Today, Toys ‘R’ Us announced a new program called the Holiday Savers Club to incentivize consumers to do their holiday shopping at their store. The program works like this. You go into the store anytime between now and October 16 and sign up for a card. Then, you can put money on the card through cash or credit card payments throughout that time period to ostensibly save money towards your holiday shopping needs, at Toys ‘R’ Us of course. The incentive here is that Toys ‘R’ Us will give you a 3% reward on October 31 on however much you save up to October 16. So, how can I make this work for me?
As a parent, there is a strong likelihood I will want to make some purchases at Toys ‘R’ Us over the holidays, but how much? The key here is to be planful and build a list early to understand your likely spending level. Let’s say mine is going to be $500 because I might buy some toys for myself too. My plan would be to walk into the store on October 15. I’m choosing this day because it’s close to the Toys ‘R’ Us deadline day for the 3% interest reward and because it’s near the beginning of my billing cycle. At the store, I’ll sign up for the card and promptly walk to the register and put $500 on the card using my Schwab Bank Invest First Visa Credit Card. Since this card gives me 2% back on all purchases, I just made $10. Then 2 weeks later, Toys ‘R’ Us gives me an additional 3% reward. That’s another $15. So, I just made 5% in a matter of 2 weeks on money I was going to spend anyway. Further, I don’t have to pay for that $500 for about 60 days since I made the purchase at the beginning of my billing cycle. That means I’ll pay it off around December 15 when everyone else is doing there last minute shopping. Meanwhile my shopping is done and I’m $25 richer.
In the end though, I will probably not participate in this program. It’s 2 trips to Toys ‘R’ Us which is a bit out of the way for me, and I tend to like the lower prices and free shipping I can get from Amazon.com. These will likely outweigh the 3% from Toys ‘R’ Us since I get the other 2% everywhere already.
Note: Toys ‘R’ Us has stated the cards are not necessarily refundable, but they will take it up on a case by case basis. Additionally, the card never expires or carries inactivity fees. The maximum reward is $75 so maximum logical investment is $2,500. Good luck!