Ok, time to fess up! Most of us sign up for credit cards just to enjoy the perks that come with it: reward points, cash rebates and discounts at participating stores and restaurants. But instead of going on a charging spree with your card at the shopping malls, you can choose to use these perks to help you save on expenses for the whole family.
Here are some smart ways to save on family expenses with your credit card.
1. Check out the latest dining rebates
Most families make it a point to dine out during weekends, as mum and dad get to spend quality time bonding with the kids. But it is also a good idea to choose the venue for this weekend activity wisely.
Start by checking out the dining rebates and discounts offered by the various credit cards, and narrow down the choices available at the shopping mall that you are heading to. These dining perks can help to take some load off the bill. To make things fun, you can also get the kids to vote for the venue based on the choices that you have narrowed down.
2. Watch out for shopping discounts and deals
As much as you enjoy treating yourself (and the kids) to some retail therapy, it may be a good idea to hold off that shopping spree until your favourite store runs special deals on items that you are looking for when you pay with certain credit cards. From discounts, rebates and 1-for-1 buys, it makes better sense to shop and get the things that you want with deals like these. You can also use this example to teach the kids the meaning behind the phrase, “Good things come to those who wait”.
3. Earn cash rebates on groceries
Stocking up on groceries is a must-do weekly activity for most families. But to keep your weekly grocery budget under control, it’s always a good idea to make a shopping list of items needed for the week’s meals.
Try to keep to the list as much as possible, and do look out for items that are on offer at the supermarket. As you make your way to the checkout counter, find out whether the store is running any tie-up deals with credit cards. You might be able to earn cash rebates or reward points when you pay for your groceries with your credit card, which helps to offset your next grocery bill.
4. Compare the different petrol offers
With the numerous trips that you make with your family car (i.e. driving back and forth to work, school and going out for family outings), fuelling up on petrol can get costly. Before you randomly pull into the nearest petrol station, it might be good to compare the discounts and rewards offered by your credit cards at the different petrol stations. These could come in the form of discounts and points that you can earn for free petrol at your next pump, which ultimately help you save on petrol bills.
5. Manage your household bills automatically
Apart from setting a budget on your monthly household bills such as water, electricity and gas, it is also equally important to make sure that your bills get paid on time. But with the busy schedules and routines that we go through daily, most parents struggle with remembering the different due dates for their household bills and manually arranging for each bill payment.
This is where the recurring bill payment service offered by most credit cards comes in handy. By signing up for this service with your credit card, you can set your bills to be paid by the due date every month. Some credit cards also give you the perk of converting the amount paid for your household bills into rewards points when you sign up for the recurring bill payment service.
Ready to swipe and save?
Now that you know the various ways that you can use your credit card to save on family expenses, the next thing to do is to find out the perks offered by different credit cards. Here’s a quick look at some of the perks and offers that you and your family can enjoy with the HSBC Visa Platinum credit card:
– Up to 50% off at over 1,200 restaurants and retail outlets islandwide
– 20% cash rebate at family dining restaurants in Singapore
List of participating restaurants: Swensen’s, Akashi, Akashabu, Akanoya Robatayaki, Grandma’s and Long Beach Seafood Restaurant
– Up to 20% cash rebate at EpiCentre and Mothercare for the month of July 2013
– 5% cash rebate on grocery purchases made at Cold Storage, Giant, Jasons, Marketplace and Giant
– Up to 18% petrol savings when you pump at Shell and Caltex
– Convert your StarHub, M1 and Town Council bills into reward points
We hope that the suggestions featured above will give you a good head start in making use of your credit card to save on family expenses. Do check out the various rewards and offers available when you charge your purchases with your HSBC Visa Platinum credit card.
For a limited time only, get S$50 cash rebate when you apply online for the HSBC Visa Platinum credit card. For more information and terms and conditions on the HSBC Visa Platinum credit card quarterly cash rebate programme, log on to www.hsbc.com.sg/visaplatinum.
All information is correct at the time of publication.