Cash Back Rewards When Moving

August 31, 2010

One of the things that I realized during two cross-country moves is that you can really rack up the credit card rewards points with a little help from doing something you have to anyway. Moving can be expensive, but you can offset some of the costs by being savvy about your rewards:

Cash Back Cards

One of the things I did for one move was to put my major moving expenses on my cash back credit card. If you rent a moving truck, or hire a moving company, you can put that large expense on your card.

Save up ahead of time for your move so that you can pay off the balance right away. That way the interest doesn’t destroy your rewards. Even better, if you are working for a company that will reimburse you, you can still put the cost on your credit card. Get the money back, and still reap the rewards.

Gas Rewards

Check to see what your rewards program offers in terms of gas. Some programs offer more for gas purchases. Use these cards when filling up the tank, whether its the UHaul you’re driving, or the car you’re taking across the country. If you have a gas credit card, you can use that to build up points at your favorite gas station.

Travel Rewards

If you belong to a hotel rewards program, try to plan your route so that you can stay at the hotel chain of choice as much as possible. The same is true of miles programs if you are flying to your new home.

Look for special promotions at one chain (stay two nights, get a third free). That way, you can get a little something extra for your trip.  If you have a travel rewards credit card be sure to use it for your hotel or airline purchases, the points certainly won’t pay for your trip but every little bit helps.

Setting Up Utilities

Since part of moving your money requires that you set up new utilities, such as phone, Internet and TV, you can actually use that your advantage. Set up these recurring payments so that they are automatically charged to your cash back card, or to the rewards card that you use the most.

That way, every month you are building up rewards. Just make sure that you pay off the balance each month. Many power companies and other utilities are also starting to allow the automatic payment option. Moving is a great time to review your payment practices to work in your favor.

Tax Deduction

You can get some cash back for some of your moving expense if you’re eligible for a tax deduction. If you are moving due to a change in your job, or to a new business location, you can take an “above the line” deduction that affects your adjusted gross income.

Your new job must be at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your old job was from your old home. If you are starting a new job, that job must be at least 50 miles away from your old home. You also have to work full-time for at least 39 weeks in the 12 months following your move. This applies to the self-employed as well.

Change of Address Savings

When you fill out the change of address form with the post office, you receive a number of helpful discounts and coupons. For example, you can get savings from the following vendors:

  • Lowe’s: 10% a purchase, $10 off a $50 purchase, $25 off $250 purchase
  • AT&T Uverse: Up to $300 cash back for new customers
  • Overstock: 10% off your order with $2.95 shipping
  • Best Buy: 10% off one item

Look through the packet to see whether any of the savings can be useful to you as you set up your new home. Make sure, though, that you aren’t spending to just to get the discount. Carefully consider what you really need, and make your purchases accordingly.


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Miranda writes about personal finance almost every day. An experienced freelance writer, she's covered your money online and in print from every angle and is always looking for new ones.

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5 Responses to Cash Back Rewards When Moving

  • Ben

    @Andrew, the thing about moving is that you always end up spending more money than you thought you would. There are so many little things you didn’t think about ahead of time and they all add up.

    I figure mine as well earn some cash back on all the money you end up spending!

  • Stan

    Hi – found this blog on someone elses blogroll…

    Useful post! Out of interest, can you recommend any cash back credit cards other an Amex? Thanks!

  • Andrew

    This is pretty cool. I’ve always looked at moving as an absolute nightmare, but this is a pretty interesting perspective. Now I’m going to look at it more like a fun game where I can see how much “value” I can get out of moving. I think it helps to go in with a plan and to have, for example, different credit cards with different rewards for the various aspects of your trip (as long as you can be sure you can pay back your credit cards)!


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