On Friday The Points Guy posted about Nordstrom offering 36 Avois points per dollar spent via a British Airways promotion.  I briefly mentioned it and linked to it when I read it on his site, because 36x is a pretty big deal that doesn’t come along very frequently.  He has since posted another positive update here.  Please read those posts to learn how to get the 36x points.  Since he already does a good job explaining how to get the bonus points, in this post I am not going to rehash how to get the deal.  Instead, I am going to focus on how to make the deal work for middle-class families.

When I first learned of this deal on Friday, I had just planned to get my kiddo a pair of Tiny Tom’s shoes (the cutest ever) and a spring dress.  I was going to spend about $60 on the items, and in return get over 2,000 Avios.  Since we are hopefully only about a week away from selling our house in Austin, and thus writing a hefty check to get out from under it (silly market), I’m not exactly in a financial position to go on a shopping spree for designer shoes and handbags.  So, I was going to just buy a couple things that I know we would get good use out of for our kiddo.  Well, that was a good plan.  But, I have since come up with a better plan.

I still can’t afford to go crazy with this deal, but once I started looking deeper, I saw that Nordstrom had some more items that I actually did need, and could get good use out of.  So, I figured I would make a Nordstrom’s Family Friendly list of items, in case there are more families that would love to take advantage of 36x Avios, but just can’t justify buying a $1,295 pair of Jimmy Choo Leona Buckle Sandals.  ;)  Keep in mind, this is still Nordstrom, so you aren’t paying Wal Mart prices, but there are still some reasonably priced items to be found.

Nordstrom’s Family Friendly Shopping List: 

  • Tiny Toms.  I already mentioned that I bought C a pair of Tiny Toms for this summer, but Nordstrom sells them for less than $30, which is the same price you will pay pretty much anywhere.  You can buy the adult version for around $50.  Yes, my kid and I do have matching grey Toms.  Expect to see her running around in this colorful version once she grows into the larger size that I bought.

  • Kid’s bathing suits.  They had several kid bathing suits in the $20 – $30 range.  Most likely the one your kid wore last year won’t fit, so might as well get another one.
  • Mini Boden.  I love Mini Boden clothes for my toddler.  They are kid’s clothes that actually look like kid’s clothes.  They also hold up really well and are super cute.  Nordstrom carries several Mini Boden items.  You can typically find them a bit cheaper directly from Boden with a coupon code, but it still is a decent option to consider since we are talking about 36 points per dollar!
  • Baby shower gifts.  I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by friends having babies these days, which means that I am surrounded by baby showers.  That means baby shower gifts.  I usually like to get something off of the parents’ registry, but it never hurts to add in a present that you picked out as well.  In fact, most of my best gifts at my shower were ones I didn’t register for.  Nordstrom has a whole baby gift section.  Some of my favorites are: Sophie the Giraffe (she looks like a dog toy, but she is awesome), Aden and Anais swaddling blankets, and the Ergo baby carrier.  We actually use the Ergo almost every time we travel, so that our toddler is contained on my back and my hands are free.

  • Make-up!  This is where I really got excited.  Department store make-up and creams are expensive.  They also virtually never go on sale, so the price that Nordstrom offers is pretty much the same as you would find anywhere.  I got a few MAC items I have been putting off buying and I also found out which Estee Lauder items my mom was running low on and got those as well.  The same holds true for perfumes – if you are running low, now is the time to stock-up.
  • Running shoes.  My husband has been in need of some casual/running shoes for a long time.  We had been putting off getting some for a while, but found a pair of cute New Balance shoes at Nordstrom that we decided to buy.  I did some price comparison to other sites online, and the price that Nordstrom had was very competitive with other sites for that pair of shoes.
  • Winter gear on clearance.  I didn’t find tons of winter sale items left, but I did see a few North Face jackets at a large discount.  They had a few kid’s North Face Denali jacket’s at 50% off.  They have other jackets and warm clothes that are discounted from 20% – 50%.

