Carolyn Kaster  /  AP
A line of shoppers wraps around the Toys R Us in Camp Hill, Pa. the day after Thanksgiving last year.
updated 6/16/2010 1:01:06 PM ET 2010-06-16T17:01:06

Toys R Us Inc. is allowing shoppers to set aside money to spend later at its stores during the holidays, with a new program that dishes out a bonus for those who start early.

Unlike traditional layaway plans, shoppers don't have to decide ahead of time what they want to buy with the Christmas Savers Club. Layaway plans have seen a resurgence as shoppers pull back their spending in the tough economy and avoid credit cards. Retailers want to help them spend however possible, including offering plans like the one announced Wednesday by Toys R Us.

Customers can get a Christmas Savers Club card at any store in the U.S. to start tucking away money immediately. If customers sign up before Oct. 16, they get a 3 percent bonus based on the money placed into the account.

Customers can save up to $2,500 per card — so the top bonus is worth $75, which can be used to buy store merchandise. Bonuses will be added to cards by Oct. 31, which is the first day people can start to use the card for purchases at Toys R Us and Babies R Us.

There are no fees for the program, and a card can be opened with as little as $1.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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