Don’t Go School Supply Shopping Without A Spending Plan

First day of school-2006


As much as I hate to admit it, the summer is coming to a close and September is almost upon us.  I bet if you have kids, whether from pre-school age through college, there is a little (or a big) bump in your expenses during the late summer or early fall.  Most of these costs relate to heading back to school and resuming normally scheduled activities.

One thing that many of us will likely be shopping for is school supplies.  There is definitely unique (and standard) bonus potential this season when purchasing school supplies.  As always, this post just has suggestions.  For example, if you love earning and accumulating Delta SkyMiles with your Amex Delta cards or Marriott points with your Marriott cards, then continue to keep adding rewards to those growing buckets.

With that caveat out of the way, let me try to guide the rest of you as to which card to use for school supplies.

Earn Extra American Express Membership Rewards Shopping On Amazon

First, let me remind all of you American Express Membership Rewards cardholders that there is a lot of earning potential if you shop for your school supplies on Amazon with your Membership Rewards Amex card.  The offer, which was released back in mid July, gives you the ability to earn 3x (2 extra points) American Express Membership Rewards points when you use the card to shop on Amazon through August 28, 2018.  You will not get the bonus points unless you ADD THE OFFER TO YOUR AMEX ACCOUNT.  CHECK THE OFFERS IN YOUR ONLINE AMEX ACCOUNTS!  Also, don’t forget to change your default card in Amazon to this Amex card.  I will send another reminder after August 28th to switch back to your Amazon default card of choice.  (Mine is my Chase Freedom Unlimited)

Can’t resist-plug time…

When you shop on Amazon, try to remember to click the Amazon link thru my site.  Look right and scroll up or down, the Amazon link is on the right sidebar.  You won’t even know you went in thru me.  It looks the same as when you just go directly into Amazon.

Earn Extra Cash Or Chase Ultimate Rewards Using Your Freedom Card At Walgreens or

Chase Freedom cardholders, Walgreens is a 3rd quarter bonus category.  To reap additional rewards using your Freedom card at Walgreens, and for you city folks, Walgreens owned drugstores operating under the brand Duane Reade, you need to activate your 5% earnings by September 14, 2018.  This 5% can be redeemed in the form of cash-back or Ultimate Rewards if you also have a card such as the Chase Ink Business PreferredChase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve.  You can shop through September 30 at Walgreens and get the 5% bonus. (up to $1,500 in spend).

Earn Extra Rewards Using A Card At Office Supply Stores 

If you like to shop at office supply stores (think Staples) for your supplies, ideally, you should use a card that offers a bonus at office supply stores.  Here are a few examples…

Chase Ink Business Cash card-earn 5% CASH BACK at office supply stores

Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card-earn 2 United MileagePlus miles per dollar spent

Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card-earn 2 Marriott Rewards points per dollar spent

Barclays Bank AAdvantage Aviator Business MasterCard-earn 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent

Barclays Bank JetBlue Plus MasterCard-Earn 2 JetBlue TrueBlue points per dollar spent

Earn Extra Rewards Using A Card At Supermarkets

You can be creative and shop for your school supplies at a supermarket and use a card that offers bonus points at supermarkets.  The card that I use at supermarkets is my American Express EveryDay Preferred Card where I earn 3 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year.

Earn Extra Rewards Using Loyalty Program Shopping Portals

Many of the loyalty programs have shopping portals where you can shop for merchandise via online retailers.  Incentive offers could be from retailers such as Staples, Target, The Container Store, etc. where the offer will be greater than a 1:1 ratio of points/miles per $1 spent.  Note, you need to be a member of the loyalty program to use their shopping portal.

As you can see, there are many ways to earn additional rewards on school supply shopping.  Can you use any of these strategies?  If you have a different strategy, please share it with us.

For now, here’s to lucrative school shopping and a smooth start to the new school year.