I’ve been purposefully avoiding the topic of spending given the bombardment about holiday shopping. Buying things we don’t need is not exactly a path to building wealth. What’s more, I dislike buying things only to see them drop in price soon after. It makes me feel like a dummy!
That said, I’ve got needs too baby! Thankfully, my one and only rewards credit card just got a little better. I’ve been a Citi ThankYou® Preferred Rewards Card user for the past eight years because of their comprehensive rewards program. Everything is linked up to my online account where points accrue like clockwork every month. My goal is to focus as many accounts and assets with one bank as possible to maximize the benefits.
Just in time for the shopping season, I got an e-mail from Citibank highlighting their new Citi® Price Rewind Program. I’ve been waiting for such a program for a while now. When you shop with your Citi ThankYou® Card, simply register your purchase and Citi will search retailers for a lower price for 30 days after your purchase date. If the price drops more than $25 in that time, you’ll be notified by email that you’re eligible to receive a refund!
The theme is, “You do the shopping, Citi® Price Rewind does the shopping around.” Smart!
Everybody wants the lowest price possible, but seldom do people spend enough time searching. When I see something I like that’s priced fair enough, I make a purchase. I can’t be bothered with spending more than 10 minutes trying to save $25 bucks even though I feel stupid when I see a price drop after. By registering my purchase, I don’t have to search anymore.
MY POTENTIAL HOLIDAY SHOPPING LIST AND SAVINGS EXAMPLE
It’s always fun to list out things to potentially buy during the holidays. Whether we go through with the purchase or not is another matter. I’ve found that when we list out the things we want and add up the total cost, we end up not spending as much!
* Canon EOS Rebel T3i DSLR Camera: $600 (Considering a serious foray into photography as I try and take all my own pictures for this site)
* Canon Macro Lens: $515 (Macro and/or telescopic lens)
* 13″ MacBook Pro: $1,600-$2,400 (My Macbook is from 2007)
* Nike Air Trainer 1 Shoes: $110 (Retro kicks from the 1980′s)
* Nike Zoom Vapor 9 Tour “Federer” Tennis Shoes: $130 (Tennis shoes wear out every four months now)
* 2 Babolat AeroPro Drive Tennis Racquets: $230 (Always need two+ because strings break during competition all the time)
* Various winter clothes: $300 (Scarf, jacket, pants)
* Tiffany’s or similar Jewelry: $30 – $1,000 (Does it matter what I get so long as it’s in a pretty box?)
* Thermador Professional Oven: $4,000 (My digital display broke and it will cost $2,500 to fix)
Total: ~$6,000 pre-tax.
I can easily see the Canon DSLR Camera, tennis racquets, jewelry and various winter clothes go on sale at some point during the holidays. Laptop prices are all over the place right now as well if I don’t buy an Apple. I don’t understand how millions of people can afford a $1,700 Macbook Pro 13″ Retina Display, but I guess it’s a bull market! The camera might drop by $100, the tennis racquets by $50, and the laptop by $100 within 30 days of purchase for a total automatic savings of $250 easy.
My biggest fear is buying an oven! The Thermador Professional probably has the highest mark-up of all the items on the list. I had no idea ovens cost so much because I’ve never bought an oven before. I’m simply replacing my existing Thermador Professional oven with a new one. Single oven prices range from $1,000-$5,000 so I know there is a lot of wiggle room. I’m sticking with Thermador, Viking, or Wolf because these brands are what future buyers of my house expect at this price point. If I was replacing the oven in my studio rental, then anything is good!
SAVE ME FROM THE CROWDS
I absolutely HATE shopping when everybody else is shopping. There is no freaking way I’m going to go to the mall during the weekend to shop for deals during the holidays. I’m doing 95% of my shopping online at Amazon or directly on the retailer’s site.
There’s never a need to wait for sales to get the best deals anymore. Make a reasonable estimate of when a sale will take place, register the product online through Price Rewind, and rest assured you’re good for the next 30 days. The new program is excellent and recommend anybody looking for a rewards credit card to pick up a Citi ThankYou® Preferred Rewards Card.
Happy savings! Just remember to not go crazy! Now if the BMW dealer would finally allow me to spend more than $3,000 on my credit card to buy a car….
OTHER CREDIT CARD RECOMMENDATION
If you are an avid traveler and looking for a travel rewards credit card, you can sign up for the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard with a $89 annual fee for double the points on all purchases and 40,000 signup miles ($400 value) or the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard with no annual fee with double the points on travel and dining and 20,000 signup miles ($200 value). I’m going with the version with the annual fee because the first year’s fee is waived. You can read a more detailed review I wrote of the Barclaycard Arrival here.