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Rewards, Shopping

Save money with these 6 browser extensions

Susan Johnston Taylor

Savvy online shoppers know to always search for a discount code before checkout, and with browser extensions that will automatically locate promo codes for you, manual searches have gone the way of the flip phone.

Here’s a look at six browser extensions that can save you money by locating online promo codes, comparing prices or making sure you use right rewards credit card.

Since adding a zillion browser extensions could slow down your computer (and certainly isn’t ideal if you’re concerned about privacy), we’ve also included tips to help you choose the extensions that best fit your shopping needs.

1. Honey: Perhaps the grand dame of couponing browser extensions, Honey can automatically apply coupon codes at checkout and find the one code that gets you the most savings. Its Honey Gold program allows you to earn bonuses for referring friends and offers cash back on select transactions. Honey is available for Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

A tip: When you’re searching for an item on Amazon, Honey will note if a particular seller has the lowest price or suggest other Amazon sellers with a lower price on the same product. Plus, as you’re browsing businesses on Yelp, Honey will alert you if that yoga studio or gelato shop you’re eyeing offers a Groupon special.

Great for: People who want a simple, streamlined way to apply coupon codes without getting in the weeds with cash back programs. Using a coupon code from Honey could disqualify you from getting cash back through more lucrative programs, so I generally use Honey when my purchase doesn’t qualify for other programs.

2. Ebates Cash Back Button: If you’re a cash back fiend like I am, then you kick yourself every time you forget to shop from Ebates or another cash back portal first. The Ebates Button alleviates this problem by flashing red when you’re browsing a site with cash back opportunities and reminding you to click to activate the cash back (this can be downright annoying if you’re not ready to buy). Ebates Button is available for Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge.

A tip: Similar to Honey, Ebates notifies you if a business has a Groupon as you’re searching on Google or looking up locations on Google Maps. Once you’re ready to check out, it can automatically apply any relevant promo codes, but remember that adding other promo codes not offered through Ebates could cancel your cash back.

Great for: Cash back fanatics who never want to miss a chance to save. If you’re really meticulous about maximizing your cash back, you might be able to find a cash back rate higher than Ebates’ by comparing options at Cashbackholic.

3. Gumdrop by Goodshop: Much like Honey, Gumdrop can automatically find and apply promo codes from across the web before you check out. But instead of earning Honey Gold, Gumdrop lets you donate a portion (typically 1 to 5 percent) of your purchase to your favorite charity, school, church or personal cause. Gumdrop is available for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

A tip: Gumdrop’s charity support feature is similar to AmazonSmile, but instead of just applying to certain Amazon purchases, Gumdrop includes over 45,000 online retailers, including major brands such as Staples, Target and Pizza Hut.

Great for: Socially conscious consumers who want to support a cause as they shop.

4. Walla.by: This browser extension helps you decide which credit card to use so you can save money and maximize your rewards when you shop online. How it works: Enter your credit cards in your Walla.by account profile, so it can determine which offers the highest rewards on that category of purchase. Walla.by is available for Chrome.

A tip: I generally know which credit card gives me the most rewards for booking flights or hotels, but sometimes I choose to use a different card based on factors this tool might not consider. For instance, if I’m trying to reach a spending minimum to qualify for a sign-up bonus or if a card with less lucrative rewards offers other perks I value like price protection or an extended warranty.

Great for: Credit card rewards collectors who want to maximize the points or miles they receive on every single purchase.

5. Invisible Hand: As you shop for flights, electronics and other items, Invisible Hand works in the background to alert you about ways to save money, such as buying the same flight or product from a different retailer. Invisible Hand is available for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

A tip: When I browsed flights, Invisible Hand reminded me that I could purchase discounted digital gift cards for Southwest Airlines and save up to 2 percent (but then I’d also miss out on credit card protections such as travel insurance).

Great for: Budget-minded travelers, since Invisible Hand is especially strong in the travel category, with hundreds of airlines supported. Airlines don’t typically offer promo codes, but Invisible Hand makes sure you’re getting the lowest price.

6. Amazon Assistant: The Assistant offers drop-down notifications showing product results from Amazon when you search on search engines, and like Honey, it can help customers compare prices across multiple Amazon sellers to find the lowest price. Amazon Assistant is available on Available for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Sogou Explorer, 360 Safe Browser, 360 Quick Browser, Opera and Sleipnir.

A tip: I downloaded Amazon Assistant last year when the company offered $5 off $25 to customers who installed the extension. Since then, I’ve rarely used it, because I want to compare prices outside of the Amazon universe, too.

Great for: Amazon Prime shoppers. If you primarily shop on Amazon, you’ll likely want to download this extension. If not, you might choose one that works across multiple merchants.

See related: Easy ways cards can save you money when dining outNew Amazon Prime card makes shopping more tempting,

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