Use the right card when shopping at local small businesses
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new card details. It was originally published on Nov. 30, 2019.
Even though retail giants like Amazon, Target and Dillards are still go-to shopping locations for many Americans, there has been a movement the past few years to get consumers to shop local. Shopping local supports community entrepreneurs and your local economy, not to mention there are some fantastic small businesses you can shop with no matter where you live.
Most credit cards don’t offer bonus categories that many small retail businesses will fall into, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still maximize those purchases and get a solid return on your spending. Here are three of my top picks to use for small business shopping.
With the Citi® Double Cash Card, you’ll earn 2% back on every purchase — 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay your bill each month. This is a great card to use when shopping local because you’re earning a flat rewards rate no matter where you shop. That means no matter the retailer, from your favorite clothing boutique to your favorite bakery, you’ll earn 2% back. Plus, the Citi Double Cash rewards can now be converted to ThankYou Points with an eligible linked ThankYou account, so you can use your rewards as cash back or points.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited comes with unlimited 1.5% back on purchases. While it’s not quite as high as the Citi Double Cash’s rewards rate, remember that you can convert Chase Freedom Unlimited rewards into Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you also have an eligible Chase card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Chase UR points are worth 2 cents each, so you’ll end up with a 3% return on all spending, no matter where you decide to shop local.
If you are an existing Bank of America customer with enough stashed with the bank to qualify for the Preferred Rewards program, it’s hard to beat the Premium Rewards Card‘s rewards structure. You’re earning 2x points on travel and dining purchases, plus 1.5x point on everyday purchases. Plus, earn 2x points for every $1 spent on grocery store purchases- now through 12/31/21. But Preferred Rewards members can get anywhere from 25% to 75% more in rewards based on what tier you qualify for. That means you could earn up to 2.62x on non-bonus spending, making it the highest potential earner on this list.
Shopping local is a great way to support local business owners and the local economy. 2019’s Small Business Saturday (Nov. 30, 2019) recorded an estimated $19.6 billion in sales across independent retailers and restaurants, according to data from the 2019 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Study from American Express. Same same study found that 97% on consumers who shopped during the recent Small Business Saturday agreed that small businesses are essential to the community.
Using the right card while you shop local could help your local economy while boosting your rewards earnings.
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Featured photo by Rafa Elias / Getty Image
Updated on 5/3/21.
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