Of course, if your budget is a bit more flexible, they also have some very nice luggage, designer handbags, jewelery, clothes, etc…  Valentine’s Day is coming up and 36x on Nordstrom items may be even better than flowers.  In the end my family spent about $310 before tax on some of the “Family Friendly” items listed.  I don’t feel like any of the items we bought were frivolous, as they were all things that will really be used.  I know that $310 pails in comparison to the thousands of dollars that others are spending, but in the end my family will still get over 11,000 Avios for things that we needed anyway.

I really like Avios for short-haul trips.  In fact, they are currently the best deal for flying my husband’s parents from Wichita to Houston to visit their granddaughter.  That is often a pretty expensive route that seems to be close to $500 on the weekends that we are available, but it costs just 18,000 Avios.  Of course, there are many routes that only require 9,000 Avios if you are flying to or from an American Airlines hub city.  I’m excited that these 11,000 Avios will get us a good deal of the way toward one of those tickets.

Don’t ignore this promo if you are a middle class family that doesn’t normally shop at Nordstrom.  Take a look and see if there are some items that will be useful to your family and pick up 36x Avios in the process.

Did you find some things that will work for you?  How many points do you expect to get out of this deal?

 

Posted by Mommy Points | 26 Comments

26 Responses to “How Families Can Maximize the Current 36x Avios Nordstrom Offer”

  1. dealswelike says:

    You just reminded me that I need another pair of Toms since mine have seen better days after a few days in Bangkok!

  2. Kathy - will run for miles says:

    I didn’t see much, but was thinking of splurging on a few items of NARS makeup

  3. Kashyap says:

    I like the prices of North Face jackets on nordstrom
    They are regular priced and each jacket purchase (worth ~ 125$) will get you a short haul flight.
    Combine that purchase with the Realty Track offer for 3000 free avious and you get a medium haul flight. eg Boston to Chicago
    North Face Jacket Link(s):
    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/the-north-face-apex-bionic-softshell-jacket/3180216?origin=PredictiveSearch&resultback=2884

    Avios RealtyTrac promo (Source: TPG):
    http://thepointsguy.com/2012/02/3000-free-british-airways-avios-points-with-realtytrac/

  4. reeder says:

    Thanks for reminding me about the cosmetics! If I didn’t already have one, I’d get a Clarisonic face scrub brush. It does wonders! Now is probably a good time to restock a few brushes for it since they’re $40 for two.

  5. Larry says:

    I picked up some sandals that I desperately needed (mine are in shambles) and some cologne and got enough miles to visit my family for free (9K for a round trip)! I almost feel like I should have spent more since it is such a great deal.

  6. Sheryl says:

    what a great post! I was just comtemplating this afternoon whether or not I was going to try this, but I need some cosmetics as well. Thanks for taking the time to put together a list for those of us not likely to buy $3,000 worth of stuff!

  7. Mike S says:

    Can you later return the items you purchased and still keep the Avios?

  8. Rajesh says:

    I think the offer is back to the regular 12X now. The promotional code no longer shows up.

  9. Theresa says:

    Great idea about the Toms shoes! I got a pair for my kiddo too and a dress for myself for my brother-in-law’s wedding later this year. That’s over 16K miles pending in my account for things I need.

  10. I would add Men’s penny loafers to this list; another item my husband needs to replace every year or so and that never goes on sale. I loaded up on the $95 Florsheims.

  11. Scott says:

    Sounds like an extreme waste of money…like you were desperately trying to find items to buy (that you wouldn’t have bought otherwise or could have bought elsewhere for cheaper) just for the points. $30 kids swimsuit?? I saw them at Target this week in the $10-15 range.

  12. jcmitchell21 says:

    @Scott – If an airline ticket costs $500 and will be purchased regardless, getting 11,000 avios is worth roughly $300 (11000/18000*$500). So she spent $300, received $300 worth of avios, and received $300 worth of goods … sounds like a great deal to me.

  13. mommypoints says:

    @Deals we Like, happy to help. I love my Toms, too. ;)

    @Kathy, make-up is a great idea since it typically doesn’t go on sale anywhere.

