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It’s May, so for many of us it is wedding season…and wedding present buying season! In my mid-30’s wedding season has actually slowed down a bit from its peek a few years ago (we are now mostly into “second baby shower” or even “divorce party” season), but we are excited to attend a few weddings this year. One wedding is right around the corner, so I needed to buy a wedding for the upcoming shower. I don’t like spending money, but I do like getting the most for it when I have to, and here is how that played out thanks to miles, rewards credit cards, and deals. Here is a post from last year on maximizing mileage earning during wedding season.
This post is an example of how you can stack opportunities to both earn a few miles and save a few dollars on purchases like wedding gifts!
Save With Amex Sync:
My friend was registered at Crate and Barrel, so the wedding shower present shopping was pretty easy with just one store to pick from. I remembered seeing an Amex Sync deal for Crate and Barrel that awarded a $10 statement credit by tweeting
#AmexCrateBarrel with your Synced Twitter account and spending a total of $50+ on qualifying purchases at Crate & Barrel by 5/22/14. This was a good deal, and I was planning on spending around $50 for this shower gift anyway. Weddings are a little less expensive to attend here than in places like the East Coast! With these sort of deals the amount you need to spend is an all-in amount (meaning taxes and shipping type charges count) and the money you save will come back via a statement credit on your Amex card.
Make Purchase Via a Shopping Portal:
Before heading to the Crate and Barrel website I did a search on evreward.com and cashbackmonitor.com to see which shopping portals had the best points or cashback payout for the retailer. Turns out that Shop Discover had the best at 5%, but I don’t have a Discover card so I went with earning 2 United miles per dollar via MileagePlus Shopping (though both portals had that payout listed incorrectly at 1x). I clicked from the MileagePlus Shopping portal to the Crate and Barrel website to make sure the purchase counted.
Miles earned: 100 United MileagePlus Miles
Look for coupon codes:
The website was offering a 10% coupon code if you registered your email address. I provided my email address that I use for things like this and I was provided a 10% off code that was delivered within a few minutes. I also often check at retailmenot.com, my inbox, and do a general Google search for coupon codes that might work. Occasionally a site’s Facebook page will have codes that can save you some money on an order.
Amount saved: $5.18
Pay with rewards earning credit card:
In this case I had to pay with my synced Amex to get the $10 statement credit, but that was okay with me since I had registered my Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card that gives me 1 Membership Reward points per dollar + a 50% points bonus when I have 30 transactions in a billing cycle. Assuming I trigger the bonus, that means that I will earn 75 Membership Reward points for the purchase and get another transaction closer to the 30 I need for the month.
Points earned: 75 Membership Reward points
Avoid shipping charges by picking up in store:
I didn’t run across any free shipping codes this time (darn!), but luckily my husband will be cruising right by a Crate and Barrel on his travels this week, so we were able to select to pick up in store and save.
Amount saved: $10.95 (or actually more since I would have had to pay rush delivery at this point)
Other ways to earn and save:
If there hadn’t been an Amex sync offer available, I could have used my Chase Freedom® card to visit Lowes Home Improvement Store and pick up a $50 Crate and Barrel gift card. Since Lowe’s is a 2nd quarter 5x bonus category on the Freedom I would have earned 250 Ultimate Reward points in doings so. In general, I like to think through whether I can easily buy a gift card to a retailer I need to use at a place where I earn a category bonus on one of my rewards credit cards (think grocery stores, office supply stores, etc).
If I used that gift card online via a shopping portal I very well may have earned miles/points again via “double dipping”. There is no guarantee this would have worked, but there is at least one success story with Crate and Barrel in the Frequent Miler’s Laboratory.
All in all we turned what would have been a purchase of about $66.70 that potentially could have earned no miles, to one that only cost $40.57 and earned around 175 miles/points. In this case the mileage earning was not really substantial, but the amount saved was almost 40% just by being strategic and stacking opportunities. This is just one example of the different steps I go through in my head to make the most of every purchase.
How do you make the most of purchases you have to make like wedding gifts?
Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a credit card using one of my affiliate links. Some links in this post are mine, some are not. All are to the best offers I am aware of. As always, thanks for your support.