It's that special time of year...

…when you look at your checking account and think “Oh my gosh, what happened?!” If you’re in the market for some last-minute shopping but don’t want to break the bank, now may be a good time to cash in your reward points from credit cards and loyalty memberships.

One loyalty program I use for gift-giving is Coke Rewards. All year, I enter the codes from Coke products (the Thrifty Librarian loves her Diet Coke!) at the Coke rewards website, watching them pile up. At Christmas, I redeem them for magazine subscriptions for friends and family. You can learn more about Coke Rewards by following this link.

When signing up for a loyalty program, it’s a good idea to triple-check that there are no hidden fees. As they say, there’s no such thing as a free lunch! If a program seems too good to be true, or it’s offered by a company you’ve never heard of, it’s probably a good idea to skip it. If you’re not familiar with a company’s reputation, check out the links to the Better Business Bureau and other consumer resources on our Recommended Websites.

Merry Christmas from the Thrifty Librarian!