How to maximize rewards and savings on crafting supplies
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As the coronavirus pandemic wears on, one of the side effects of sheltering in place has been filling the hours in between work, in-home schooling for the kids and outdoor time. One way people are filling that time is by taking up a new craft — or doing more with an existing one.
CommerceHub CEO Frank Poore noted that online sales of crafting supplies such as paint and woodworking tools rose in April as consumers hunkered down at home for an extended stay, according to Digital Commerce 360. Current and would-be crafters are flocking to websites including Craftsy, DYI Network and Ravelry, which targets knitters and crocheters.
Hundreds of new and existing Facebook groups offer support, advice and even tutorials for dozens of different crafts. There are also thousands of YouTube tutorial videos that teach people how to make everything from candles to blinged-out shoes, under hashtags including #crafters, #crafts #handmade and #dyi, among others.
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Starting and maintaining the craft of your choice is going to cost money. So today we’ll share all the ways to pay for your new or existing habit — without spending a fortune.
You may as well use a credit card to buy crafts so you can be rewarded for your spending. Below are our picks that will give you the biggest bang for your crafting buck.
If you’re starting on a tools-intensive craft, such as quilting, you’re going to need plenty of fabric and batting, a sewing machine, a cutting mat, a rotary cutter and blades, scissors, a tape measure, a seam ripper and more. The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card normally offers 1x Membership Rewards point per dollar spent. But if you’re buying a lot of supplies, you can earn a 50% bonus when you make 30 transactions or more in a billing cycle — all at a $95 annual fee.
The information for the Amex EveryDay Preferred card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The current welcome offer on the Amex EveryDay Preferred is 15,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. TPG values Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, making this offer worth $300. The card comes with return protection, purchase protection and extended warranty protection, which can come in handy if anything goes awry with your new purchases.
This card also allows you to earn Membership Rewards points that can be transferred to 22 airline and hotel partners, including Air Canada Aeroplan, Avianca LifeMiles, British Airways Executive Club, Delta SkyMiles and Marriott Bonvoy.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns 2x miles on all purchases, making it an ideal option for crafters looking to maximize rewards while stocking up on supplies. It’s also ideal for those who are new to the points and miles game and don’t want to keep track of myriad spending category bonuses. Whether you’re buying 10 skeins of yarn, a pack of painting canvases or embroidery needles and floss you’ll earn 2x miles on everything. Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
The current sign-up bonus on this card is 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. TPG values those miles at 1.7 cents, making the bonus worth $1,020, which is enough to buy a nice sewing machine.
The annual fee on this card is a reasonable $95.
With the cobranded Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard, you’ll earn an unlimited 5% cash back on Walmart.com purchases, including crafting supplies. The retailer is very popular with crafters because of the wide variety of products offered, along with its famous low prices and the chance to snag some great bargains during sales and clearances.
You earn 2% cash back on restaurants, travel, Walmart stores, Walmart and Murphy USA Fuel Stations, and 1% back on all other purchases.
New cardholders also can earn unlimited 5% back in Walmart stores for the first 12 months after approval when you use the card with Walmart Pay, which allows you to pay with your phone at Walmart. The points you earn on the card can be redeemed for Walmart purchases, along with travel through Capital One’s travel portal, a statement credit, gift cards and more. So if you’re spending $500 a month at Walmart, that alone can get you $300 in rewards in one year to spend however you want. As an added bonus, the card comes with an extended warranty to protect your purchases.
The information for the Capital One Walmart Rewards card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Related reading: The best Capital One credit cards of 2020
Amazon.com is a crafter’s paradise that offers thousands of supplies for a myriad of hobbies. Want to learn how to embroider? Amazon has kits for that. Want to let loose your inner Vincent Van Gogh and take up painting? Amazon sells kits and supplies, including easels, canvases and brushes. Plus there are a limited number of videos on Prime Video that teach different crafts.
The card is only available to Amazon Prime members (who pay a membership fee of $119/year), with a sign-up bonus of a $100 Amazon gift card. Beyond this minuscule bonus, crafters can get a generous 5% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, along with 2% back on restaurants, gas stations and drug stores. All other purchases earn a flat 1% cash back.
