It's official: The groundhog has predicted six more weeks of winter. Bundle up for a short month filled with many festivities like Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day.
With so many events in store, February has the potential to be a heavy spending month, depending on your plans. Luckily, whether you’re a romantic or a die-hard football fan, you can still celebrate without derailing your financial New Year's resolutions.
Follow these four credit card tips for a more frugal February:
1. Check your progress on New Year's resolutions
It's time to check your progress on those financial resolutions made in the new year. Determine how much you can spend this month in alignment with your budget.
If you haven’t made a dent in your credit card debt, consider different ways to pay it off. This way, you can celebrate this month’s festivities with a get-out-of-debt plan in mind.
2. Get more value for your Super Bowl spread
Whether you’re spending Super Bowl Sunday on Zoom or gathering with those in your household, you can get more value for your football-shaped food, snacks and beverages.
Explore your credit cards for limited-time offers or ongoing rewards at supermarkets. A card like the $0-annual-fee Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, for example, earns 3% cash on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets, 2% at U.S. gas stations and U.S. department stores, and 1% on everything else. Terms apply (see rates and fees).
3. Spend smart for Valentine’s Day
Strategic shopping for Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day or Singles Awareness Day — however you choose to celebrate — can deliver significant value for your plans.
Get rewarded for thoughtful gifts
Flowers, chocolates and other gifts can easily dip into your budget if you’re scavenging for something special at the last minute. Make a plan for how you’ll save on gifts. Explore deals and your credit card offers to determine which course is best. Chase and American Express, for example, give additional incentives when you activate offers and shop with certain merchants.
Through Feb. 21, 2021, AmEx Offers gives you $15 back when you spend $35 or more on flowers (up to 10 times for a total of $150) at Teleflora. If you’re splurging on a gift for that significant other, you can get $100 back when you spend $500 or more on jewelry at Brilliant Earth in-store and online. Terms apply.
You could also explore offers on cash-back shopping portals like Rakuten that offer incentives for shopping with certain merchants.
If you can combine these purchases with a flat-rate credit card like the $0-annual-fee Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, you’ll get up to 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay it off. That's a welcomed discount for a potentially large purchase.
Get dinner and a movie with a side oF rewards
Save more money by cooking a tasty dinner at home. And even more by using a credit card that gets the most rewards on your supermarket spending. Your grocery store’s loyalty app or a cash-back app like Ibotta may also offer additional discounts or rewards.
Whether you choose to cook at home or order from a restaurant, a card like the $0*-annual-fee U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card can cover your Valentine’s Day dinner and movie. It earns 4 points on dining (including takeout and delivery), 2 points at grocery stores (including grocery delivery), gas stations and streaming services, and 1 point on all other purchases.
By staying on top of credit card offers in your mobile app or email inbox, you'll be able to choose the most valuable option for your Valentine's Day plans. For instance, Chase Offers gives you 10% back at DoorDash when you activate the promotion and use a Chase credit card to pay for the service. (This offer expires on Feb. 28, 2021.) Terms apply. If you have a co-branded AmEx travel credit card, you may also have access to limited-time monthly dining credits. Terms apply. Of course, you won't know what offers are available unless you check in with your credit cards every month.
4. Use Presidents Day offers to your advantage
February and Presidents Day can offer deals on big-ticket items like televisions, winter apparel and home goods like furniture and mattresses. You can take advantage of these offers to snag big savings on the things you need. Remember, a cash-back shopping portal can offer additional rewards or discounts. But, be sure to keep your financial resolutions in mind when you're deciding on a large purchase to avoid overspending.
A flat-rate credit card that earns 2% cash back on all purchases can get you some decent value on anything you buy. Or if you have a credit card that gives you some choice in your rewards-earning categories like the $0-annual-fee Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, you could earn more rewards. It offers 3% cash back in a category of your choice (among gas, dining, travel, drugstores, online shopping, or furniture and home-improvement stores) and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, for the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter (1% back after reaching that threshold). All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, see this page.