From the Magazine

4 Simple Tricks to Save Big on Your Last-Minute Holiday Shopping

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Up to 40 percent of all holiday sales happen in the two weeks before December 25 — which means not-to-be-missed deals that can pad your wallet. Read on for four tips for getting the most bang for your buck out of the holiday season. 

Take Advantage of 2-for-1 Gift Cards

Right now, many retailers and restaurants are giving away bonus gift cards for every one you buy, which you can use to pay for holiday gifts for others, stuff stockings, or simply as a treat for yourself! For example, last year, when you purchased a JCPenney e-gift card, you got a $25 gift card redeemable through Christmas.

Also popular around this time of year are bonus gift cards, which are meant to be used for post-holiday sales. For instance, in the past, DSW has offered a $5 bonus gift card with the purchase of a $50 gift card that could be redeemed from Jan. 4 to 26. 

Find out the latest two-for-one gift card offers at GiftCards.com or ask a salesperson while shopping in store.

Rack Up Points and Cash Back Savings

Many credit card companies and cash-back shopping portals, such as Rakuten, are increasing the amount of points and cash back you can earn in the days leading up to Christmas. Last year before the holidays, Rakuten offered a one-day promotion of an increased cash back bonus of a whopping 12 percent for many major retailers, including Macy’s, Overstock, and Dell

American Express gold card members, meanwhile, got 20 percent off when they used AmEx points to pay for their purchases at Amazon. To stay updated on cash-back and credit card deals, visit sites like The Points Guy.

Shop Seasonal Markdowns

Stores have until Christmas Eve to clear shelves of holiday-themed items, such as kitchenware, clothing, and books. If they’ve got lots left over, they have to sell them to discount stores at a loss — so they’re lowering prices by up to 75 percent to encourage you to snap them up now. In many cases, these items can be used long after the holiday season ends. 

For example, during last year’s Christmas countdown, Walgreens reduced the price of its Yankee Candle holiday-scented set by 50 percent. And Macy’s cut the price of its Lenox Holiday Large Bowl from $80 to just $19.99 — deals you can also currently shop right now. 

Keep on top of these deals at Brad’s Deals

Go Digital 

Printing or emailing a present from an online retailer isn’t just convenient, doing it in the rush up to Christmas Eve can help you save big! That’s because many websites with gift cards, gift-of-the-month subscriptions, tickets, and memberships reduce their prices now to ensure they boost holiday profits. A few days before Christmas last year, Ancestry.com reduced gift memberships by 20 percent and Wine of The Month Club offered 10 percent off digital gift cards. Bonus: You don’t have to pay to mail or wrap them, which reduces spending even more! 

Find out about the gifts you can get for less at RetailMeNot.com or by visiting your favorite retailers, theaters, and museums.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine. 

We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.

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