Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Living Frugal Thanks to Amazon

First there was Amazon Prime.  For $99 a year we have access to a nice selection of streaming movies and tv shows.  Just enough to offer variety for our minimal use of screen time family.   The real draw is the 2-day free shipping for items marked Prime on the Amazon web site.  From office supplies to cat litter to books to kids Halloween costumes, it is my first destination when a need arises.  I find that ordering just what we need cuts down on impulse buys that go with trips to a brick-and-mortar store.

And now there is the Amazon credit card! Loyal readers know our frugal home is not big on credit. We pay our cards off each and every month, and as business owners we know their use drives up prices.  When we can, we pay cash/check.  That comes in hand with locally-owned business, such as our gym.  But when it comes to Amazon credit is the option.  And now we earn 3% back on purchases made with our Amazon cards.  Yes, that is 3% on Amazon purchases, 2% on gasoline, pharmacies or restaurants, and 1% on everything else.  Quicken, your card is taking a backseat in our wallet now.  Once used for that same 2% discount, we are shifting to the Amazon card.  Quicken will remain, but just for Quicken purchases, which pay us 5% back.  And as a thank-you for signing up gift, we receive $70 in credit.  I used $15 for a book I wanted, the rest is waiting for our next needed item.

Those are a lot of numbers to juggle, and it is more of a game that pays us back than anything else. Our primary focus is on maximizing time at our professions (his is engineering, mine is law), while not sacrificing family time.  Of all the commodities, time is the most precious.  But when we can play the credit card companies game and win, we do.  2014 cash back rewards equaled the cost of a domestic airline ticket.  And with cash back, there are no hoops to jump through and we can use it wherever cash is accepted.  Nice move for a frugal homestead.

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