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If you have a kid, you almost certainly have some Halloween expenses. Even if you don’t have a kid, I know many adults who get quite into the Halloween experience who also have some related costs. Naturally, we all want to maximize those costs by earning as many points as possible, so I’ll do a quick rundown of things to keep in mind when purchasing pumpkins, spider webs, costumes, candy, etc!
We gave my daughter the Pottery Barn Kids catalog that comes in the mail about a month ago and turned to the Halloween section. We told her to pick out which costumes she wanted for herself, Mom, and Dad. It kind of started as a joke, but it ended up working out pretty well. I was strongly leaning toward the green forest fairy for her, but she was firmly fixated on unicorn. She won! She also decided that Dad was a werewolf and I was a witch. I asked her every couple days what she wanted us to be to make sure her answers were firm, and once I determined she was absolutely certain, then I placed the order for our costumes. Who knew that when she was one was the last time I would get to pick out her costume!
PBK is not inexpensive by any stretch, but due to some previous purchases I made there with the Pottery Barn Credit Card, I had a fair number of rewards certificates to use. I almost always use the Pottery Barn credit card for PB purchases as you earn 10% back in rewards certificates – plus I regularly get coupons in the mail that give me $25 off $50 purchases. The best part is that I still earn points on the full purchase price going through the Ultimate Rewards portal, even when I am using coupons and reward certificates. That is because they charge you for the full order amount, and then take the discounts off your PB credit card statement separately. So, we earned 5x for our full purchase price via the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal even though the price we paid was much lower in the end.
Another good idea is to shop for costumes via the Ultimate Rewards portal via your Ink Bold Charge Card, Ink Plus Business Card, or Chase Freedom Visa to get 10x at Kohls.com (Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is only paying out at 2x for Kohl’s this month). Then, pay with your Freedom card when you check-out for an extra 5x due to the 4th quarter bonus at Kohl’s. The Frequent Miler’s Lab also reports some partial success with being able to double-dip with Kohl’s (ie buy gift cards via the portal and then use them via the portal). If that worked, you are looking at 25x for those purchases. That means $40 in costumes for the family would net you 1,000 points. That’s not bad for a $40 purchase! Of course, even just 15x is pretty great.
Some other ideas for costumes include shopping via an online portal at Walmart (typically 1x at almost all portals), Walgreens (6x via United MileagePlus Shopping if you have a United card), Kmart (3x via UR), Sears (5x on UR and can also be used at Kmart), etc. There are an almost endless number of stores who sell costumes online, so just make sure you go through a portal!
You can purchase candy in most grocery stores, so you can use a card that earns a bonus in stand alone grocery stores such as the Blue Cash Preferred Card Amex to get 6% back (up to $6000 annually) or Amex Rewards Gold Card card to get 2x points. I will probably purchase my candy at somewhere like Sam’s, and will likely just use a prepaid card that I bought for 5x points at an office supply store with my Ink Bold. I want to handpick my candy as we only
eat give out the good stuff! You could also purchase a Sear’s gift card via the UR portal for 5x and then use it at Kmart to purchase candy. If you want to buy candy online, you can get it via Oriental Trading Company for 3x via UR or 4x via MileagePlus Shopping if you have a United Card.
Pumpkins are essential, so for that reason they get their own section. We buy ours from a stand on the side of the road that takes credit cards, so we used a prepaid card that we had purchased at 5x. However, if you get yours at a grocery store, then just use a card that gets you a bonus at a grocery store such as the ones mentioned above, use a prepaid card, or use your grocery purchase to help you meet a minimum spending requirement on another card. I actually don’t currently have a dedicated card for grocery purchases as we often use that type of purchase to help us hit minimum spending requirements. It’s a pretty hefty expense that can easily be moved around to various cards as needed.
Those are the main Halloween expenses I can think of, but I’d love to hear what other things your family has done, or are planning to do to maximize points for Halloween!
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