How to earn (and use) rewards for Mother’s Day gifts

Whether you’re giving Mom chocolates, flowers, power tools or a nice family brunch (or all the above) for Mother’s Day, look at the cards in your wallet before you pay for anything. There are opportunities to earn extra rewards and use the rewards you’ve already earned to make your mother feel special.

Mother’s Day brunch

Plenty of credit cards offer restaurants as a bonus category, including:


If airline miles are your thing, most major carriers have dining programs. Register any credit or debit card with the program and earn extra miles by dining at a restaurant in your airline’s portfolio. Pro-tip: Register one of the cards listed above to earn airline miles AND bonus points with your credit card.

Flowers, candy and chocolate-covered everything

Order blooms or treats to arrive on your mom’s doorstep – and earn lots of bonus points for doing so.

Some credit cards have bonus-shopping portals that give extra points for certain purchases. And these portals are flooded with flowers-and-goodies delivery services. Log in to your card account and click through to your portal to see the bonuses available to you. For example, Barclaycard’s Rewards Boost is offering more bonus points on flowers and chocolate-covered fruit than it’s offering on pretty much anything else right now:

Travel

If you have extra airline miles you’re not going to use, give mom the freedom to take a dream trip. You can gift miles you’ve already earned or, even better, ask Mom where she wants to go and save yourself the miles-gifting fee by booking a trip for her with your miles. No miles? You can buy them — often at a discount.

Read our comprehensive guide on gifting miles.

Gift cards

Gift cards don’t have to be impersonal. Many credit cards allow you to redeem rewards for gift cards that match niche interests and hobbies. American Express’s Membership Rewards portal, for example, often has gift cards for theaters, ski lodges, hotels, cruises, luxury stores and more.

Pay close attention – sometimes you can redeem cash-back rewards for gift cards at less than face value.

Fun experiences

Groupon can let you treat your mom to a spa day or give you ideas for new things to try together. Can you imagine a better way to spend Mother’s Day than a beer tasting? Or Go-Karting?

If you have a Discover card, the Discover Deals program gives you 5 percent back on Groupon purchases. So take the whole family to an escape room (the ultimate family-bonding experience) and get 5 percent cash back.

Anything else Mom wants

Redeem rewards for merchandise: Many credit card rewards programs allow you to redeem for merchandise – gadgets, jewelry, purses, camping equipment and more. In fact, the American Express Membership Rewards program is running a 25 percent discount on merchandise redemptions (site-wide) for Mother’s Day.
Even if you’re getting a discount, run the numbers. Look at how many points it takes to get the item you want and compare that to its cash cost. It may be smarter to save your points for later and use a rewards card to pay for the item.

Flex your card’s bonus categories: Department stores sell everything from clothes, to fine jewelry, to electronics, to furniture, to power tools. And some cards give you extra rewards at department stores. American Express’s Blue Cash Preferred card, for example, gives 3 percent cash back at select U.S. department stores.

If you have a rotating 5 percent category card, check out your options for Quarter 2. The Discover it card, for example, is offering 5 percent cash back at home improvement stores and wholesale clubs. If Mom wants a new lawn-mower or a new TV, you’ll get a nice return on your spending.

 
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