Reeling in the Rewards - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Stretching Your Dollar

Reeling in the Rewards

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by Maureen O'Boyle - bio | email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – It seems every single store we shop in they ask, "Would you like to sign up for our rewards program and save?"  Sure!! But then of course you realize, you're already part of 10 other programs and have your saved a dime?  Some of us are better at keeping track than others.  I met a Charlotte mom and businesswoman who has come up with the perfect solution.

Tamara Granger is the founder of Citipass books.  They are coupon books used to help charities with fundraising efforts.  Tamara has long been savvy with her money.  She remembers a childhood when things were tight, "I can still remember my mom rolling pennies so we could play putt putt. That's a memory that still stays with me."  Granger translated that appreciation for the dollar into her business and into her busy life.

She is a member with countless awards programs.  And one day, almost by accident, she came up with a brilliant idea to keep track of them all.  "I had missed some important things because I had signed up for so many rewards programs I missed and event at school."  That is when Tamara decided to make a chance.

"What I've done is designated a special email box only for my reward programs."  So every morning, she checks her personal email, her work email, and checks her rewards emails to see if there is a deal she has to take immediate advantage of.  "Now all those emails go into a separate box, and when I'm ready to look at airline tickets, or clothing sales I have all of those in a separate box.  I can find what I need that day and they're not getting messed up with my three tennis teams, my ski team, my cross country teams." 

There are also some web sites worth checking out.  Points.com will help you keep track of your points with various programs.  It also helps you see if someone might want to trade points.  Perhaps you want to take a trip, but you need 10 thousand more points with a particular airline.  The site will let you share what you want to swap with others looking to swap.  There are small transaction fees from Points.com and from the airlines. 

Another suggestion Tamara had which I thought was great, don't fill your wallet with all the cards for those rewards programs.  "I just give them my telephone number, so they can call up my account when I'm checking out by my phone number.  That way I don't have all those little cards dangling off my key chain, or filling up my wallet.

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