Holiday Shopping: 5 Apps to Save Cash, Make Money & Protect Your Credit

Americans engaged in record levels of online holiday shopping during both Black Friday and Thanksgiving online sales in the United States – a spending surge that suggests online holiday shopping will continue to be strong for the rest of the 2017 holiday shopping season.

According to Adobe Analytics, which tracks purchases at the largest 100 U.S. web retailers, U.S. retailers brought in an unprecedented $7.9 billion in online sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving, up 17.9% from year-ago figures.

Adobe predicted that Cyber Monday would generate an additional $6.6 billion in internet sales, which would make it the largest U.S. online shopping day in history.

If you’re shopping online, here are 5 apps to get you the best deals, help you save or make money, and keep your credit in good shape this holiday shopping season.

  1. Amazon

Amazon has kicked off special bargains, including more than 30 “Deals of the Day” for Cyber Monday, as well as thousands of so-called “Lightning Deals,” which are limited-time flash sales.

Video games will be up to 60% off, while toys like Hasbro games, Nerf products and Play-doh will be discounted by up to 50%.

Amazon also features Cyber Monday Deal Week, which lasts all week long. So download Amazon’s free app to get the fastest-possible heads up about sales that will save you money on holiday gift items.

  1. DeCluttr

Technology and gadgets are always big gift items during the holidays, but they can be expensive. Fortunately, the DeCluttr app helps you save and make money on tech.

To save money, you can buy refurbished tech items in good to pristine condition – like cell phones or tablets – at a fraction of their retail price by using DeCluttr’s app. To make money on tech, just sell to DeCluttr the existing gadgets lying around your house that you no longer want, need or use.

Right now, Decluttr is paying $115 for the X-Box One 1TB, about $150 for the Play Station 4 (PS4 1TB) and around $350 to $400 for iPhone 7 and 8 models.

  1. DealNews

The DealNews app is a great place to find all kind of flash sales, coupons, rebates, promotions and other deals being offered by some of your favorite retailers.

For example, DealNews just alerted its subscribers to Macy’s CyberWeek specials. You can get up to 70% off clothes, shoes, beauty items, home goods and more.

The good thing about downloading the DealNews app, besides the fact that it’s free, is that they’ll give you email or text alerts all holiday shopping season long for gift items you’re eyeing. That way, if a particular item or merchandise goes on sale, or has a special offer or a coupon, you’ll be the first to get alerted about the deal.

  1. Earny

Earny is a cool app that takes some of the stress out of shopping and worrying if you got the best deal. If the price of an item you bought later goes on sale, the Earny app looks for refunds from your credit card company if they offer a price guarantee.

Then you get the money back if the price was lowered after you bought an item.

To do this work for you, Earny takes a cut: 25% of your savings. But it’s worth it for you to not have the hassle factor of tracking all your purchases, checking prices later and requesting refunds on your own.

You also must give Earny your email address, so you can get money back automatically when prices drop on your purchases.

  1. Credit Sesame

All that online holiday shopping can hurt your credit score if you’re not careful. That’s because the amount of credit card debt you carry accounts for 30% of your FICO credit score.

To improve your credit health, the Credit Sesame app helps in three ways. First, when you sign up for Credit Sesame, they give you free monthly credit scores and tips on how to better manage your credit.

Second, Credit Sesame offers free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance in case a crook tries to open credit or go on a shopping spree using your name/credit.

Finally, if you are in the market for a new credit card – perhaps one with a 0% offer for your holiday shopping or a credit card that offers rewards like free airline travel – Credit Sesame does the comparison shopping for you and shows you the best credit card options available, based on your credit profile and financial goals.

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