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Kids of any age love to play, making toys a most appreciated gift during the holiday season. There is a dizzying array on the market, though, and many are not cheap. How to choose — and afford — the most coveted toys this year?
One of the best ways is to take advantage of deals you may be missing with your credit card. With inflation at 40-year highs, more than half of shoppers surveyed by Bankrate said they’re concerned about costs and plan to be more selective, seeking sales, coupons and discounts. Some 17 percent said they plan to use their cards’ rewards to lower costs.
Here are our top picks for toys for 2022, and why it makes sense to purchase them at a discount with special deals from your credit card issuer and their partners. So you can get your loved ones what they want, without spending more than you must.
How to use your credit card to save on toys
As a savvy toy shopper, your best bet is to avoid buying from a physical department store or directly from an online retailer. Instead, visit your credit card company’s website or app to see if they have any partnerships with the businesses you want to buy from first. Many issuers have card-linked offers that can save you money.
Via these special offers, you can score a lower price on the toys you want at participating businesses without having to scour the Internet for a promo code or coupon. Instead, the brands and businesses are already linked to your card issuer, so when you pay for them with the card, the offer will be automatically redeemed.
These programs have several benefits:
- Deep discounts: When you use your card to make the purchase you can get a discount on the items you buy from those retailers.
- Big cash back bonuses: After your purchase, you may get a cash back rebate or statement credit.
- Accumulated rewards: If you use a rewards credit card to make the purchase, you will earn points or cash back as you charge.
Look through all of the card-linked offers that are available. The major credit issuers that have these programs include Bank of America, American Express, Chase and Citi. Card-linked offers may be available only on select cards, though. So log in to your account to see if they’re available to you.
If you can access the card-linked offers, you’ll find an array of participating retailers. Review the companies to see if the toys you want are available from them, and what the offer entails. Be sure to check the expiration date, too. Since many of the deals are time-sensitive, you may have to act fast.
Nine top toys with card-linked offers
Need ideas for the kids on your holiday shopping list? Here are nine great toys you can purchase through card-linked programs:
Princess Castle LED Pink Play Tent
Your child will make magic within this light-up tent, available on Overstock.com. The Princess Castle LED Pink Play Tent is on sale right now for $31.12, but if you have a participating Chase credit card, you can connect to Chase Offers and get 10 percent back on that purchase (until you reach a $45 back). Plug this deal in and that fabulous plaything will drop to $28.01.
Crosley Cruiser Plus Record Player
Budding DJ in the house? Consider this super cool record player with a vintage look. The Crosley Cruiser Plus Record Player is available for $89.95 from World Market. Not bad for what you get, but with Chase Offers and the 10 percent cash back (until a $12 maximum is reached) arranged with this merchant, the final price will be $81.05.
WiFi FPV RC Drone
Your teenager has been asking for a drone. Why? Who knows. What you do know is that these items can be expensive. So, you turn to eBay to find the best price and see the WiFi FPV RC Drone with 4K HD Camera, 40 Mins Flight Time, Foldable Drone for $49.99. Pretty good. However if you also have an American Express card, you have access to Amex Offers. Spend $15 or more with the card at eBay and you’ll get $5 back, reducing the price to $44.99.
NFL Design Pop Up Table Tennis Set
Are the football fans in your life feeling cooped up during the winter months? A fun gift would be this foldable table tennis table branded with the NFL logo of a team you know they love. The NFL Design Pop Up Table Tennis Set currently goes for $164.99 from the NFL Shop. Amex Offers, though, will give you $20 back when you spend $100 or more (up to two times) at that retailer. Final price: $144.99.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Lightsaber
Star Wars is one of the most beloved movie series, so young fans will be excited to get a Lightsaber complete with detachable hilt (ready for battle). The Obi-Wan Kenobi Lightsaber is available on ShopDisney.com for $34.99, but if you have a Bank of America card you are entitled to 15 percent cash back (until $7.50 is reached) through the BankAmeriDeals program. That means you’ll get an automatic $5.24 discount when you use your card, dropping the price to $30.75.
LEGO Friends Mia’s Wildlife Rescue
Combine LEGOs with animals and adventure and you have a toy almost any child will get excited about. The list price for the LEGO® Friends™ Mia’s Wildlife Rescue on Zully is currently $48.95 and but since the online retailer partnered with BankAmeriDeals, you’ll get 10 percent cash back (until $10 cash back is reached), so the effective cost to you is $44.06.
Deluxe Painting Art Set by Artist’s Loft Necessities
When you don’t know what to buy for a kid, art supplies are usually a safe bet. The 106-piece Deluxe Painting Art Set by Artist’s Loft® Necessities™ contains a huge array of pencils, paint and brushes, a couple of canvases and much more, all in one big impressive box. It’s currently $39.99 from Michaels, but if you have a Capital One card, you may be able to access Capital One Offers. Use your card at the store, in person or online, and you will get 8 percent back as a statement credit, lowering the price to $36.79.
Although you may have a heart attack when the recipient starts to use this device to roll around the neighborhood, they will be thrilled to open the box. The Hovertrax Prizma is a popular present, but it’s an indulgence at $229.49 on QVC. To take some sting out of the cost, Capital One Offers will get you 4 percent cash back as a statement credit. The net price, then, would be about $220.
Rock ‘N’ Roll Electronic Drum Mat
Who’s ready to make some noise? Any kid, that’s who! The Rock ‘N’ Roll Electronic Drum Mat is a touch-sensitive instrument that features eight different drum sounds, drum sticks, built-in songs, a headset and a microphone. Right now it will set you back $63.99 when you buy it from The Sharper Image, but if you use Capital One Offers to purchase it you will get 5 percent back as a statement credit. Final tab: $60.79.
Keep your toy costs down all year
With the number of extra costs involved, the holidays can be one of the most expensive times of the year. Respect your financial parameters by setting a budget this holiday season for the amount you want to spend on toys and everything else. Stick to your personal limit, not the one set by your credit issuer.
Using the right credit card with a card-linked offer program can definitely keep costs low, but also be sure to manage the account so you don’t accumulate an overabundance of debt. As compelling as these offers can be, the interest that will be added to rolled over balances will erode their amazing value.