If you’re a student, get ready to say goodbye to homework-free summer nights. If you’re a parent, get ready for one of your first tasks of the school year: shopping for the best back-to-school deals.
This year, shoppers will spend much of their back-to-school budgets on apparel and electronics, according to the National Retail Federation. Fortunately, you may be able to multiply your rewards on these kinds of items without having to brave the crowds at brick-and-mortar stores.
Take a virtual stroll around your credit card’s online bonus mall first. Many, including the ones below, feature back-to-school sections. You might earn yourself some extra points, not to mention some extra credit on your first assignment.
Chase Ultimate Rewards®
If you’ve got your eyes on electronics, Chase Ultimate Rewards® features some big back-to-school bonuses. Earn extra points at Dell (6 points per $1 spent), Bose (6 points per $1 spent), Staples (4 points per $1 spent) and Samsung (4 points per $1 spent).
You could further boost your rewards, depending on which credit card you use:
- The Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. The annual fee is $0.
- With the Chase Freedom®, you’ll earn 5% cash back on rotating quarterly bonus categories (on up to $1,500 spent per quarter, then 1% back). All other spending earns 1% back. The annual fee is $0.
Wells Fargo Earn More Mall
A Wells Fargo credit card may give you access to the Go Far Rewards program and its Earn More Mall, where you’ll find plenty of back-to-school specials. For example, you can earn bonus points when you shop online at PacSun (8 points per $1 spent), Bed Bath & Beyond (6 points per $1 spent), JCPenney (5 points per $1 spent), Apple (2 points per $1 spent) and more.
Consider cards that could help you optimize the bonus mall or that fit your spending habits:
- The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The annual fee is $0.
- If you’re burning up a lot of gas between home and school, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card offers 3 points per $1 spent on gas. It also offers 2 points per $1 spent on restaurants, and 1 point per $1 spent on everything else. The annual fee is $0.
The RewardsBoost bonus mall features back-to-school deals at Under Armour (6 points per $1 spent), Apple (2 points per $1 spent), Office Depot (2 points per $1 spent), Kohl’s (2 points per $1 spent) and more. Certain retailers offer both bonus points and discounts.
Optimize your earnings with these cards:
- The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® earns 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases, and when you redeem them you can earn 5% of your miles back to use toward your next redemption. The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $89.
- The Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases. When you redeem, you get a 5% cash rewards bonus to use toward your next redemption. The annual fee is $0.
AAdvantage eShopping℠ mall
Through Aug. 18, 2017, you can earn bonus miles on back-to-school shopping at American Airlines’ AAdvantage eShopping℠ mall. Earn 500 bonus miles when you spend $150, 1,000 miles when you spend $300, and 2,000 bonus miles when you spend $500. The mall also offers deals at retailers including Nike (4 miles per $1 spent), Office Depot (2 miles per $1 spent), and more.
See if the following cards fit your spending habits:
- With the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®, earn 2 miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, and 1 mile per $1 spent elsewhere. The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95.
- With the Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold World Elite™ Mastercard® , earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all eligible purchases. The annual fee is waived the first year and $50 every year thereafter.
More malls, more savings
The following bonus malls don’t feature back-to-school special sections, but they still offer similar deals on apparel, electronics and school supplies:
- The Discover Deals bonus mall features offers from over 100 retailers.
- The Citi Bonus Cash Center offers deals at over 400 online stores.