Thursday, December 2, 2010

Fru-Gal Column December 2

We made it through Black Friday and Cyber Monday; I hope you got all the sales you were looking for. As online buying is becoming the most popular way to shop, scammers are out in full force. Take steps to help protect yourself. Don’t forget you also have Free Shipping Day on December 17 that many major websites will be participating in.

· Don’t open attachments or click on links if they seem at all suspicious. Doing so could let spyware or viruses in.
· Invest in protection for your computer. Getting antivirus and anti-spyware software should keep out programs that log your keystrokes to steal passwords and financial information.
· Steer clear of websites that look like or but are actually fakes set up to steal your data.
· Once you are checkout out, be sure that you’re on a secure page. The address should begin with “https,” not “http.” The “s” indicates an encrypted connection, so even if you’re financial information is intercepted, it can’t be read. A gold lock on the bottom of the page signals the same thing.
· Your computer is more vulnerable on a public wireless network. So sitting in a coffee shop using their wireless feed is probably not a safe place to order online.
· Pay with a credit card, and by law you’ll be liable for no more than $50 in fraudulent charges. Using a debit card is stickier. Though MasterCard and Visa match the liability cap, the overall legal protections aren’t as strong. And once the money is gone from your bank account, you could face delays and hassles in getting it back.

· Several credit card issuers, including Bank of America, Citibank, and Discover, will give you an account number that becomes invalid after one use. Call customer service to find out more.
Don’t forget to cash in on your rewards from your credit card. There are three categories: cash back, rewards points and frequent-flier miles. If you carry a credit card balance, forgo a rewards card. Instead, find out if you can accrue points on your debit card by signing for purchases as “credit” instead of debit at the cash register.

Each card’s rewards program is structured differently, so it’s important to compare cards and consider which one best meshes with your spending habits. Check to see if there is a cap on the amount of cash back you can receive in a year.

During the holiday season many of your credit card reward programs are offering to double, triple even quadruple your rewards. Check out your credit online for any special programs.
No more gifting gaffes. Before you waste your time and money again this holiday, hop onto Select a gift card from more than 150 brands and send it via email, text or Facebook. The best part is he or she can swap that card you got for another card without you even knowing.

We love personalized photo cards because everyone on your list gets a cute greeting starring your family plus no tedious hand-signing necessary. Place an order on and take 30 percent off its entire line of cards, as well as classic photo books and calendar through January 10. Just enter promotional code LHJ30 at checkout.

If you are buying gift cards for certain restaurants go directly to the restaurant because many are giving bonus cards when you buy a specific dollar amount.

Get 40 cents off per gallon on your next fill-up at Kroger or Shell when you spend $100 on qualifying gift cards at Kroger with your Plus Card between November 21 and December 11.

Look for Coors Lite mail-in-rebate at your Kroger stores mail in your gift card receipts and you can get a check for $10 with $50 worth of gift card purchase. Remember in the state of Kentucky you do not have to purchase the beer.

From December 1 through December 24 patrons who purchase gift cards at any Bluegrass Hospitality Group Restaurant will be able to designate 20 percent of the cards total amount to Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass. Just print out letter that you will present to any Malone’s location or Sal’s Chophouse when you purchase your gift cards.

Purchase a CVS $25 gift ecard by email and receive a $5 gift ecard for yourself.

Purchase a Target Gift Card for $20 or more and Target will donate $1 per card to The St. Jude Children’s Hospital

Get up to $20 back from RIteAid this holiday season. Just enter all your receipts throughout December and if you spend over $100 you will get a $20 check back.

Receive a $5 Walmart Card when you buy at least three different qualifying products at Walmart and mail in receipts before 1/31/11
Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector
George Foreman SkiLite Searing Skillet
George Foreman Panini Press Open Grill
George Foreman Smart Kitchen Multicooker
Fruit of the Loom (Any Ladies’ 6 Pack of socks)
Depend Variety Pack (Men’s or Women’s)
Poise Thin Comfort
Kleenex Hand Towels
Viva Big Roll
Jimmy Dean Hearty Sausage Crumbles
Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Nail Color
Rimmel Lash Accelerator Mascara

Make sure you have plenty of batteries for all your presents. Go to Staples or Office Depot to purchase 12 pack and receive your full purchase price back in Staple Rewards or a Office Depot Gift Card. You have to be a member of their reward programs so sign up in store before purchase.

December 4 and December 5 receive 30% off your purchases at CVS

Speedy Rewards would like to give you a holiday treat. Receive 250 bonus points by simply presenting your online coupon along with your Speedy Rewards cards.
Get 13 Holiday Tunes downloaded for FREE from Target.

Sign up for Culver’s Text Club and receive special offers and promotions. Best of all you will receive a text for a free scoop of fresh frozen custard just for joining.

Receive a free Karo recipe booklet that includes 26 recipes for delicious cookies and bars.

Lifeline program helps eligible Kentuckians receive a discount of at least $10 a month on basic service. The Link-Up program cuts installation charges in half, up to a maximum savings of $30. For more information go to To apply, contact the business office of your local telephone provider.

The ASPCA is giving out free window decals that tell rescue workers there are pets in the home. The offer includes a magnet with the number of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

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