Frugal Style: Earn Rewards and Still PAY CASH for your purchases

Shop until you drop

Creative Commons License photo credit: robholland

If you are like so many people out there who don’t want to get stuck with huge credit card bills, BUT you still want to earn rewards at your favorite stores – well, I’ve got the answer for you. A big Thanks goes out to my friend, Barbara for this fabulous topic!

If you love to shop at a store that has a “rewards” card, but it’s tied to a credit card, such as Target or Lane Bryant, NO PROBLEM. Go for it and open the credit card that earns you the rewards for your purchases. Why, whatever do you mean, November Sunflower? I mean, OPEN THAT CREDIT CARD, then use the card to make your purchases, then TAKE YOUR CASH AND MAKE A PAYMENT TO YOUR CREDIT CARD RIGHT THERE IN THE STORE. That’s right, just whip out the cash you were going to use anyway, pay the amount you just charged to that rewards earning credit card and BOOM, you’ve just earned rewards using the card without worrying about paying the bill at a later date. Which we know is how people get themselves into trouble, because when you use the credit card, the cash then goes to buy something else. Never making into the bank for the bill to be paid when it arrives in the mail.

I know, so many people out there say Credit Cards are evil. Well, they aren’t. You just have to use the cards CORRECTLY! I’m at Target on a regular basis. I love it there. Target’s new card gives you 5% cash back, if you make the purchases on the card. Why not use the card, then pay it right there with the cash you had in your “purse.” With Lane Bryant, the store sends you a statement with reward “checks” on them, so you still get the rewards and the statement, but the balance is always zero. It’ll make you feel good knowing you earned rewards for shopping, but have no balance because the cash you had with you paid the bill right then and there!

Barbara shared another great tip: ALMOST EVERY STORE WILL ACCEPT EXPIRED GIFT CHECKS AND/OR “KOHL’S CASH”  if you ask them.  In the case of Lane Bryant and DSW (or any store that issues paper rewards checks) you just call and they re-issue it on the next statement (checks come on the statements).  There are some KOHL’S customer service will accept the Kohl’s cash late (maybe 8-10 days) if you ask them, (not every single store will do this, so you MUST ask at Customer Service at the individual store you’re shopping at).

One final tip from Barbara: Stores in NY and CO will allow you to use an expired coupon within reason, as long as they haven’t started a “sale” already in the store (Barbara tells me that sales are always opposite coupon dates, the coupons are good for a week, then the sale is on the next week once the coupons expire). AGAIN, ask the store you are shopping at before you start shopping. Bring your coupons to customer service and find out their policies. Not every store in NY and CO will do this, but why not take the chance and ASK. You’ve got nothing to lose by asking!

Huge thanks goes out to my friend and AVID reader, Barbara. Currently, she’s got a great deal happening on a house on Long Island if you’re looking! Just shoot me a comment if you’re house hunting on Long Island.

By | 2015-02-26T19:39:05+00:00 October 21, 2010|Money|3 Comments

About the Author:

Staci loves to write, and loves to share her "take" on everything thrown her way. Movies, entertainment, food, fashion, shopping, money, travel and family. There's nothing off limits at, and Staci's always telling it like it is: good, bad, and all that lies in between!


  1. Ally Loprete October 22, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Great advice!! I follow this closely, but its good to be reminded. How can anyone go wrong with this method?

    • November Sunflower October 22, 2010 at 11:58 am

      It’s an amazing way to keep on top of your budget, but still collect the rewards. I love it. Thanks for being a fan!

  2. […] always kills me when I hear about people cutting up credit cards. It’s like a knife in my heart, or a hit over the head with a shovel. It’s just plain […]

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