Tips for online shopping

This year, skip the malls and enjoy the benefits of holiday shopping from home. Shopping online for holiday gifts can save you time and money – and help you earn rewards. Here are some tips to shopping safely, saving money and getting rewarded for your efforts.

Security first

Before you start loading up your virtual shopping cart, here are a few tips to help ensure your online security.

• Update your software, apps and browsers. Security fixes are often part of updates, so sign up for automatic updates to stay secure.

• Shop on known and trusted retail sites. If you’re clicking through to an online store from an email or social media ad, check the URL. Legitimate sites typically include a lock icon and start with https://, which means they’re encrypted.  

• Only shop over a secure and private Wi-Fi connection.

• Pay with a credit card and check your statements carefully during the holidays for any fraudulent charges.

Save while you shop

Doing your holiday shopping online has some natural cost controls built in: you save on gas, avoid the food court and bypass the temptation of impulse buys waiting in line. Here are some other ways you can save money while you shop online.

Research and compare prices. One of the benefits of online shopping is that comparison shopping doesn’t mean running around town – answers are just a few clicks away. You can even use a browser plug-in like PriceBlink, an extension that pulls pricing from many online retailers to show you price comparisons on items while you shop. The larger the ticket item, the more time you should spend researching.

Sign up for emails or other promotions to save. Many retailers offer a discount on your first order after signing up for email promotions. You’re likely to score additional savings through follow-up emails.

There’s an app for that. Look for money-saving apps like Honey, which applies online coupons to your purchase, or Rakuten, which offers cash back on purchases. There are even apps to help you shop on specific sites like Amazon, such as CamelCamelCamel which will provide you with price tracking and low price alerts.

Earn rewards

With rewards, your gifts keep on giving. Use your Ultimate Checking debit card and earn one reward point for every $5 spent on all non-PIN transactions. Shop with your Visa® Rewards Plus credit card to purchase gifts online and earn one point for every dollar spent. Plus earn up to 1.5% on every purchase when you make more than 25 purchases or spend more than $2,500 during that billing cycle. Points can be used on cash back, merchandise, dining and travel from national retailers through the Advancial Rewards program.

Amplify Your Rewards

Earn bonus points at participating retailers by using your Advancial debit card or Visa® Rewards Plus credit card!

With Ampre card-linked offers, thousands of online and in-store bonus point offers are already linked directly to your card. Simply use your Advancial debit card or Visa Rewards Plus credit card at participating retailers and you’ll automatically earn points.

Learn more about Advancial rewards at