Those who don’t already have Amazon Prime will have to decide whether a $119 annual Amazon Prime membership is worth it, especially if they don’t shop on the site often.
The information for the Amazon Prime Visa Signature card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Target RedCard™ Credit Card
Target has a limited number of crafting supplies for adults, but if you’re looking to keep the kids busy, Target.com is the place. It has more than 5,000 items that can be filtered by age, craft type, brand, skill level and more. Kids’ crafting supplies include kits for rock painting, beading and soap making, along with crayons, markers and coloring books.
This no-annual-fee card doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus. Instead, cardholders receive a 5% discount on all eligible Target purchases. It also comes with a 10% discount coupon every anniversary, 30 extra days for returns and free shipping on most online Target purchases.
The information for the Target REDCard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Related: The best store credit cards of 2020
Shopping portals are great because they let you earn bonus points, miles or cash back at hundreds of online retailers. All you have to do is visit the portal, then click through to the retailer’s site (rather than starting at the merchant directly). You’ll earn rewards on your purchase through the portal, plus additional points or miles through the actual rewards credit card you use, making this an easy way to double-dip.
I shop regularly through the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Shopping portal, where I can earn bonus points at more than 850 retailers. One of those retailers happens to be Michaels, the largest specialty provider of arts and crafts supplies. Right now, Southwest is offering a spring deal where I can earn 2 points per dollar spent (it was originally 0.5 points) — plus you can stack it with Michaels’ weekly coupons.
Keep in mind that if you use a coupon that isn’t listed on the shopping portal’s site, you will not earn rewards. Luckily, lots of shopping portals list coupon codes on their merchant pages. You can use these to save extra cash while maximizing your arts and crafts purchases.
Another type of shopping portal is one that offers cash back on your purchases. If you’re not into the points-and-miles game, these are a solid option. Shopping portal aggregators such as Cashback Monitor can help you find the highest payouts. Just visit the site, enter the merchant you want to shop with and you’ll get a list of shopping portals offering the biggest rewards.
At the moment, for example, Mr. Rebates is offering 5% cash back at TV shopping channel HSN and 4% at QVC. Both sell items that are very popular with crafters, including sewing machines, art supplies storage, yarn by the bulk, Cricut paper-making cutters and supplies and more. Coupon Cactus has an entire section on art supplies, offering cash back ranging from 0.50% up to 12%, depending on the vendor.
Offers and deals
American Express, Bank of America and Chase all have sites that offer extra points, coupons and cash back for spending at targeted retailers.
Amex Offers has deals for companies including Envelopes.com, Zazzle.com, Paper Source and GotPrint.com. Chase Offers has deals for Kindle (where you can buy how-to crafting books), along with Big Lots and Zazzle, which both sell crafting supplies. BankAmeriDeals is another option; however, that site doesn’t currently have any deals for crafters.
Coupons from store mailing lists
JoAnn, a competitor to Michael’s, calls itself the nation’s leading fabric and craft retailer, with more than 865 stores across 49 states, plus the Joann.com website. Both of these sites are well known for the myriad of coupons they offer to help crafters stretch their dollars. Finding ways to redeem them is a major sport among crafters.
JoAnn currently offers these coupons but be warned: You must read the fine print on the coupons, since they tend to exclude items such as gift cards, sewing patterns, irons and steamers, sewing machines and all Cricut® products.
The pickings are slim for Michael’s, which is only offering a 20% off coupon on all regularly priced purchases, or a discount on framing. Exclusions include clearance and doorbuster items; custom framing, books and magazines, gift cards, LEGO, craft technology and accessories, and Cricut and Silhouette cutting machines.
During these troubling times, learning a new craft or stepping up on an existing one can be comforting and a great way to kill time. I’m a quilter, but I’ve switched over to making masks using my scrap materials. It makes me feel great to know there are people out there, including journalists, those with respiratory diseases, postal workers and food/grocery delivery people who can benefit from my masks.
If you play your (credit) cards right, your crafting hobby could help pay for your post-coronavirus travel.
Featured photo by true nature/Shutterstock
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