Shopping online this Circuit Breaker? Here's how you can save more.
Updated: Jun 4, 2020
Amidst this stay-home period, I realised that my leisure activities have now drastically shifted to the online realm. According to Straits Times, banks reported double the number of transactions made cashlessly in these three months as compared to last year due to the #Covid-19 pandemic. From the stockpiling of clothes to wear after the Circuit Breaker measures to the ordering of food deliveries to satisfy the unyielding craving for our heaty local cuisine, I had noticed the wonders of #contactless payments. They are far superior in terms of convenience and has emerged as the preferred means for payments through this global pandemic for many.
Could this online shopping frenzy be a cause for concern then?
Well... Not really, if you maximise the options available to you! From bulk discounts to save on shipping costs to #promotion codes that we do not see in real life, we can find means to save more while shopping online. Here are my 5 simple tips.
1. Use discount platforms to save some money.
Making a purchase through their platform gives you a rebate from merchants that you can withdraw back into your bank account. That's essentially getting rewarded with tips for shopping online! Their service extends to physical stores as well, so you can continue saving after the Circuit Breaker. Shopback also has first-time referral code that gives you and your friend $5 for when they make their first purchase. You can use this link from me if you lack a referral.
Another platform to consider is RateX, it is a Google Chrome browser extension that offers available promotions that you can tap on. All you have to do is to download their extension, head over to their partner websites, and the available promotions will conveniently be highlighted while you make your purchase. Say goodbye to hunting down promotions on your own!
2. Shopping Internationally? Use MCA cards!
Are you a fan of shopping in international markets such as Amazon and Taobao? Using Multi-Currency Accounts (MCA) could help you save some money on your conversion rates.
One of my go-to cards is YouTrip, they offer rates that are close to the market and works efficiently with a simple top-up. Shopping for international products on the Singapore market can be more expensive than their actual websites, as illustrated here. Therefore, you can reap off savings from these websites with the MCA cards when making bulk purchases. However, do consider the shipping costs that may eat into your shopping decisions, and make wise comparisons before hitting 'Check Out'.
3. Take note of rebates on existing cards & accounts
Most credit and debit cards tied to banks offer cashback upon hitting certain minimum spending. ValueChampion has a detailed breakdown of the best credit cards that you can consider that suits your needs the best, depending on your demographics and your spending habits. Some of the banks work directly with merchants, hence using their cards could offer a more attractive rebate overall, so pause and get your PI skills out.
Some e-wallets such as GrabPay also has its own loyalty programme, GrabRewards, where you can earn points and unlock benefits. Tiny details like this can help to accumulate greater savings.
4. Subscribe to financial blogs
There are many financial blogs out there that offer additional #financial perspectives and some insights on the latest deals available. Blogs by Seedly and MoneySmart offer relevant content digestible even for newbies who are unfamiliar with financial news. Here are 2 relevant links that I found appropriate for this Circuit Breaker period on the latest food delivery promotions:
All you have to do is find the food you like, the card with the best discounts (tip #3), and apply the relevant promo code.
5. First-time users? Pause! Plenty of referral and promo codes await.
If you are a first-time shopper on a new platform, it is likely that there are promotion codes available that you can take advantage of. Check with your app-savvy friends and relatives to see if they have a referral code, and you could save yourself some money. Usually, referrals benefit both parties, so make use of these win-win codes. Else, you may refer to the links above to get yourself some discounts.
I hope that these #saving tips were useful in helping you make smarter shopping decisions. Many companies like McDonald's are opting for contactless payments and being able to link our cards and transfer money digitally has been especially beneficial. There's no need to leave the house to withdraw money from the ATMs or fumble over spare change (you get to keep that $0.08).
As Singapore enhances our digital economy, technology will catch up sooner than we expect them to. But are our future generations prepared for a cashless society? How will they be affected by our transformation from physical cash to digital numbers?
Taby seeks to guide families to prepare their teenagers to adopt cashless payments and appreciate that money is not easy to earn. If you are a parent with teenage children looking to prepare them for the future, help us out by filling this short survey: bit.ly/tabyparents so that we will be able to help them better.
Lastly, have fun shopping (and saving at the same time)!