    @Kashyap, I agree that The North Face gear is a good way to go. Thanks for sharing!

    @reeder, I picked up a brush myself. Great time to restock!

    @Larry, you got stuff you needed anyway and got a free flight to visit family – sounds like you did great.

    @Sheryl, happy to help. Spending $3K would be fun, but it isn’t going to happen anytime soon at my house either. ;)

    @Mike S, no. It might be possible you could exchange the items for a gift card, but returning the items will result in losing the points (at least if things work the way they are intended).

    @Rajesh, once you use it it goes away as an option for you since it is one time only, but the deal is still alive from what I can tell.

    @Theresa, good job!

    @The Deal Mommy, good point. I buy all my husband’s dress shoes for the year on Black Friday at the Cole Haan outlet (insanely good prices on that day), but for anyone that is in need this is another good time to make some dress shoe purchases.

    @Scott, I think you missed the spirit of the post. It was actually about only buying things that you need, and that to dig a little deeper because Nordstrom may actually carry some of those products. My family didn’t buy anything we didn’t need (well, I guess you could argue we don’t need make-up and a nice dress, but that is a debate for a different blog). As I said in the post, you can find items cheaper at Wal Mart or Target, but if you were going to buy things in this price range anyway, now is a good time to do it. If you only want to buy items at Target prices, then just skip this deal. I love Target, but I like buying some higher quality items to mix in as well. It’s all personal preference.

    @jcmitchell21, you got it! ;)

  14. Kashyap says:

    they do carry the Dr. Dre headphones, ranging from 100$ – 300$
    One useful purchase (if you really need one), is going to get you a short – long haul domestic flight.

  15. [...] have been several posts in the blogging community lately following up on The Points Guy’s original notice that [...]

  16. Parag says:

    1 thing I’d point out is that to buy Avios from BA cost $108 for 3,000 miles. With this deal you are getting $108 of clothes for free plus the miles.

  17. MillValleyMom says:

    Can you tell me how long it takes for this transaction to show up on your Avios account? I entered the NORDX3 promo code yesterday, and it indicated that it was accepted. I clicked through to the Nordstrom link and made a purchase. Today the purchase is still not showing up, and worse, the shopping portal is allowing me to renenter my promo code – I thought that offer would disappear once the first purchase had been made. Thanks for any insight!

  18. Raj B says:

    @MillValleyMom, you should see the items in your shopping history within 1-2 days of your purchase. At the very least, you should see the Nordstrom listing in the Click Report, just below the Purchase Report.

  19. Sheryl says:

    Feeling frusterated. I’m not a member yet of BA Executive Club, so I tried to sign up last night. After trying several times over a period of several hours (and getting a message that says something like “Our system is experiencing errors”) I decided that it would work better this morning. Well, I’m having the same trouble this morning and seem to be unable to register for the executive Club. Bummer. I may miss out on this.

  20. Jean says:

    @Sheryl, I am also having the same problem. Tried this morning and early this evening. Is this normal for BA Executive Club? Any suggestions for us?

    • mommypoints says:

      @Jean, Sheryl, and anyone else having problems joining Executive Club. That really stinks! I had read on Flyertalk that some were having problems, but I didn’t know it was still going on. I’m guessing you already tried different browsers. Maybe a call to BA? Hope that resolves soon – that is frustrating.

  21. Patty says:

    I’m still seeing the promotional code. Anyone else?

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  23. MJL says:

    Other family friendly ideas include Melissa & Doug puzzles (they seem to be at a non-inflated price level).

    Also these kids gloves are on sale

    http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/the-north-face-denali-gloves-boys/3283501?origin=category

  24. [...] of my favorite bloggers, MommyPoints, explains how to do this promotion in some detail here when you’re on a budget or looking for travel with a family slant.  The gist is to simply buy [...]

  25. [...] today (April 3rd).  I know many of us stocked up on Nordstrom purchases several weeks ago when British Airways had 36x points, but in case you missed out on that promo, or are in need of some more items from Nordstrom, 10 [...]

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