American Express Savvy Online Shopper Tips

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amex prizes

Enter to Win $250 in Gift Cards and Merchandise.

Shopping regret is such a bummer. The rewards of online shopping are huge--the availability, the shipping to your door, and the endless variety of merchandise that is available online. But even this savvy mom makes mistakes and can learn to shop smarter. I've been burned a few times on the short-sale sites. You know, the ones that offer huge discounts of 30-75% off of merchandise. Well a recent purchase went sour. I ordered a portable DVD player for our upcoming trip to Florida. I wanted something to keep the kiddos entertained in flight.

After a friend recommended a "deal site" I took a leap of faith and clicked on a portable DVD player at 61% off. I checked the shipping dates--and the window worked for me. But one week before the trip no DVD player and a call from the site telling me the sale had oversold and I wouldn't be getting the DVD.

TIP: Deal sites are not for everyday purchases. Don't count on fast delivery or guarantees. If you truly need something on time order from a site with a reputation for quick shipping (hello Zappos!).

Here are some additional savvy shopping tips for you as we get ready to kick off the holiday shopping season.

1.) Keep a copy of all your credit cards in a safe spot. If they are ever lost of stolen you'll have the numbers at your fingertips to cancel cards.

2.) Create a tough password. CNN posted an article about creating secure passwords, and here's an example..."F&WL2HH&E4D." This stands for "Fred And Wilma Like To Have Ham And Eggs For Dinner"

3.) Check the return policies on all purchases. Many flash sales or special discount codes nullify the return and you might be stuck. That being said, always check retailmenot.org for coupon codes before you process your order.

4.) Keep an email file of all your shopping so you can easily track orders and shipping.

5.) Mark your calendar. Free shipping Friday is December 16th this year and many online retailers will get your your goods in time for Christmas at no extra fees.

6.) Rack up the points by shopping with a card that delivers perks. I've been a member of American Express's Membership Rewards program for more than a decade. The points I've earned have given me trips to glorious spots and unbelievable fashion finds.

Win it! We're teaming up with American Express Membership Rewards to help you shop smarter. We're giving away a grand prize of $250. Pick merchandise or gift cards through Membership Rewards or a combination of gift cards/merchandise. Prizes include:

Gift Cards:

Saks Fifth Avenue: (denominations: $50, $100, $250)
Zappos.com: (denominations: $50, $100, $250)
Neiman Marcus: (denominations: $50, $100, $250)

Merchandise:

North Face Denali Jacket (Retail $165):

Michael Kors Hamilton Medium Messenger Bag (Retail $248.00):

Dooney and Bourke Dillen II Satchel (Retail $248.00):

TUMI Ducati Tank Medium Backpack (Retail $245.00):

CONTEST CLOSED

To enter: Leave a comment below telling me about your '??biggest online shopping mistake.'? We'll pick a winner at random the end of the month from the entries.

AMEX-Logo

For extra entries (3 extra entries for a total of 4):

1. Like Momtrends and AmericanExpress on Facebook
2. Follow @momtrends and @AmericanExpresson Twitter
3. Tweet this message '??Shop smarter with the @AmericanExpress #giveaway on @momtrends http://bit.ly/nFQ5Nm'?

Full disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Winners must be 18 years or older and US Residents. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email with the specifics on how to claim their prize. Contest ends 10/31/11 at Midnight EST. Winners will be picked by random.org. Giveaway Terms and Conditions: Prize cannot be substituted for cash. Prize cannot be combined with any other offers, discounts, or promotions being run by the sponsor company.

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