Best ways to pay in the Boxing Day and January sales
It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the sales and spend more than you planned, but you could save, and even earn, money by carefully selecting how you pay.
Here's how you can earn money through cash back credit cards and get serious discounts courtesy of cash back websites.
Use cash back credit cards when shopping in the Boxing Day or January sales
With a cash back credit card, you get a small percentage of everything you spend on the card, which is then paid back on to your card as credit.
The key to making the most of these credit cards is to pay off your balance in full at the end of the month, otherwise any rewards earned will almost certainly be cancelled out by interest charges.
Some retailers, including John Lewis, M&S, Tesco and Waitrose, offer reward credit cards. These reward spending with points that can then be exchanged for vouchers.
With these cards, you'll usually be given extra points when shopping with the associated retailer, so it may be a good option for you if you often shop at that store. However, once again, it's essential that you pay off your balance in full every month to avoid hefty interest charges.
Cut the cost of sales shopping using cash back websites
You can get serious discounts on your online shopping by using cash back websites such as Quidco or Topcashback.
If you navigate to an online retailer via the link provided on a cash back site and complete a purchase, you'll get a cash reward transferred into your account.
There are hundreds of major retailers registered with Quidco and TopCashback, so there should be plenty of opportunities to get a discount on your online shopping.
Remember to delete your internet cookies before clicking through to the retailer, as this increases the chances of a cash back tracking properly.
For tips on earning even more cash, take a look at our guide to making the most of cash back sites.
Loyalty cards and shopping in the Boxing Day or January sales
If you scan a retailer's loyalty card at the till before making a purchase, you can build up points that can be exchanged for money-off vouchers. The rewards typically aren't as much as those offered by cash back credit cards, however.
See which loyalty cards are worth using – go to our loyalty cards guide.
Make the most of your sales shopping
Before you hit the shops, make sure you do your research so you know which products are worth buying. After all, there's no point getting a great discount if you end up with a product that's not right for you.
Read our reviews online to help you. Our expert independent tests will make sure you know what to buy and what to avoid. We've listed some of the most popular product categories below.