The holiday season is upon us, and while the spirit of giving is in the air, so is the scent of potential savings. If you’re ready to make your holiday shopping not only festive but financially savvy, we’ve got the inside scoop on how to earn cash back while splurging on gifts. Grab your shopping list and get ready to turn your purchases into a holiday bonus!


The total amount consumers expect to spend on holiday shopping in 2023.

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1. Cash back credit cards: The ultimate shopping sidekick

Nothing says holiday cheer like a credit card that gives back. If you haven’t already jumped on the cash back credit card bandwagon, now’s the time. Look for cards offering generous cash back rewards on holiday-related purchases, such as gifts, decorations, and even those festive lattes. Just be sure to pay off that balance promptly, or the interest Grinch might steal your joy.

2. Cash back apps: Your pocket-sized shopping buddy

Technology has revolutionized how we shop, and cash back apps are leading the charge. Apps like Rakuten, Honey, and Ibotta reward you for your purchases by offering cash back, discounts, or even gift cards. It’s like having a savvy shopping sidekick in your pocket, whispering money-saving secrets as you stroll through the aisles or browse online.

3. Flash sales: Blink and save

Flash sales are the adrenaline rush of shopping. They’re quick, thrilling, and financially rewarding if you play your cards right. Keep an eye on your favorite retailers for flash sales and limited-time offers. Often, these promotions come with extra cash back incentives, turning your impromptu shopping spree into a stealthy savings mission.

4. Stacking coupons: Because more is more

Why settle for just one coupon when you can stack them like a savings wizard? Many retailers allow you to combine multiple coupons or promo codes for a single purchase. It’s like unlocking a secret level of savings. Before clicking that “checkout” button, channel your inner coupon warrior and hunt down all the discounts you can find. Your wallet will thank you.

5. Cash back portals: The gateway to savings

Cash back portals are like VIP entrances to the world of discounts—websites such as TopCashback and ShopAtHome partner with retailers to offer exclusive cash back deals. Start your shopping journey through these portals and watch the cash back accumulate. It’s the online equivalent of finding money in your pocket—unexpected and delightful.

Related: How do cash back sites work?

6. Loyalty programs: Stay faithful, get rewarded

If you’re a frequent shopper at specific stores, loyalty programs can be a goldmine of cash back opportunities. Many retailers offer points or cash back for every purchase, which can later be redeemed for discounts or freebies. So, pledge your allegiance to your favorite stores, and let the cash back rewards roll in like holiday magic.

7. Gift card promotions: Double the joy

Gift cards are a versatile gift option, but did you know they can also be a secret weapon for cash back enthusiasts? Keep an eye out for promotions where you receive a bonus gift card or cash back when purchasing a certain amount in gift cards. It’s like getting a little gift for yourself while spreading joy to others.

8. Price matching: The savvy shopper’s shield

Price matching is the superhero move of savvy shoppers. Many retailers offer this policy, allowing you to match the lowest price available, even after your purchase. Keep an eye on prices, and if you spot a better deal elsewhere, swoop in and claim your cash back. It’s a powerful strategy that ensures you never overpay for holiday cheer.

9. Abandoned cart alerts: The art of patience

Have you ever loaded up your virtual cart with goodies only to abandon it at the last minute? Some retailers might just reward your indecision. Enable abandoned cart notifications, and you might receive a gentle nudge in the form of a discount or cash back offer to complete your purchase. It’s a game of patience that could pay off handsomely.

10. Social media shenanigans: Follow for discounts

Social media isn’t just for cat memes and vacation photos; it’s also a treasure trove of discounts and cash back opportunities. Many retailers announce exclusive deals, flash sales, and promotions on social media. Follow your favorite brands, turn on notifications, and be ready to pounce on those social media-savvy savings.

Bottom line

The holiday season doesn’t have to be synonymous with empty wallets and regrettable credit card bills. By incorporating these ten strategies into your shopping arsenal, you can turn your holiday spending into a cash back bonanza. From credit cards to cash back apps and everything in between, these tactics will save you money and add a sprinkle of financial savvy to your holiday celebrations. So, shop til you drop (those prices), and may your cash back rewards be as bountiful as the holiday spirit!