Stack card rewards with tax-free weekends for back-to-school shopping

Sales tax holidays and rewards cards cut costs on clothes, shoes, computers

Jeff Herman
Managing Editor
Career news journalist who enjoys chasing trending stories


Save on back-to-school spending with rewards YinYang/E+/Getty Images


Save on back-to-school spending with rewards YinYang/E+/Getty Images

Savvy back-to-school shoppers are scoring cash back and racking up miles with every dip or swipe. If you live in 16 states with a tax-free weekend, you’ll save even more filling store (or online) shopping carts with school clothes, shoes, computers and accessories. Back-to-school guide 2017

Back-to-School Guide 2017

With cash back and rewards cards, card issuer shopping portals and tax-free sales-tax holidays, you can stack your savings on much of what you are spending to get your little ones set for school and send your older ones off to college.

The parade of sales-tax holidays continued until just a few weeks before school bells ring. All the sales-tax holidays cover weekends, with some stretching out to include Fridays as well.

This year’s sales-tax holiday weekends kicked off in Alabama July 21-23. This is the first year Alabama has held its back-to-school sales-tax weekend in July, and it covered everything from books to computers to clothing (and diapers, I kid you not). Maryland and Connecticut will hold their sales-tax holidays for a full week, from Aug. 13-19 and Aug. 20-26, respectively.

While the sales-tax holidays are aimed at the back-to-school crowd, everyone can take advantage. Need a computer or tablet for yourself? Get it during your state’s holiday and pay no sales tax (if computers are eligible in your state). Apple has added a webpage detailing which Apple products are covered in states that include purchases of computers and accessories.

Note that each state has different rules for what’s covered during its sales-tax holiday. Information about 2017 sales tax weekeends can be found on the map below. However, before you head out the door, double-check your state’s tax and revenue webpage for the most current information.

See related: 3 ways to maximize card rewards on back-to-school shopping, Video: How to save on back-to-school shopping

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Updated: 06-20-2018