got a good price on your new phone, but a week later you spot the same model $150 cheaper. Ouch. However, if you paid for your phone with your credit card and you meet the conditions of the card, you may be able to claim back the difference in price. That’s $150 back in your pocket – win!
Each card will have its own terms, but fairly consistently you’ll find that: the two items must be identical (same model etc), they must be sold in a brick-and-mortar store (not an online-only retailer), they may need to be within a certain distance of each other, often there’s a minimum amount for the price difference and usually there’s a time limit on claims.
We certainly wouldn’t be getting a credit card based on the price guarantee but it’s worth checking to see if your card offers it. That way, when you spot a recent purchase on a huge sale elsewhere, you avoid that nagging sense that you wasted money.
Buy gift cards
No longer just the classic Christmas present from the distant aunt, gift cards can also be a savvy way to save a little on your everyday expenses (or your bigger, more fun purchases). Macquarie Bank customers can buy gift cards using a Macquarie Transaction and Savings account at a small discount. There are dozens of gift cards to choose from, including Woolworths, Uber, Big W, Bonds, Bunnings, Dan Murphy’s, The Iconic, Caltex, Ebay, JB Hi-Fi, Jetstar…
So, for example, Woolworths cards are at a 4 per cent discount. Since the average Australian household spends $153 a week, or $7956 a year, on groceries, buying gift cards through Macquarie and using them for your groceries would save you $318 a year. You can get 1 per cent off Bunnings cards, which would save you $10 on $1000 of DIY; with the average Australian spending $2300 on automotive fuel each year, 3 per cent off Caltex cards would save you $69; and 7 per cent off at Hoyts could save you $7 on a family trip to the cinema (popcorn included).
These are only small savings but every little counts. However, it’s worth considering whether you’ll use the whole amount on the card. You’re better buying a smaller card and making up the rest with cash than having a small amount left on a bigger card that forces you to make another purchase.
That’s all for this week, shoppers. Stay savvy!