“A penny saved is a penny earned.”
As humans, we have very weird mental accounting techniques. Sadly, most of them hurt our ability to generate wealth and manage our own personal finances.
A great example is believing that there is a difference between saving money and earning more money.
The truth is, there is no difference.
You can try as much as you want to discredit or give examples of where this falls short, but it doesn’t. When it comes to money, saving $100 on rent is the exact same to your finances as earning $100 more a month. At the end of the month, you have $100 more. If you treat that $100 differently, that is a personal issue. Saving more money is just as good as earning more.
“WTF does this have to do with anything?”
Calm down … I’m getting there.
An important part of generating wealth is saving more. That means paying less when you have the chance, not spending money if you don’t have to, and earning discounts on things you already need.
If I had to walk around my house and point out all the items that came from Amazon and Target my arm would start hurting. Small daily items like soap, razors, shaving cream and deodorant come from one of these two. Constantly restocked items like baby diapers, baby wipes, baby clothes, baby … you get the point … all come from these two stores (and baby showers). Even more, one-off items like the shed in our garage, the lamp in the office, and the sheets on our bed all come from these two juggernauts of commerce as well.
Did you know there is an easy way to save 5% on every single purchase you make at these stores?
What are Amazon and Target?
99% of you can go ahead and skip to the next section, but there’s always at least one person.
Target was founded in 1902 and is based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. With 1,802 stores, I’m willing to bet there is one in your city. Even if there isn’t, you can order online and have the item shipped to your door. Target sells many different general household items. In some stores, you can find a full supermarket. Target is often referred to as “Tar’get” when compared to Walmart, being considered the bougie cousin to Walmart due to their slightly higher prices, but better customer service and well laid-out stores.
On a side note, I just can’t do Walmart anymore. The shelves are always a hot mess, the store is always dirty and I just don’t like it. It’s hard for me to admit this as a lover of low prices, but it’s too much. Full disclosure: I worked at Target in high school.
Amazon.com, on the other hand, was founded in 1994 in Seattle, Washington and has basically taken over the world. They got their start selling books online but now sell almost everything. In addition, they make movies, have an app store, power a large portion of the internet through their cloud hosting services and recently purchased Whole Foods.
Target is great for buying small quantities of things. If you need one stick of deodorant, this can be hard to find on Amazon, but easy for Target. That said, Amazon has way more items and their shipping is insanely fast, sometimes offering same day delivery.
The important thing is both of these merchants offer an easy way to save 5% on every single purchase you make there.
In a given year, this 5% can really add up, and the best part is it’s saving money on stuff you were going to buy anyway and it’s extremely easy to do.
So, How do I save 5% at these stores?
Simple … get their reward credit or debit cards.
That’s it. I’m done.
You can thank me below and tell your friends.
Honestly, I was surprised when I found out about these cards with $0 in fees and dead simple rewards worth 5% on the thousands of dollars of stuff I buy yearly. Target throws in the nice bonus of free shipping on all online orders, no matter how small, including my favorite $2 fruit snacks. Target also offers a debit card, avoiding adding on credit card debt.
As I like to tell every person I know, you need to pay off your entire credit card bill EVERY MONTH! Credit card interest is the devil. It will rob you of your wealth quickly and is a sign that you are spending excessively.
Save on Amazon with The Prime Rewards Card
Amazon offers a membership called Amazon Prime for $99 a year, which is $8.25 a month. It is a cost, but I have been a member for almost a decade and share the one membership with my family and a close friend. It entitles you to free shipping on all Amazon items, online streaming of a large selection of movies and TV shows, and free books. They deliver a lot of value for membership, so it’s an easy decision to me. It is also a requirement to get the 5% discount, although it’s 3% for those who are not Prime members.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card offers 5% rewards on anything you buy on Amazon. The 5% comes in the form of credits you can use anytime you purchase from Amazon. Whenever you need to buy something, Amazon will ask if you want to use your earned reward dollars. You also get rewards on other purchases, but there are travel rewards and cash back cards with better reward rates like Chase Sapphire Preferred and Citi Double Cash card.
The card carries no annual fee and comes with a $70 gift card when you sign up.
I know … it’s amazing.
When combined with subscribe and save, which offers a discount for buying items as a monthly subscription, the savings can add up.
Saving 5% at Target with the REDcard
Target has managed to outdo Amazon with its rewards card. Target RedCard gives you 5% instantly off all purchases (no points or rewards), free shipping on all online purchases and doesn’t require any type of subscription.
I love the fact they offer a debit card in addition to the credit card. This means no need to get more credit and have more credit available to overspend with.
While Target’s shipping takes 4-6 days compared to Amazon’s 2-day standard delivery, you don’t have to pay for it and they have no minimum. I have ordered a bottle of lotion and had it shipped without any issues. Amazon hasn’t been as kind in shipping cheap and heavy items, calling them “add-on” items and requiring a $35 minimum purchase.
The savings continue in the store. If you live near a Target with a grocery store, you can save on your groceries too. For a family, this can add up quickly.
I’ve never added up how much money my family has saved with these two cards, but with our newborn and constant purchases of diapers and wipes, I know it’s significant.
Have you used either one of these cards? Have other ways to save on everyday purchases? Leave us a comment and let the community know!
Damien is a Personal Finance Nerd and former Facebook Product Manager who started Wealth Noir to help others find wealth. He actively invests in stocks, robo advisors, and cryptocurrency … but loves real estate investing. He holds an MBA from MIT and a Comp Sci & Econ degrees from Unv. of MD. He’s a proud dad, which is his biggest accomplishment.