Although I’m not a huge shopper normally, I did make a decent number of purchases during the holidays. While using the right credit card is one way to maximize the “rewards” you get while shopping, another way (that can be used in tandem with credit cards) is to use Rakuten.
If you’ve never used or heard of Rakuten before, it is a plug-in that you can use when shopping online to earn additional cash back. Cash back usually ranges from 1-20% depending on the store, as well as when you purchase the item. Rakuten is getting a kick-back from the companies it refers users to (companies get more traffic, Rakuten gets paid from these companies, and then Rakuten pays you a % of what they receive). Most well-known companies like Nike, Adidas, Target, Walmart, etc. are all on Rakuten (although normally the larger cash back options are from smaller stores).
While it’s not like you’re getting more cash back than you were spending, if you are already going to buy an item you should check if that store is on Rakuten. When you sign up for Rakuten as well, you can get $30 back on your first purchase (as well as $30 for referring people to use Rakuten). Every little thing helps nowadays when shopping, so make sure to take advantage of portals like Rakuten!